A week has gone by since the terrible news of our Queen’s passing broke, and it still doesn’t feel quite real. Queen Elizabeth II was special to so many of us for different reasons, but, for me, I’ll always remember her for being refreshingly bold with her fashion and beauty choices. From her vivid coat and hat combinations to her bold and bright lipsticks, Her Majesty truly seemed to love colour – a love that didn’t fade as she grew older.
Very little is known about the Royals and their beauty choices as they can’t be seen to endorse products. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the Queen did have two lipstick brands she stayed loyal to for nearly 70 years: Clarins and Elizabeth Arden.
These brands are some of the prestigious few that have been given a Royal Warrant, granted as a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services to HM the Queen. Considering Clarins was commissioned by the Queen herself to make a custom red lipstick for her coronation in 1953, I’d say the brand certainly has got the royal nod.
As for Elizabeth Arden, the Queen was pictured on a number of occasions throughout her reign applying (or reapplying, rather) bold shades from the Beautiful Colour collection. Despite the brand remaining respectfully secretive about their working relationship with the Queen, the monarch seemed to consistently make Arden a feature in her handbag
In honour of Queen Elizabeth’s memory, I’m taking a look back at some of my favourite pictures of Her Majesty, and the lipsticks she chose to wear to each occasion.
The Queen’s coronation, 1953
For her coronation in the early 50s, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly tasked Clarins with the job of creating a red lipstick to match the deep scarlet shade of the Robe of State she would be wearing on the day. Though I can’t say for sure if that exact shade was ultimately packaged up and turned into a mass-market lipstick for all of us to enjoy, a very similar version of the original lipstick from 1953 is still on sale today: Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick, £22.
Windsor Horse Show, 1985
Very few things made Her Majesty happier than going to the races – something I think we can tell from her jubilant expressions each time she visited the annual Windsor Horse Show.
For this particular occasion in 1985, Queen Elizabeth II wore a fuchsia pink lipstick from an unidentifiable brand that had a slightly glossy finish. This picture here showing her reapplying a fresh layer was apparently taken just before Prince Philip was about to enter the dressage ring with his horse team.
Highland Games, 2011
Skip to 2011 and Her Majesty chose a deep berry-toned pink for an official appearance at the Highland Games. She was spotted applying the colour while Prince Philip sat by her side with binoculars.
Though the brand name isn’t visible, it’s widely thought that the tell-tale silver inner packaging of the lipstick signals it’s a colour from Arden’s Beautiful Colour range.
Platinum Jubilee celebrations, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II attended the “A Gallop Through History” performance, part of the official celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee, in May of this year. True to form, she touched up her lips using her go-to bold fuchsia shade from what looks like the Beautiful Colour collection. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it was the shade Pink Punch.
I haven’t felt sure of how to pay my respects to our Queen, but I think that wearing her favourite pink colour this weekend might be a good place for me to start. Perhaps it will encourage me, too, to live a little more boldly.