Wednesday, January 13, 2021

HRH so many thoughts on royal style by Elizabeth Holmes

Royal fashion is popular with writers, bloggers, and photographers, but it is not normally a subject that does not catch my attention.  HRH so many thoughts on royal style is different.  This is a book about how fashion plays a role for four women: Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Sussex.

Veteran style reporter Elizabeth Holmes, who now writes for Town & Country, is the author of HRH so many thoughts on royal style.  She knows the subject well.

This is not a book about what the royals wear, but a book that offers thoughts (and facts) on the hows and whys of royal fashion. 

These four women -- all royal women for that matter -- do dress for success, as what they wear is important.  There are reasons why they wear a certain color or longer hems when visiting another country.  Holmes writes that the Queen's wardrobe  is "about function, not fashion."   The Queen is not a slave to fashion. She dresses to be seen and her clothes reflect her role. 

The late Diana, Princess of Wales took fashion to a new level.  As she became more comfortable in her role, she moved from the fussy lace and prints, adopting a bolder style after her divorce. 

Holmes also discusses the importance of the tiaras that Diana wore, including the Spencer tiara.  She is wrong, however, when she writes that the tiara "has not been worn publicly since her passing."  Her niece, Celia McCorquodale, wore the Spencer tiara in 2018 when she married George Woodhouse.

Catherine's royal style has evolved since her marriage as Holmes noted that her wardrobe had gained a "noticeable vibe in the autumn of 2018."

Meghan's fashion style was firmly established even before she married Prince Harry.   She used fashion to empower and celebrate designers from all over the world and was not afraid to use unheralded designers.   For Meghan, it was easy to combine the traditional with a new bold look.

HRH is not a glossy coffee table book that gets only a few glimpses, never to be opened again.  It is a largely well-researched book, complemented by superb photographs of the four royal women.

Elizabeth Holmes' thoughts evolve into a truly brilliant and refreshing style of writing that offers readers a tantalizing avenue into an exceptional study of royal fashion.

A few quibbles, though.  Why HRH as a title?  The Queen is Her Majesty.   The late Diana, Princess of Wales was not stripped of her HRH.  It was not HER HRH.  It came with the marriage.  In Britain, a woman takes her husband's rank and title, unless her rank was higher.  Diana was HRH by marriage.  She had no right to it after the divorce.   The Queen confirmed in a Letters Patent that former wives of HRHs cease to have the style.

That said, I must add that HRH is a fabulous book that will appear to fans of royal fashion and historians who will appreciate Holmes' research.  

HRH was published by Celadon Books.

No comments:

Post a Comment