Thursday, 9 Apr 2020

Royal rebel: The Queen insisted on doing what aides feared would ’bring down the monarchy’

One of those aides was the Queen’s dressmaker and close confidante Angela Kelly. As the Queen posed for the photoshoot informally with her hands in her pockets Ms Kelly said, ”I stood by in disbelief. The Queen was a natural.”

Ms Kelly recalls the photoshoot in her new book The Other Side of the Coin, the Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.

After years of very formal official portraits the Queen longed for the freedom to be photographed more informally.

The Queen Mother and her aides had always advised against it, believing it inappropriate.

But some time later, when Ms Kelly was working on her first book, she remembered plucking up the courage to ask Her Majesty if she would consider modelling with her hands in her pockets.

Ms Kelly said: “The Queen looked at me in amazement as I asked whether she knew the potential implications of the photographs.”

Ms Kelly added: “She didn’t take long to answer, yes, she would do it and, yes, she was sure.”

On the day of the photoshoot photographer Barry Jeffery began to explain how it would progress.

Ms Kelly said: “Within moments, the Queen raised her hand respectfully and Barry immediately stopped talking.

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“’No Barry, this is how we’re going to do it, just keep the camera rolling.’

“Her Majesty took her position in front of the lens and started striking a series of poses, slipping her hands in and out of her pockets and placing them onto her hips, mimicking the stances of a professional model.”

Ms Kelly spoke how the extraordinary images were not well received.

She revealed: ”Their opinion was that these more candid photographs would bring the monarchy down and therefore they were not suitable for the public eye.

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“Why they thought that, I have no idea.”

Ms Kelly’s second book, published on Tuesday, offers a unique insight into life behind palace walls.

The two women, despite their wildly differing backgrounds, Ms Kelly is a Liverpudlian docker’s daughter, enjoy an incredible bond.

Ms Kelly is responsible for the Queen’s clothes, jewellery, and insignia.

She researches the venues for royal visits as well as the significance of different colours, in order to create appropriate outfits for the monarch.

Notable creations by Kelly include the replica of the royal christening gown.

The original, which had been commissioned by Queen Victoria for the christening of her first child, Victoria, Princess Royal, was retired in 2004 by Elizabeth II for conservation purposes.

Ms Kelly’s replica has been worn by royal babies for their christenings since 2008.

The Queen’s outfit for the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton were designed by Ms Kelly.

These include a primrose-yellow double crepe wool coat and matching wool dress, with hand-sewn beading at the neck in the shape of sunrays.

Ms Kelly also made Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s outfits for the wedding of Zara Phillips.

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