Queen Elizabeth II wowed in 'shocking' multi-coloured gown in 1999 – but never again

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Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been spotted in countless colourful ensembles, and she is known for her vibrant matching outfits, from royal blue to canary yellow. Her most notable piece was a harlequin sequin gown which she wore in 1999.

Her Majesty turned heads even more than usual when she attended the annual Royal Variety Performance in 1999 – in a dress that she never wore again.

She stepped out in a bold harlequin gown, characterised by a repeating pattern of contrasting diamonds or elongated squares standing on end.

The top of the dress boasted an array of brightly coloured squares.

Colours included pink, blue, yellow, orange, purple and green.

The floor-length dress was yellow from the waist down, and caught the light in a beautiful way.

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It boasted a lovely yellow bow.

It also had white, gold and orange panels across it diagonally.

In true majestic fashion, the Queen accessorised with a small gold handbag.

She complemented the outfit with a pair of gold shoes, which peeked out underneath her long gown.

As for accessories, the Queen opted for a statement cuff-style, pavé-set diamond necklace and diamond fringe earrings given to her by King Hassan II of Morocco.


The Queen’s dressmaker, Maureen Rose, described the ensemble as “a complete change”. “We are trying to show her off a bit,” she said. However, the look was an exciting novelty and the Queen was not spotted wearing it again.

While HRH is known for her iconic colours, she usually goes for monochrome pieces.

Whether it’s a head-to-toe green ensemble complete with matching hat, dress, shoes and bag, or a hot pink number, Queen Elizabeth II never fails to disappoint.

Sophie Wessex explained why in the documentary, The Queen at 90: “She needs to stand out for people to be able to say ‘I saw the Queen’.

“Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen’s hat as she went past.”

HRH was once quoted as saying: “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am,” by her biographer, Robert Hardman.


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