I’m very grateful to Arjie for her comment on here, telling me to loosen up and not feel I have to do set things on set days…
It’s just all those years of deadlines and production schedules bearing down, but here we go, caution to the wind with a Rule from a while back. It’s been a while since the historic state visit to Ireland, but these pics still make me smile.
Plus, I just love Her Maj. She’s been the Queen all my life and her style which used to seem so fusty, has become iconic. She’s living proof that by choosing a look and sticking to it, over time you come to own it.
Putting aside, for a moment, personal opinions about the role of Her Maj in relation to Australia (which should be a Republic, oops, I said it) and just looking at her as a random head of state: didn’t Queen Elizabeth totally nail it in the clothes department on her recent trip to Ireland?
When I saw the footage of her in the St Patrick’s Day special pictured above, visiting a market in Cork, I whooped with delight.
Not only is she wearing Kelly green, her hat has more than a nod to leprechaun couture. No wonder she got such a great reception. She got off the plane wearing green from head to toe and back on it four days later in an outfit that wouldn’t have been out of place in The Gnome Mobile.
Good on her for seeing an opportunity to make a grand sartorial gesture and grasping it. I’ve been entertaining myself ever since imagining the pre-trip conversations with her dresser, Angela Kelly.
Ms Kelly: ‘I’ve starting laying out some outfits for the tour of Ireland, ma’am, and wondered if you had any preferences?’
Her Maj: ‘Well, one thought it would be rather fun if one were to give a go to the wearing of the green…’
Then off to the Royal couturier Stewart Parvin to order a wardrobe of bright green coats and to Rachel Trevor-Morgan for one’s Kermit-coloured hats. Stellar stuff.
As well as a master class in colour blocking – a trend we’re all just getting the hang of, Her Maj has been working it for years – it was a reminder of just how powerful a gesture the choice of clothes can be.
Way beyond referencing the latest looks from the Paris catwalks and celebrity styling, or showing your financial status, these very deliberately chosen outfits show how a few metres of fabric can instantly broadcast a message of intention.
And when you’re one of the most recognised people in the world and know that images of the outfits you’ve chosen for the occasion will be beamed all around it – it becomes seriously powerful stuff.
In this case: “I’m really thrilled you’re giving me the opportunity to visit your lovely country and try in even the smallest way to make amends for all the years of cacky cacky mine visited upon you.”
That’s a much bigger statement than any of us normal citizens will ever be in a position to make (which is a relief…), but it’s an object lesson in how our choice of clothes are telling the host of any event about our attitude to them, from the moment we arrive. Even before we’ve even opened our mouths to say, Hello, how are you, where’s the bar?
It’s something to bear in mind on the days when it seems like a massive effort, if not a gross imposition to have to get changed at all, let along comb the hair and scrub the food stains off the front of your t shirt.
So when someone makes the effort to invite us to an event, be it a morning tea, or a historic reconciliation between two sovereign states, it’s worth remembering that we can pay them a lovely compliment simply by turning up in something that shows we appreciate being asked.