In July 1938, the concept of royals appearing in white changed forever. King Edward VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), were due to travel to Paris on a state visit in June, but the couple were forced to delay the trip due to the sudden death of the Countess of Strathmore, the Queen’s mother. The visit was of great significance not only because it was the couple’s first overseas visit after their accession to the throne in December 1936, but also because there was political pressure to strengthen the friendship. between France and England as the Second World War approached.
As the Queen was in mourning, she left London dressed in black to embark on her journey, however, as this particular tour attached great importance to it, she and her fashion designer Norman Hartnell decided that another color of mourning should be used. They settled on white, and the iconic “White Wardrobe” was born.
Not only did the queen and her outfits take fashionable Paris by storm, it was a real PR hit with the French press acknowledging her style. Recognizing the value of white, the Queen later wore one of the dresses, commissioning Cecil Beaton to do a series of portraits in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Since then, royals have chosen white to dress for success.
Scroll down to see some of our favorite royals in white.