I know of the author of this book, Sali Hughes, as a trusted beauty journalist, she’s my go-to for advice if I need to update my skincare routine or invest in a new beauty product. What I did not know was that she shares my love for Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Our Rainbow Queen is a wonderful tribute to the bold, vibrant sartorial choices of Her Majesty. It’s a beautiful picture book – a small (A5 size) coffee table book, if you will – that showcases a selection of the Queen’s fabulous outfits. She is a huge fan of BRIGHT colour blocking, for good reason: ‘She wears bright colours because she believes it’s her duty to be seen by the people who’ve waited, wet and cold, behind barriers for hours at a time.’ I just love how her signature style is borne out of her wonderful sense of duty. It turns out there isn’t a shade she hasn’t tried and – you know what – she looks truly brilliant in every single one.
The book is divided up into nine sections, each a key colour (also one for prints) worn by the Queen; it is so striking to see her outfits presented like this, I just adored looking through all the pictures. I also loved the visual detail; the background colour of each page matches the tone of the outfit the Queen is wearing in each picture:
The captions are great too, adding very interesting little nuggets of information that lets you get to know the Queen just a little bit more. Favourites of mine include that when on international visits she uses the colours she wears to honour her host country, her dressers have a spreadsheet to note when she wore an outfit so she can wear it again after an appropriate interval, weights are added to her hemlines so she never has to worry about a Marilyn Monroe moment and that ‘what she cannot overtly say with language, she secretly says with clothes.’ Case in point: wearing this outfit (on the right) that looks A LOT like the EU flag to open parliament after Brexit was announced:
I appreciate that people hold very different views on the Royal Family, but you can’t deny the dedication the now 93-year-old Queen has given to her role as monarch over the years. I admire her always elegant approach to things, her passion, humility, grace and generally just like her as a person (it could be the grandma vibes.) Not swayed by fashion trends, the Queen has carved out her own distinct – and instantly recognisable – fashion identity that is utterly unique to her. That is the mark of a true style icon; long live our rainbow Queen.