Heritage

Who Is Angela Kelly, Queen Elizabeth's Personal Wardrobe Advisor?

Kelly is responsible for maintaining, curating, and designing the Queen's wardrobe.
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Queen Elizabeth just made a surprise appearance at London Fashion Week to present the first ever Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design alongside fashion royalty (Anna Wintour) and her very own fashion expert, Angela Kelly.


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Queen Elizabeth II is flanked by Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council and Anna Wintour.

Kelly's formal title is Personal Advisor to Her Majesty (The Queen's Wardrobe), which means Kelly is the curator and designer of the Queen's clothing. Kelly herself was personally responsible for creating the award, which honors emerging talent in the fashion industry.

Kelly is also a close confidant and friend of the Queen. Here's what to know about her: 

1. BEFORE JOINING THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD, KELLY WAS A HOUSEKEEPER.

In October 1992, Kelly was working as a housekeeper for the British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Christopher Mallaby, before she was hired by the royal household, The Telegraph reports. The Queen and Prince Philip visited Mallaby's home during an official royal visit to Germany, and met Kelly by chance. Kelly mentioned that she was planning on returning to Britain, and the next year, she was offered a position as a dresser for the Queen. "I suppose the Queen must have liked me and decided I was trustworthy and discreet," Kelly said of her hiring.

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Three years after joining the Queen's household, she was promoted to Senior Dresser. Kelly later became Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser in 2002, Harpers Bazaar UK reports.

2. SHE COMES FROM A "HUMBLE BACKGROUND."

"I come from a humble background and I hope to stay humble," Kelly once said in an interview, according to the Daily Mail. Kelly was raised in a modest household in Liverpool, where her parents, Thomas and Teresa Bradley, worked as a crane driver and a nurse.

Kelly was not formally trained in the fashion world, but her mother taught her how to sew and make clothes for her dolls. "What she lacks in education, she makes up for in her ambition," Kelly's ex-husband Jim Kelly told the Daily Mail. "She left school as a young girl and never had any formal training, but she has risen to the top of her profession. She has always wanted to work for the Queen and has sacrificed a lot to do so."

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3. KELLY HAS DESIGNED SOME OF THE QUEEN'S MOST ICONIC LOOKS.

Including the pale yellow ensemble worn by the Queen to Will and Kate's royal wedding back in 2011:


Kelly also designed a few dresses worn by the monarch for her historic Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012, like this mint green ensemble:


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The Queen wearing a custom Angela Kelly dress to a Thanksgiving service during the Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012.

4. KELLY STARTED HER OWN FASHION LABEL.

The label is called Kelly & Pordum, which she founded with dressmaker Alison Pordum. "I design the clothes and Alison Pordum and our team make them," Kelly told The Telegraph. "It all started because we designed one or two things for the Queen which she liked, and one thing led to another."

5. KELLY HAS THREE CHILDREN.

Kelly, who is divorced, has three adult children: two sons and a daughter. She is also a grandmother.

6. IN 2012, THE QUEEN MADE KELLY A LIEUTENANT OF THE ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER.


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Kelly with her Royal Victorian Order medal on November 16, 2012.

The Royal Victorian Order is awarded by the Queen to honor and recognize people who have served the royal family. In 2012, Kelly was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order at Buckingham Palace.

7. KELLY IS A PUBLISHED AUTHOR.


SHOP NOW Dressing The Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe, $33.48

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Kelly wrote a book about dressing the Queen in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The book, titled Dressing The Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe, gives readers an inside look at many of the Queen's most memorable outfits worn throughout her Jubilee year.

8. KELLY AND THE QUEEN HAVE A CLOSE FRIENDSHIP.

Kelly is an essential part of the Queen's inner circle, and the two women have developed a friendship over the years. While Kelly still calls the Queen "Your Majesty," she is one of the few non-family members who is allowed to touch the Queen. Kelly has also been called the monarch's "gatekeeper" due to their close relationship. Kelly sees the Queen every day, frequently joins her on trips abroad, and lives on the grounds of Windsor Castle, the Daily Express reports.

"I love the Queen and everything about her," Kelly once told The Telegraph. "She has allowed me to become closer to her over the years. I would never overstep the mark and I remain in awe of the Queen."

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Kelly maintains that the two have a surprisingly normal relationship. "We are two typical women. We discuss clothes, make-up, jewelry. We say, 'Would this piece of jewelry look nice with that outfit?"

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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