Kelly's Heroes

Queen's Style Secrets Revealed

Queen has weights sewn into her dresses to prevent windy wardrobe malfunctions

11.05.12 10:21 AM ET

The Queen’s personal dresser of forty years, Angela Kelly, has published a book today detailing the Queen’s style secrets and lifting the lid on the inside story of the Queen’s role as a parachuting Bond girl during the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Among the revelations are the facts that the Queen prefers to wear a 2-inch heel, only carries long-handled purses so they don’t catch on her cuff and has weights sewn into the hems of her dresses to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

Kelly reveals that “months of preparation” went into the outfit worn by the monarch for the parachute jump with James Bond, but that even the Buckingham Palace dressmakers, “did not know why two dresses were required for the same event.”

The odd salmon color of the dress has also finally been explained: Kelly reveals that it had to be a shade not associated with any of the participating Olympic nations and says that its pleated skirt was an “important feature” that ensured the dress was identifiable as the Queen’s stunt-double jumped from the helicopter.

In “Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe”, published with the Queen’s blessing by the Royal Collection, Kelly, the daughter of a Liverpool docker who is said to be the Queen’s most trusted confidante outside of her family circle, says Elizabeth taught her how to test fabrics before she buys them: “I will squeeze and test the sample in my hands before smoothing it out once more,” she says. “If the material remains creased and crumpled, then it will be of no use and will be discarded from the selection. This is something that The Queen herself taught me: by applying this test, you can see if the material creases.”

Kelly reveals that the Queen is “frugal and very aware of costs” and “does not mind some discomfort when looking the part is important.”

The book discloses that occasionally, weights are sewn into the seams of dresses to avoid potential embarrassment. Fitting sessions usually take half a day but Kelly reveals that the Queen rarely changes her mind. “Her Majesty’s instincts are usually correct,” she says.