The Evolution of 20th-Century Power Dressing and Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, passed away on Thursday. As required by the constitutional monarchy of her country, she never revealed her political views while she was in office. Her creation of the model for a new style of female power dressed in the latter half of the 20th century, together with her unwavering devotion to her nation, its customs, and the symbolism of a crown, will always be remembered as an indelible part of her legacy.

The queen is renowned for having remarked, “I have to be seen to be believed,” and from the time she assumed the throne in 1952, at the age of 25, she dressed herself with that intention.


She was acutely aware that visuals could still convey volumes while being primarily limited to politeness and pantomime (while also taking part in about 300 public events annually) and that she was clothing not just for her people but also for posterity. That was more than the glittering evening gowns she wore as a young queen, which provided a dose of fairy dust and glamour following World War II but were consistent with earlier royal illusions. Her talent was in making history while persuading everyone that she was faithfully carrying out her duties and preserving tradition.

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