The birthday tributes for Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom have been rolling in today, and one in particular caught my eye: the new Platinum Jubilee Barbie Doll from Mattel, released yesterday to coincide with the big royal day.
Designed by Robert Best, the doll was released on April 20. Mattel notes that “Barbie celebrates the longest ruling monarch in British history, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose extraordinary reign has seen her lead with an immeasurable devotion to duty and a life of service.”
The doll depicts the Barbie-fied Queen in one of her gala ensembles, described by Mattel as follows: “This collectible doll wears an elegant ivory gown and blue riband adorned with decorations of order. A stunning crown and matching accessories complete her regal ensemble.”
There doesn’t appear to be one specific bejeweled appearance that was copied for the doll, but rather a mix of various jewels and evening attire worn by the Queen over the years has apparently been used as a reference. I’d imagine this photo, taken in Canada in 1957, may have been one of the ones used for jewelry purposes.
Mattel’s media brief about the doll identifies the tiara as Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara (worn by the Queen on her wedding day in 1947). I think we can all agree, though, that the tiara replicated here is Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik.
The other accessories include a generic pair of “diamond” doll earrings and a fair attempt to replicate the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace.
She’s also wearing the Garter star and sash (including a badge that hilariously looks like it’s blurred to avoid offending viewers), the Royal Family Orders of King George V and King George VI, and a generic “diamond” doll bracelet.
This is far from the first time that the royal family has gotten the Barbie treatment. Here, Queen Elizabeth I is reimagined in Barbie form.
Barbies and other dolls made to resemble the late Diana, Princess of Wales are practically a cottage industry all their own.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been reimagined as a doll many times. Here, a Kate Middleton doll is offered at Hamley’s in London ahead of the royal wedding in April 2011. The doll is dressed in the same blue outfit worn by Kate for the royal engagement announcement, though a pink fascinator has been added for some extra flair.
A few months later, in August 2011, Hamley’s was selling a pair of dolls patterned after William and Kate in their wedding ensembles, complete with the Cartier Halo Tiara. (Sorry about this one, William.)
Mattel was a bit kinder to the Cambridges in their Barbie doll versions. I think the Halo Tiara is more successful here, too.
And other royal families have been Barbie-fied, too. Here, a Barbie version of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is displayed at a European toy fair. Her ensemble is based on one of Victoria’s Nobel appearances, complete with the Baden Fringe Tiara.
Barbie didn’t debut until Queen Elizabeth II was several years into her reign, but the young Elizabeth did have dolls in her toy chest. Here, a pair of dolls belonging to Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret are displayed as part of an exhibition on royal childhood at Buckingham Palace in 2014. Elizabeth’s doll is wearing blue, and Margaret’s is in pink.