Queen Camilla and her dressers went straight to the heart of the matter for inspiration for her Trooping the Colour ensemble and jewels this year, creating a sartorial tribute to the Grenadier Guards.
Queen Camilla left Buckingham Palace in a carriage to travel to Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour this morning. She was joined by the Princess of Wales and Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis for the journey.
At Horse Guards Parade, Camilla watched the proceedings from the reviewing stand beside Kate and the Duke of Kent.
And then afterward, she was reunited with King Charles III and other members of the family for the traditional balcony appearance and fly-past.
Camilla wore an unusual ensemble this year for Trooping the Colour. One of her go-to couturiers, Fiona Clare, made her a special silk dress inspired by the uniform of the Grenadier Guards. Camilla became their regimental colonel in December.
The shape of the dress, in my view, also seems to have taken some inspiration from the ceremonial uniforms worn by the late Queen Elizabeth II for Trooping the Colour during the years that she rode on horseback during the parade.
Camilla’s outfit was just military-inspired, however, not an actual uniform. For comparison, here’s the Princess Royal wearing the uniform of the Blues and Royals (for whom she serves as colonel) during today’s celebrations.
Clare, Treacy, and their teams included numerous references to the Grenadiers throughout Camilla’s outfit, from the dress’s epaulettes (signaling Camilla’s status as colonel) to the embroidered collar (featuring the famous “exploding grenade” symbol of the regiment). The hat’s feather plume is also secured with a golden ornament depicting the exploding grenade. And, of course, Camilla is wearing a particularly special brooch: the jeweled Grenadier Guards badge that belonged to Queen Elizabeth II.
Here’s a closer look at the badge, which is set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. The cypher of the badge is that of the late Queen’s father, King George VI (GR).
It was King George VI who bestowed the role of colonel of the Grenadier Guards on his elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth, as a sixteenth-birthday gift in April 1942. The wartime appointment was one of Elizabeth’s first public roles, and it was one that she took very seriously. For the next decade, she was photographed often wearing the Grenadier Guards badge on events related to the regiment. She also chose to wear the badge for a formal portrait commemorating her eighteenth birthday at Windsor Castle in April 1944.
A few weeks later, in May 1944, Princess Elizabeth was photographed wearing the badge as she visited parachutists practicing ahead of the D-Day invasion. I always say it when I publish this photograph, but this image really does give me chills, knowing what was to come in just a few more weeks. The look on young Elizabeth’s face suggests that she understood the seriousness of the mission, too.
Elizabeth had to give up her role as honorary regimental colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1952, when she succeeded to the throne and became colonel-in-chief. But the Grenadiers clearly still held an important place in her heart, and she continued to wear her original badge throughout the rest of her long reign. Here, she wears the badge in May 2010 to present new colours to the regiment at Buckingham Palace.
Now, the badge has been passed along to Queen Camilla, who was made colonel of the Grenadier Guards back in December 2022. She wore the late Queen’s badge in public for the first time in April at Buckingham Palace.
And here’s another look at the badge’s appearance earlier today. Camilla also wore an interesting pair of gold and diamond earrings from her collection to finish off her ensemble.
This is one of the best views we’ve had yet of this pair of earrings, which have pavé-set diamond detailing on their gold drops. The clip portion of the earrings—remember, Camilla doesn’t have pierced ears—looks to me like it’s designed to resemble the letter C. Maybe they were made specifically for her?