Middle-aged curmudgeon alert! Style-wise, it’s been a bleak week, with celebrities in Beetlejuice-style leggings, uncomfortable looking fishnet hotpants and lots of fringing making my eyes go "ahhhh!" In despair I turned to the older generation who restored my faith in humanity’s ability to dress sensibly. Phew.
While race-goers at Ascot were swaddled in modesty-restoring pashminas by a crack troop of fragrant ladies, the Queen looked appropriate, chic and, as always, perfectly herself in seasonal pastels. On Friday she wore a lovely lilac ensemble (according to the Daily Mail a reliable source “a wool-crepe dress by her in-house couturier Angela Kelly, worn with matching hat and an amethyst brooch studded with seven purple stones and 12 freshwater pearls, gifted to her in 1960 after the opening of the Queen's Bridge in Scotland”).
Another day saw her dressed head-to-toe in rose pink; a sugary shade that popped up at Louis Vuitton, Jonathan Saunders and Meadham Kirchhoff. She accessorized each look with sensible patent pumps, a brooch, white gloves and a sweet, slightly cheeky smile. Aww...
But while I adore Her Maj's style, this time I'm going to award the Best Dressed trophy to her daughter Princess Anne for her triumphant Ladies Day outfit - a gloriously retro floral coat and skirt (complete with wide purple cuffs), pearls, a sturdy handbag and a brolly.
Princess Anne and the Queen looking chic in pastels Ladies Day at Ascot
Now Princess Anne has always been known for sticking to her sartorial guns; some would say her style hasn’t changed since about 1973 (much like that of her brother Prince Charles who described himself recently as “like a stopped clock – I tell the right time every 25 years.")
It just so happens that the princess has a penchant for the groovy ‘70s florals and bold colour combinations that popped up at Prada, Miu Miu and Christopher Kane. And because she never stopped wearing them, she looks cooler and more authentic than any dedicated follower of fashion. Oh and I love her hair.
Picture Credit: Rex Features