The late Queen Elizabeth II was a master of symbolic dressing, using clothes, colors, hats and jewels to communicate with subjects and conduct soft diplomacy. On Monday, as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was laid to rest, it was time for her admirers – family members, heads of states and other dignitaries – to do the same.
Needless to say, black was the predominant color among the estimated 2,000 guests packed into London’s Westminster Abbey for the ceremony. And while the attendees’ choices of outfit were appropriately understated, hats, brooches and nods to national dress added character to the otherwise somber attire.
Formal headpieces came in all shapes and sizes, from wide-brimmed hats to diminutive fascinators with dark veils. More elaborate designs were seen on Carole Middleton, the mother of Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Britain’s Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, whose hat featured an arrangement of dark feathers. French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, Brigitte, opted for pillbox-style hat with small black veil detailing at the front; Jill Biden’s was more minimal, with a thin headband-like design culminating in a delicate bow.
Indeed, no royal was too young to abide by tradition, with Princess Charlotte – now third in line to the throne – also pictured in a dark hat. The 7-year-old wore a small, diamond horseshoe-shaped brooch on her coat, too, which had been a gift from her great-grandmother, Kensington Palace told CNN.
For others from the Queen’s immediate family, outfits, sashes and medals were dictated by military rank. The new king, Charles III, wore a Royal Navy uniform and carried a sword. His son William, the newly appointed Prince of Wales, wore a Royal Air Force uniform, while Prince Edward and Princess Anne also assumed the uniforms of their respective ranks.
No longer a working royal, Prince Andrew instead wore a simple morning suit, though it was nonetheless embellished with various medals and decorations. Prince Harry, too, a