Notice anything different?

By Maria Mercedes Lara
Updated February 08, 2016 01:40 PM
Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

When Queen Elizabeth II boarded a train Monday to return to London following her extended stay at her Sandringham estate, she made a very bold style choice: she wore black.

The 89-year-old monarch caught the train back to Kings Cross, London, while wearing a bejeweled dark gray coat with a black fur collar, black gloves and (of course) a black Launer handbag. She topped off the look with a beige and gray silk scarf tied around her head – one of her favorite casual looks.

So, why is it a big deal that the Queen wore black? She normally avoids wearing dark colors, instead opting for bright monochrome ensembles, like the red outfit she wore to a Sandringham church service on Sunday. According to Our Queen author Robert Hardman, the Queen avoids muted colors like beige because she thinks “nobody would know” who she was.

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However, that isn’t to say that the Queen never wears black. She will often wear dark ensembles for somber occasions like memorials, funerals or meeting with the pope. (Unlike some female European royals, the Queen does not have “the privilege of the white,” or the ability to wear white in presence of the pontiff.)