From her colourful outfits to her perfectly coiffed hair, Queen Elizabeth II never looks anything less than immaculate when she’s out and about. But if you imagine a Kardashian-level glam squad getting her ready behind the scenes before every appearance, you’d apparently be mistaken.
According to a new revelation from royal dresser Angela Kelly, whose book The Other Side of the Coin: the Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe is uncovering plenty of fascinating insights from inside the palace, our Queen almost always does her make-up herself.
In fact, Kelly says that the only time Her Majesty calls in a professional – renowned make-up artist Marilyn Widdess, to be precise – is for the filming of her traditional Christmas Day speech.
‘You might be surprised to know that this is the only occasion throughout the year when Her Majesty does not do her own make-up,’ Kelly, who has worked with the Queen for more than 25 years, explains.
While the royals would never endorse products directly, Elizabeth has been spotted topping up her lipstick at public engagements, and based on those pictures, HELLO! magazine reports that she’s a fan of Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Colour line.
In the past, she also commissioned Clarins to make a personalised shade of red to match her ceremonial coronation robes – so a bold pop of colour on the lip has been a hallmark of her signature look for many years.
Historian and author of the 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind the Throne, wrote previously that lipstick and a compact mirror were amongst the most important items stowed away in the monarch’s iconic Launer handbags, in addition to essentials like reading glasses, mint lozenges and a fountain pen.
‘At the end of a luncheon or a dinner, even a banquet set with silver gilt and antique porcelain, she has the somewhat outré habit of opening her bag, pulling out a compact and reapplying her lipstick,’ Bedell said.