From her Coronation gown to her colorful coats and everything in between.
As Netflix prepares to premiere Season 4 of their hit series, The Crown, you can’t help but look back at the royal fashion displayed in the previous three showings, worn by 2 separate actresses playing Queen Elizabeth II. Claire Foy took the helm for the first two, and Olivia Coleman for the third and impending fourth seasons. Throughout, there have been massive amounts of truly jaw-dropping jewels, but also full looks that are nearly indistinguishable from their originals.
With an eye toward authenticity, The Crown costume designers recreated everything from the Queen’s wedding and Coronation gowns to silk dresses, mink stoles, and colorful coats for her public appearances. Over the course of the series, there were three designers bringing this sartorial history to life: Jane Petrie for season one, Michele Clapton for season two, and Amy Roberts for seasons three and four.
Already, Roberts is nailing the recreation of Princess Diana’s style, outfitting actress Emma Corrin in looks that are remarkably similar to those worn by the late royal IRL. She pays this same attention to detail to Queen Elizabeth’s looks, creating replicas that are eerily reminiscent of the original.
Looking ahead toward the upcoming season, take a trip down memory lane and reminisce over the best Queen Elizabeth II looks portrayed on-screen by Foy and Coleman.
Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown was designed by Norman Hartnell and the royal used clothing ration coupons to pay for materials to craft the dress. It was made of silk and pearls (over 10,000 imported from the United States of America). Her tiara was the now-iconic Royal Fringe Tiara. Claire Foy wore a dress and tiara on-screen that was remarkably similar to the original.
For the 1952 Commonwealth Tour in Kenya, the Queen chose a brown and white polka dot full skirt and blazer look, which she topped with a hat and finished off with white heels and a matching handbag. Foy’s look was perfectly on point when re-created for the Netflix series.
For her many visits to the opera, the Queen wore some variation on the same outfit formula: an embellished silk gown, fur stole, and crown. Though not specifically depicting a single look, the costume designers for The Crown crafted a look that felt totally authentic.
Back in the 1950s, Queen Elizabeth was often seen wearing an elegant fur coat. Though she has now said that she will not wear new looks with fur, she has been recently spotted wearing her own vintage minks. Foy was spotted on-screen wearing a very similar version of the outerwear from nearly 70 years ago.
Though for the actual Coronation, the Queen wore a classic white dress with little embellishment, her Coronation gown afterwards was designed by Norman Hartnell, who also crafted her wedding dress. It was white and made of satin, with allover embroidery and embellishments that represented all major nations of the Commonwealth, including the Tudor Rose of England, Scots Thistle, Welsh Leek, the Shamrock of Northern Ireland, Wattle of Australia, Maple Leaf of Canada, and Silver Fern of New Zealand.
The only difference between real life and on screen, however, was the crown: though Queen Elizabeth II was clad in the St. Edward’s Crown, Foy was dressed in the George IV State Diadem instead.
In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II appeared on television to deliver her Christmas message to the world in a festive gold midi dress with a knotted front. Foy was dressed in an identical version of the light-catching number for a holiday episode of The Crown.
During her visit to Ghana, to show support for their nation, the Queen made headlines by dancing with President Kwame Nkrumah. For the party, she wore a white silk dress and opera-length gloves. Foy represented her look nearly perfectly for The Crown.
When President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie visited the UK in 1961, the Queen chose a bright blue tulle gown for the occasion. For Netflix, Foy was dressed in a nearly identical version.
After the Aberfan disaster, Queen Elizabeth II waited a week to visit the town, reportedly marking one of her greatest regrets of her reign. For the visit of support, however, she chose a red double-breasted coat trimmed in mink with a matching hat. Olivia Coleman, who depicted the event on-screen, was clad in exactly the same.
Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales at Carnarvon Castle in 1969. For the event, the Queen chose a high-neck coat and hat that was quite modern and structured in silhouette. Coleman mastered the look exactly when it came to her portrayal on the screen for Netflix.
During a State Visit to France, the Queen slipped into a blue and white printed coat and a matching hat, carrying her signature blue purse. Though Netflix made Coleman’s look into more of a dress than a coat, it didn’t compromise the integrity of the look, for the Queen often wears her coats without ever showing off what’s on underneath, allowing them to function much more like dresses anyway.
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