Former royal lady's maid shares secrets of regal dressing

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3 min read

Watch: The Queen’s royal fashion through the decades

The Royal Family are experts at putting together small capsule wardrobes with minimal packing, according to a former royal lady’s maid.

Alicia Healey worked for the British royals as a lady’s maid, meaning she would help pack and unpack royal wardrobes on trips, and provide help with dressing when needed.

The wardrobe consultant now shares her style tips on Instagram and has said she is influenced by royal dressing.

Healey said her posts have been popular despite numerous lockdowns meaning there has been a lack of opportunities to dress up.

Writing for The Telegraph, she explained that she went on to work for the Saudi royal family after her time with the British royals, even accompanying a Sheikha (a chief wife) on her three-month honeymoon.

She said: “This was a much more challenging job than working for the British royals, who are experts at small capsule wardrobes with fairly minimal and manageable luggage. This lady’s dressing room looked more like three floors of Selfridges.”

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The Queen is known to favour bright colours, and is said to believe she has to be seen to be believed.

Healey revealed that younger royals will be told what the Queen is wearing ahead of time, so that they can complement her.

This will include wearing an outfit with the same level of formality, but a different colour.

Healey added: “It’s a reminder that the Queen is the star of the royal show and that other members, however young, glamorous or stylish, are always in supporting roles.”

Healey, who has written a book called Wardrobe Wisdom, said royals were also always able to dress for the weather and the location of the event.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration held at Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at The Prince of Wales' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in 2018. It was one of Meghan's first engagements as a married royal. (Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16:  Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire on June 16, 2017 in London, England. 17 people have been confirmed dead and dozens still missing, after the 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road was engulfed in flames in the early hours of June 14. Emergency services will spend a third day searching through the building for bodies. Police have said that some victims may never be identified.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The Queen, here with Prince William, at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, often wears bold colours at public engagements. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk down the steps of the plane as they arrive at Dublin International Airport ahead of their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland.
Kate's diplomatic dressing in Ireland in March 2020 included green on arrival. (PA Images)

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Royal women are known to dress diplomatically when on tour, often incorporating colours of the host country’s flag into their outfits and choosing local designers.

While visiting Ireland in March, the Duchess of Cambridge arrived wearing green, and then incorporated white and orange into her outfits over the next two days, for all the colours of the flag.

The duchess is patron of the AELTC and marked what should have been finals weekend. (Kensington Palace)
Kate chose a tennis dress to speak to Andy Murray in June. (Kensington Palace)

The royal ladies have had their wardrobe options limited by the at-home and on-screen engagements they have been holding during the lockdowns in the UK.

But the Queen has kept to her bold sartorial choices even in video calls, and Kate has mastered the looks and frequently adapted her hairstyles too.

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