Even when she's not wearing her crown, Queen Elizabeth II always looks the part of "the Queen." The monarch attended the first day of the Royal Ascot on Tuesday in her trademark attire: a , matching hat, big brooch, and of course those iconic white gloves.
The instantly recognizable wave of her hand lets everyone know — even those in the very back — the Queen has arrived. But that signature greeting wouldn't look the same without Cornelia James. The glove manufacturer has supplied the Queen's pairs for more than 70 years.
"The Queen wears gloves because they’ve always been part of her style," Genevieve James, Creative Director of Cornelia James, explains to GoodHousekeeping.com. "The mind’s eye picture of the Queen is the
Besides the sovereign's innate sense
Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she shakes hands with Dean of Windsor, David Conner after attending the Easter
Mattins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 1, 2018.
The Queen never wears leather or synthetic gloves, preferring a pure cotton with
The design never strays too far in terms of embellishments or
Cornelia James, the company founder and Genevieve's mother, fled Austria as a Jewish refugee in 1939. "She literally
Hartnell, who also designed the Queen's wedding dress, requested a whole suitcase of gloves for Princess Elizabeth's honeymoon as part of her trousseau. Her signature style was born.
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh partake in a carriage procession to Waterloo Station on November 20,
1947 for the start of their honeymoon.
Cornelia James received a Royal Warrant in 1979 as the official glove manufacturer to the Queen; Cornelia herself passed away in 1999 at the age of 82, and her daughter has since taken over the family business.
James estimates the brand has made approximately 60 to 70 pairs for the Queen since then. The economically-minded customer will wear gloves more than a decade old. "I can tell the ones I did from the ones my mother did," James explains.
Given her cost-consciousness, it's no surprise then that Cornelia James supplies gloves to more people and businesses than just the queen. Lady Gaga, Madonna, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna also call themselves customers, not to mention the wardrobe department of Downton Abbey and the stage production of Mamma Mia.
The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne have also worn the brand, but Diana, Princess of Wales notably set a fashion precedent when it came wearing gloves at public engagements.
"She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact," Eleri Lynn, curator of the Kensington Palace exhibit Diana: Her Fashion Story, previously told People.
However, the princess did
"My mother once met her at a garden party," James recalls. "She remarked to Princess Diana that she should wear gloves because she noticed the princess bit her
The princess wore their blue gloves with a Bruce Oldfield gown at Claridge's that very night.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on their royal visit to Stockholm, Sweden on January 31, 2018.
The royal family's newest fashion icon hasn't tapped the brand yet, but James hopes Meghan Markle will come calling soon as she does more events and shakes more hands. "I will wait for her to approach us really," she said with a laugh. "I'm sure she will because she and Prince Harry will be quite active with their duties with the royal family."
Even with a long list of A-list clients, there's still no topping her most loyal customer over the years. "Working with all these famous faces, the only who's really important to me is the Queen actually," James admits. "They're all important, but the best is the Queen. It doesn't get better than that."
From: Good Housekeeping US
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.