"We share the same shoe size it makes the most sense this way," Angela Kelly says
Before Queen Elizabeth puts on any pair of shoes, her dressmaker and close confidant, Angela Kelly, breaks them in herself.
“As has been reported a lot in the press, a flunky wears in Her Majesty’s shoes to ensure that they are comfortable and that she is always good to go,” she writes. “And yes, I am that flunky.”
Kelly adds, “The Queen has very little time to herself and not time to wear in her own shoes, and as we share the same shoe size it makes the most sense this way.”
In 2017, Stewart Parvin, who has designed the Queen’s wardrobe for 11 years, told the Evening Standard that a staff member walks the Buckingham Palace grounds in the monarch’s new shoes to break them in.
“The shoes have to be immediately comfortable,“ Parvin said. “She does get someone to wear them. The Queen can never say, ’I’m uncomfortable, I can’t walk anymore.’ She has the right to have someone wear them in.“
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In 2016, the biggest collection of the Queen’s fashion to ever go on public display, Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from the Queen’s Wardrobe, showcased her outfits across 10 decades.
It included the Queen’s wedding and coronation dresses, which were displayed together for the first time. Both designed by British couturier Norman Hartnell, and worn in 1947 and 1953 respectively, the pieces were described by Caroline de Guitaut, curator of the much-anticipated exhibition at Buckingham Palace, as a “tour de force of craftsmanship.” Hartnell sent nine sketches of the coronation gown to the Queen before she approved the final design. (Among her requests: More color in the intricate embroidery.)
With 75 outfits on display and more than 80 hats, other highlights included the dresses, robes and coronets worn by then-Princess Elizabeth for the 1937 coronation of her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, as well as more modern ensembles such as the Stewart Parvin neon-green outfit worn during her 90th birthday celebrations.