London Fashion Week received a royal makeover this afternoon when the Queen herself made a surprise appearance at the event to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.
The award, which recognizes the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will go each year to an up-and-coming British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality while also displaying value to the community and strong sustainable policies.
Her Majesty arrived at the BFC Showspace in London, sporting a sky blue Angela Kelly skirt and jacket, black gloves and a traditional black handbag, undoubtedly stealing the spotlight from the fellow fashionistas in attendance.
Following her visit to the BFC Showspace, where she viewed pieces by emerging designers, the Queen made her way to the Richard Quinn presentation, where she was seated next to Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, and American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. There she presented the new award to British fashion designer Quinn.
Quinn is known for his stunning print designs and has already supplied his work to leading stores around the world. He also has his own print studio which offers top of the range, accessible services to students and other budding designers.
Her Majesty’s visit to London Fashion Week comes after last night’s Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Reception at Buckingham Palace. As part of the buildup to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and fellow royal Sophie, Countess of Wessex, hosted a glamorous reception at the iconic London residence.
The elegant event — attended by Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour — showcased a new initiative that uses fashion to break down language barriers and helps people understand the modern Commonwealth in a different way.
It was also aimed at forming relationships between established and emerging talent from across the Commonwealth. Famous designers, including Stella McCartney, Bibi Russell, and Karen Walker, have partnered with artisan producers from smaller nations who “exemplify traditional handcraft techniques and trades.”
The Commonwealth remains a passion for the Queen, who has helped inspire its growth from seven member countries to 53 during her reign.