In ER shoes: Queen’s dressmaker shares personal anecdotes in new book

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The Queen’s dressmaker and confidante has revealed she personally wears in the monarch’s shoes before engagements to make sure they are comfortable.

The admission by Angela Kelly features in her new book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe – extracts of which have been published by Hello! magazine.

In the book, Ms Kelly explains she shares the same shoe size as the Queen and given the monarch has little time to herself, she wears in the shoes for her.

She said: “It makes the most sense this way.”

“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 added.

“And yes, I am that flunky.”

Royal visit to London Fashion Week
The Queen sits with Anna Wintour (third right) and Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC) (left) and royal dressmaker Angela Kelly (second right) (Yui Mok/PA)

Ms Kelly said it was “natural instinct” for the Queen to show affection and respect to “another great woman”.

“The Queen has the ability to make everyone feel so relaxed that sometimes it feels instinctive to be tactile with her, just as Michelle Obama demonstrated during the State Visit with her husband, President Obama, in 2009,” Ms Kelly said in the book.

“Much has been made about the meeting between Michelle and Her Majesty when an instant and mutual warmth was shared between these two remarkable women, and protocol was abandoned as they stood closely with their arms around each other’s backs.”

Diamond Jubilee celebrations
The three dresses worn by the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, designed and created by Angela Kelly MVO (Lewis Whyld/PA)

She recalls being presented with the plan by film director Danny Boyle through the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young.

“There are few occasions on which Her Majesty will agree to break protocol, but in 2011 when film director Danny Boyle approached the Royal Household, he had a request to make that we simply could not refuse,” she said.

“She was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately. I asked then if she would like a speaking part. Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: ‘Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me’.”

Ms Kelly said she asked the Queen if she would like to say: “Good evening, James”, or “Good evening, Mr Bond”, with the monarch choosing the latter.

She said: “Within minutes, I was back in Edward’s office delivering the good news to Danny – I think he almost fell off his chair when I said that the Queen’s only stipulation was that she could deliver that iconic line: ‘Good evening, Mr Bond’.”

The book also reveals how Yorkshire tea helped to recreate a replica of the royal christening gown which was first used for the christening of James, Viscount Severn, in 2008.

“To make sure it looked authentic we dyed it in Yorkshire tea (the strongest, as we all know),” Ms Kelly said.

“We placed each piece of lace in a small bowl, from the Dressers’ kitchen, filled with cool water and a tea bag and left it for about five minutes, checking regularly until the colour was perfect.”

Read the full article in Hello! magazine, out on Monday.

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