Written by Simone Di Matteo
“Never with mascara, that’s for actresses to get noticed, I don’t need it” – Queen Elizabeth II
“Never with mascara, that’s for actresses to get noticed, I don’t need it,” the mourned Queen Elizabeth II, the last great monarch the world had the opportunity to know, once said during one of her countless speeches destined to go down in history. Yes, because a glittering tiara, a sumptuous seat, glittering make-up or noble births are not enough to make ‘a good king’ or ‘a good queen’. On the contrary, it takes something more, and she was, after all, much more than a title.
It takes something more, and she was, after all, much more than a title.
A woman with a thousand faces but with a single purpose: to serve her country to the best of her ability. This is evidenced by her commitment to the people on whose behalf she has taken an oath, which has often led her to leave behind personal issues or interests and dreams that to most would seem of primary importance. Or, the bond with a thousand-year-old tradition that is far from being abandoned, with reluctance at first and acceptance later towards change.
Or again, being faithful to duty right up to the last moments of her life, it is no coincidence that she appointed the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, the sixteenth under her tenure, from a list that includes the likes of Winston Churchill and Margareth Thatcher, just two days before her sad departure. But what made her unforgettable more than anything else was her ability to remain true to herself at all times, not only as a monarch but also (and above all) as a woman, wife and mother.
Constantly hovering between regression and progress, past and future, preservation and innovation, it was not a foregone conclusion that ‘Lilibeth’, as she was called by her closest affections, emblem of a now decadent and outdated order, could survive the contemporary age, especially considering the transformations taking place at the time. Yet, from popular culture to digital, television, film, art, literature and fashion, there are many fields in which Her Majesty has been able to establish herself as a reference point.
His unmistakable style, for example, simple but eccentric, monochrome but exuberant, colorful but calm
Her unmistakable style, for example, simple but eccentric, monochrome but exuberant, colourful but subdued, except for beige because in that, to quote her words, no one would ever recognise her. Her clothes, carefully tailored to suit the circumstances and embellished with matching hats and handbags, have over time become sources of inspiration for designers from the most diverse international fashion houses and have never adapted to the trend of the moment, but rather imposed it.
Only recently, in 2021 to be more precise, Ian Griffiths of Max Mara designed an entire collection influenced by her country look: rubber boots, waistcoat, sunglasses and headscarf, the typical clothing that the Queen used whenever she had to go to the countryside or to the Balmoral estate. In short, one of many demonstrations of the influence her personality has been able to exert over the years. All this, together with her marked sense of humour and unmistakable ironic verve, her love for animals and the humility that has always distinguished her, has made her an authentic pop icon of modernity.
Inspiration for designers from the most diverse international fashion houses
She was not born to be queen, nor did she want to be, at least not at first. Her father George VI became king following his brother’s abdication in his favour and passed away only 17 years later due to a lung disease. Thus, the eldest daughter Elizabeth Alexandra Mary ascended the throne on 6 February 1952, proving herself capable of reigning more than anyone else and standing as the emblem of an era that, with her passing, came to an end. Her reign may have ended, but her story is destined to endure.
Many believe that Lady Diana, with whom the comparison seems, erroneously, more than obvious and on whose death speculation abounds, even those concerning the alleged involvement of the late Royal Highness, was the ‘People’s Princess’, but of that same people, without a shadow of a doubt, Elizabeth was and will remain the Queen!