The Queen has eschewed her commonly colourful outfits for sombre, all-black apparel during the two-week mourning period for her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died April 9.
As is customary, the entire royal family will follow a stringent dress code when the duke is laid to rest on April 17, during the first royal funeral in the UK since the Queen Mother passed in 2002.
According to a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace, women will wear black knee-length day dresses and formal hats while men will dress in black morning coats with medals. (In a break from tradition, no family members will be in military uniform, averting a potential dilemma, as Prince Harry was stripped of his titles when he stepped down from royal duties).
Even in times of grief, close attention is paid to how royal family members interpret dress codes, which date back hundreds of years and have shifted over time.
In 1982, widely seen photos of Princess Diana at the funeral of the actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly’s show the newly wedded royal in a veiled straw hat, collared long-sleeve black dress and heart necklace — an appropriate choice that still showed her inherent sense of style.
“(Princess Diana had) that sense of having an eye to what the public expects, and just knowing how to strike the right note,” said British fashion historian and curator Kate Strasdin in a video interview.
Taken during the Princess of Wales’s funeral in 1997, the heartbreaking image of Prince Philip, Prince William, Diana’s brother Charles Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walking behind the coffin in dark suits is one of the most referenced photos in contemporary royal history and symbolic of modern royal funeral attire. Nicole Kidman and Elton John were among the celebrities who duly abided by the all-black and formal dress code to pay their respects during a funeral watched by millions worldwide.
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