For many, June 5, 2022, will go down in British history as a truly historic day – the last day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations honoring the longest reigning monarch in British history – as well as the last day she was seen in public on the Buckingham Palace balcony.  The Queen looked frail, yet resplendent, in a bright green suit, matching hat, pearls, and white gloves, carrying her iconic black purse and something else – a walking stick.  Beside the smiling Queen stood three future kings:  Princes Charles, William, and George, as well as then Duchesses Camilla and Catherine, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.  It was a small group sending a big message:  this is the future of the British monarchy.  No other extended family members were present on the balcony, causing royal observers to ponder if this was an indication of a streamlined royal alliance moving forward.


On this day, however, the roaring crowds were too focused on getting the perfect shot of the Queen and her family to analyze all the symbolism she was projecting in her attire.  They just saw their dear, beloved Queen smiling and waving in a bright green suit.  Did they stop to think, “Why a green suit?”  No.  Did they notice a black pom pom-looking object on her hat?  Probably not – or if they did, they probably dismissed it as mere decoration, one that didn’t exactly go with the hat or the gold buttons on her suit.

But one should never dismiss anything the Queen displays in public.  Always dressed to perfection for every occasion, she is the epitome of “Diplomatic Dressing,” using her clothes, fabrics, jewels, and hats to send a personal message or highlight a host country and its history – be it their national colors, emblems, birds, flowers, flag, or designers.  She works with her royal dresser for months selecting the appropriate fabrics, colors, and jewelry to best compliment her hosts and the occasion. 


So, what was the meaning behind the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant attire on June 5, 2022?  I ultimately learned that her entire ensemble was a poignant and heart-felt homage to dearly departed loved ones and royals. 

  • Edinburgh Green Suit and Hat – The Queen was a standout in a spring green suit made by Stewart Parvin, replete with gold buttons and a matching, boxy hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.  It has been stated that she selected the color green in honor of her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away a year earlier, in April 2021.  Edinburgh (or dark) green was his favorite color and he used it on everything:  his royal livery, staff uniforms, cars, stationary and, ultimately, his Range Rover hearse. The Queen wore dark green at the prince’s funeral, and we can surmise that she selected a brighter green for this joyous – and historic – occasion in his honor.


  • Black “Mourning” Hat Pin – Stuck firmly in the front of the Queen’s hat was a large, black pom-pom-looking object.  This item is called a “Mourning” hat pin and is used by royals when a family member passes.  Usually smaller in size, the Queen possibly selected a larger pin to be more visible to the masses.  The Queen added this large mourning pin atop her royal hat in a further nod to her departed husband.  Many of us remember when Prince Philip stood stoically and resolutely beside the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee, even in the gnashing rain at the Flotilla, which ultimately ended him in the hospital several days later.  Her loyal knight and liege lord of life and limb was no longer by her side in 2022, but she still gave his memory pride of place on this historic day.


  • Prince Philip’s Walking Stick – The Queen stepped out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony with Prince Charles guiding her by an elbow.  In her other hand, she held one of Prince Philip’s favorite walking sticks.  He – and it – supported her during her final farewell on the balcony.
  • Queen Victoria’s Bow Brooch – Fixed snuggly on her jacket, above her heart, was a glimmering diamond brooch in the shape of a bow.  Most people probably never gave it a thought, thinking it just another shiny bauble amongst the thousands of royal jewels and do-dads.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 


This brooch was created in 1858 by Garrard for Queen Victoria following the death of her grandmother, Queen Charlotte.  It was actually part of a set of three brooches that were frequently worn cascading down a royal gown, either from the middle of the bosom to the waist, or from the waist down the lower front of the gown.  These bow brooches were designed to be worn either by themselves, or dangling other precious jewels, like the stupendous Cullinan III diamond or an impressive pearl.


Queen Victoria later designated many royal jewels, including the three bow brooches, as “Heirlooms of the Crown” to be passed down to future queens and consorts.  Queen Alexandra wore the brooches on her coronation gown in 1901, as did Queen Mary a decade later.  The brooches then passed to Queen Consort Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), followed by her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.  If history continues, these brooches will pass to Queen Consort Camilla and later to Catherine, Princess of Wales, when she becomes Queen Consort.

Queen Alexandra

Queen Mary

Queen Elizabeth II opted to wear the Victoria bow brooches separately on most occasions, most notably at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 and on September 9, 2015, when she surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch.  She wore this truly royal and historic brooch for the last time on the day of her Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

We may not see another queen on the British throne for many decades to come, but be sure to watch the queen consorts and princesses in the years ahead.  I am sure we will see a splendid array of symbolism and honors in their royal attire – with many, no doubt, honoring the unrivaled and much beloved Queen Elizabeth II.