Long before Raf Simons became enamored with head-to-toe pink or J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons was preaching the gospel of monochrome layers, Queen Elizabeth II was greeting her subjects in bold-verging-on-eye-searing ensembles. Her royal sartorial feats are color-coordinated down to hats, handbags, and, as we learned during yesterday’s rainy celebration on the Thames, the fabric band that accents her (otherwise transparent) umbrella. All the better to see you with, my dear.
Our friends at Pantone have seized the Diamond Jubilee as an opportunity to reflect on six decades worth of hues fit for a queen. The color—or should we say colour—experts have collaborated with advertising agency Leo Burnett in London to match 60 images of Queen Elizabeth’s outfits with Pantone shades ranging from Pink Carnation (Pantone 16-2124, a dead-ringer for the hue she sported to the 1967 Chelsea Garden Party) to Crystal Blue (Pantone 13-4411, a serene shade that she tends to favor during difficult times). The result is the Diamond Jubilee Color Guide, “designed to capture and commemorate some of the Queen’s most memorable color choices since her coronation,” according to Pantone. The limited-edition fan deck (pictured) is a rainbow of smiling Queens, each featuring Pantone color references along with the date and location that determined her outfit color choice.
At last year’s royal wedding, she went for Primrose Yellow (Pantone 13-0755, perfect for a monarch-cum-proud grandma who doesn’t want to upstage the bride), while a state visit to Ireland led her to opt for Ice Green (Pantone 13-5414). Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman describes her color choices as “a strong style statement” that also make her appear taller (the Queen is 5’4″), but we think Simon Doonan said it best. “In an era when the fashion landscape has fragmented into an infinite archipelago of conflicting trends and incomprehensible ideas, the only thing that really matters is to have your own signature look,” he wrote in his recent ode to the royal wardrobe. “Who has accomplished this if not QE2?”