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The largest exhibition of Her Majesty The Queen's wardrobe will mark The Queen's 90th birthday in 2016

Release date: Thursday, 29 October 2015


In celebration of The Queen's 90th birthday, three special exhibitions, Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe, will be staged across each of Her Majesty's official residences during 2016.

Constituting the largest display of The Queen's dress ever mounted, they will open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for Her Majesty's birthday on 21 April 2016, at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace in August 2016 and at Windsor Castle in September 2016.

Through the three separate but closely linked exhibitions, Fashioning a Reign will chart significant events in The Queen's life and the nation's history through an unprecedented collection of dress, jewellery and accessories designed for these occasions, from childhood to the present day. The Queen's support of British couture and millinery will be highlighted through important pieces created for a world stage by renowned designers, including Sir Norman Hartnell, Sir Hardy Amies and Ian Thomas.

Over 150 outfits will be shown throughout the three residences, and the content of each exhibition has been selected to have particular association with the location.  At Buckingham Palace, the setting for many memorable State and family occasions during The Queen's life and reign, the exhibition will present the fashions of ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s. It will show the unique requirements of royal couture, from ceremonial and military attire to ensembles worn at family celebrations, such as weddings and christenings. Early childhood, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's wedding, the Coronation, and wardrobes created for royal tours and State Visits will all be represented.

Exploring the same themes on a smaller scale, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse the use of tartan in royal dress will be highlighted, while at Windsor Castle magnificent evening gowns and elegant day ensembles worn at official events will be contrasted with fancy-dress costumes worn by the young Princess Elizabeth for wartime family pantomimes at the Castle.