The Queen Makes a Surprise Appearance at London Fashion Week
Today at Richard Quinn’s show in London, a very special guest appeared on the front row. The blue velvet cushion on her seat was a dead giveaway: The VIP was none other than Her Majesty the Queen. The crowd rose to their feet as the Queen entered the room dressed in one of her trademark eggshell-blue tweed skirtsuits.
Her Royal Highness was in attendance to present Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. As the show drew to a close, the audience was asked to stay in their seats for the special announcement. The British Fashion Council’s Caroline Rush gave the Queen her official welcome to London Fashion Week, acknowledging the cultural impact Her Majesty has had on the British fashion industry over her decades-long reign. “Your Majesty, I know you do not wish to be known as a fashion icon,” said Rush. “But from all of us in this room, we have the utmost respect for you and also for your hard work and diligence.”
There were tears in the front row and cheers from the audience as the Queen congratulated Quinn, handing over the rose-shaped award that was designed by Angela Kelly, who has served as Her Majesty’s personal assistant and senior dresser since 2002. This marks the second collection for the young designer, who graduated from the Central Saint Martins M.A. program in 2016. His awe-inspiring floral designs made for a particularly dazzling display on the runway, and were a fitting complement to the Queen’s inimitable style.
Her Majesty thanked the British Fashion Council for nominating Quinn—who was handpicked by Rush and Vogue’s Sarah Mower, the BFC’s ambassador for emerging talent—and paid tribute to Britain’s storied fashion history. “From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting-edge fashion designs,” said Her Majesty. The Queen described the award as “a tribute to the industry and my legacy and all those who have contributed to British fashion.” The prize is the first of its kind in the U.K. and is due to be awarded annually.
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