Royal funeral guests pay quiet tributes to the Queen


Written by the author Oscar Holland, CNN

The late Queen Elizabeth II was a master of symbolic dress, using clothes, colors, hats and jewelry to communicate with subjects and conduct smooth diplomacy. When Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was killed on Monday, it was time for her admirers — family members, heads of state and other dignitaries — to do the same.

Needless to say, black was the dominant color among the 2,000 guests gathered at London’s Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. And while the participants’ costume choices were appropriately understated, the hats, brooches and nods to national dress added a dark character to the outfit.

Formal headpieces came in all shapes and sizes, from wide-brimmed hats to tiny fascinators with dark veils. More elaborate designs were seen on Carole Middleton, mother of Catherine of Wales and Penny Mordaunt, leader of the British House of Commons, whose hat featured an arrangement of dark feathers. French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, opted for a pill-shaped hat with little black veil details on the front; Jill Biden’s was more minimal, with a thin headband-like design that ended with a delicate bow.

Princess Charlotte of Wales arrives at Westminster Abbey ahead of the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

In fact, no royal was too young to keep up the tradition, with 7-year-old Princess Charlotte — now third in line to the throne — even pictured wearing a dark hat.

For others in the Queen’s immediate family, robes, belts and medals were ordered by military rank. The new king, Charles III, wore the uniform of the Royal Army and carried a sword. His son William, the newly crowned Prince of Wales, wore a Royal Air Force uniform, while Prince Edward and Princess Anne also adopted the uniforms of their ranks.

No longer a working monarch, Prince Andrew wore a simple morning suit, although it was still adorned with various medals and ornaments. Prince Harry also arrived in civilian clothes, stepping back from royal duties in 2020.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey ahead of the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey ahead of the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Making statements is a delicate task, but the brooches, pins and slits had a subtle significance. Catherine, Princess of Wales, wore a pair of pearl drop earrings given to the Queen and Prince Philip for their wedding in 1947, as well as a Four Row Japanese Pearl Choker from the Queen’s personal jewelery collection (an item previously worn by the late Queen). Princess Diana). Camilla, the Queen Consort, stepped back in history with the Hessian Diamond Jubilee Brooch, a sapphire-encrusted gem once owned by Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandmother.

Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand Prime Minister Clarke Gayford arrive at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England.

Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand Prime Minister Clarke Gayford arrive at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who often uses high-profile moments to nod to her country’s indigenous traditions, donned a feathered Maori cape. He spoke before the funeral say one of his country’s home broadcasters, 1News, said the outfit gave him “a way to bring a piece of New Zealand with me”.

Other foreign dignitaries also sported their country’s national dress. The Bahraini crown prince arrived in a thobe and ghitraa, an ankle-length dress and headdress widely worn by men in the Gulf nation. Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also arrived in traditional attire, while Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wore a black sherwani.

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