BAZAAR.com is a leading authority on all things royals—and we’re taking you inside the archive of Historic Royal Palaces for an intimate look at the most jaw-dropping relics of British royal history. Omid Scobie hosts Inside the Royal Archives.
In the third episode of Inside the Royal Archives, host and royal correspondent Omid Scobie delves into the impressive collection of petticoats, shoes, and suits housed at Hampton Court Palace, the former residence of King William III and King Henry VIII. Scobie teams back up with Isabella Coraça, a historian and curator with Historic Royal Palaces, who shares the chic looks worn by the British monarchy.
In celebration of the forthcoming 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birthday, Coraça opens the segment with two of the queen’s black evening bodices. She likely paired the garments with voluminous skirts, although they date back to two different periods of her life. The first one is from 1880 and features fashionable elements. “Those textiles are much more subdued, but you can still see she hasn’t given up fashion completely,” Coraça adds.
She also shows a delicate white petticoat with lace detailing at the neckline from earlier in Queen Victoria’s life. While there is no date labeled inside the petticoat, based on the silhouette, was likely worn around her wedding in 1840. Coraça notes that she needs to be cautious when handling the garment as the textile is extremely fragile, and it will eventually go on display.
Next up is a tailored suit from the Duke of Windsor, who was known for being a boundary-pushing style star amongst the royal-set. Coraça credits him with popularizing tartan, which he often wore at the Mill, one of his many homes in France.
Finally, Coraça shares a pair of prototype silk heels by Rayne. Queen Elizabeth II wore the final product made from the same silk as her wedding dress when she tied the knot with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
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