You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Queen's dresses in special exhibition

Press AssociationPress Association 22/07/2016

The dress worn by the Queen when she "parachuted" into the Olympic stadium during the London 2012 opening ceremony will be a star attraction at a new Buckingham Palace exhibition.

Dresses, gowns and outfits from the monarch's life, charting important personal moments and major events, will go on display in Fashioning a Reign from Saturday.

The handmade garments created by British designers range from the Queen's wedding and coronation gowns - exhibited together for the first time - to items worn at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, during overseas state visits and her "neon at 90" outfit for this year's Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The Queen had her own starring role in the Olympics when she filmed a cameo appearance for the opening ceremony with Daniel Craig in the guise of James Bond.

In a short film, the pair fly over London in a helicopter to the Olympic Stadium, where the Queen's stunt double parachutes into the arena.

The outfit was created by Angela Kelly, the Queen's personal assistant and adviser, using sumptuous materials such as silk, lace, beads, feathers and enamel.

A second dress was made for the monarch's stunt double who jumped out of the helicopter.

Exhibition curator, Caroline de Guitaut from the Royal Collection Trust, said only Kelly knew why two outfits were needed.

"The second version was made in complete secrecy and even those working on the making of these didn't actually understand why there were two identical outfits," she said. "So it has a fantastic story."

Visitors to the exhibition, which forms part of the summer opening of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace, will first see a display space featuring an outfit for each of the 10 decades the Queen has lived through.

Highlights include the dresses worn by the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret to the coronation ceremony of their father King George VI in 1937, as well as a silk gown by couturier Sir Norman Hartnell which the Queen wore in 1956 to the royal premiere of the film The Battle Of River Plate where she met the actress Marilyn Monroe.

The Queen has often worn strong, bold colours so she can be seen by crowds at events. This was typified by her "Neon at 90" outfit for Trooping the Colour this year, which had a vivid green colour.

In the exhibition there is also a section on hats with more than 60 featured, from the 1940s to the present day.

The exhibition at Buckingham Palace runs until October 2 and is one of three - all on the same theme - being staged this year at separate royal residences in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.

Around 150 outfits will be shown across the historic buildings. At the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh the use of tartan in royal dress is explored, while at Windsor Castle magnificent evening gowns worn on official occasions will be contrasted with Princess Elizabeth's fancy dress costumes from wartime family pantomimes held at the castle.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon