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Thread: The Queen's Worn the Same Shoes for 50 Years

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    Elite Member dougie's Avatar
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    Default The Queen's Worn the Same Shoes for 50 Years

    How the Queen's worn the same shoes for 50 years... and has a servant called Cinders to wear them in! Trusty black patent leather slip-ons have accompanied monarch everywhere from prison visits to Diamond Jubilee pageant

    • It takes a team of four to produce classic numbers at £1,000 a pair
    • But she certainly saves money, reheeling them when they wear out
    • A junior member of Palace staff has the job of making the shoes comfier
    • They are handmade by Anello & Davide of Kensington, west London
    • Experts use a wooden 'last' made from measurements of Queen's feet
    • Comfort, support and simplicity mean the design is a firm favourite

    By Catherine Ostler
    Published: 16:45 EST, 27 June 2014 | Updated: 03:22 EST, 28 June 2014

    They’ve supported the Queen as she goes about her royal duties for almost 50 years, looking decorous yet never detracting attention from their sovereign, and accompanying her everywhere from prison visits to her Diamond Jubilee pageant.

    And these valuable servants? Not equerries or other royal minions, but her trusty patent leather shoes, the unsung heroes of the Royal household.

    It takes a team of four — not including the junior member of Buckingham Palace staff, dubbed ‘Cinders’, who has the job of wearing in her Majesty’s shoes — to produce the classic black numbers (she has other colours in the same style) which cost about £1,000. Yet the Queen certainly gets value for money out of them, wearing the same pair for years and re-heeling them when they wear out.


    Shoes of a monarch: The Queen has opted for the same simple design for 50 years - but it's surprisingly complex


    From the Diamond Jubilee pageant to this week's prison visit in Northern Ireland, the shoes are a firm favourite

    When she stepped out in Northern Ireland with Prince Philip this week, she was wearing shoes identical to those she first sported five decades ago. Politics change, and so, gradually, does the monarch’s style of dress.

    The coats have become narrower, the hemlines slightly longer. Only her Majesty’s shoes remain emphatically the same.

    At 88, the Queen relies on her shoes to be less glass slipper, more steadfast slip-on. Comfort and support are key. As a young woman she often wore shoes with a thinner, higher heel, but for nearly 50 years the same low style has kept her sure-footed and age-defyingly nimble.Known as her ‘work’ shoes, they are handmade for her by shoemaker Anello & Davide of Kensington, West London, from the finest calf leather, usually in black patent with a brass clasp or a small bow.

    The team works from a wooden ‘last’ made from measurements of the Queen’s foot, and include a pattern cutter; a clicker, who selects the leather; a closer, who sews the upper part and adds stiffeners; and, finally, a maker, who adds the sole and heel on the last.


    Left: These Rayne shoes worn in 1969 are brown, with a short tongue - but the pattern had been set. In 1975 (right) the Queen was feeling summery in Jamaica - the style she'd keep for years, seen here in white



    Left: The dress worn in 1984 is from another era, but the black patent shoes are becoming a fixture. Then in 1987 (right) the Queen was elegant in Spain - and her shoes have since survived the reign of King Juan Carlos

    Then there’ll be a fitting at the Palace, and — after any final adjustments, including a clean and polish — they’re ready.

    The Queen’s selection — she has worked her way through hundreds of almost identical pairs over the years but circulates about ten pairs at any one time — includes plain black leather, black patent, white leather and beige leather, and three designs of evening shoe in satin, silver and gold. They are all hand-dyed and water-repellent.

    The heel is always reassuringly chunky and 2¼ in high, with a raised insole to give the royal size 4s an added lift in the arch. If she is likely to be walking on uneven surfaces, the heel will be lower.

    But even having them handmade isn’t quite enough to get them fit for a Queen.

    Stewart Parvin, who has designed dresses for her for 11 years says that the shoes have to be immediately comfortable and that to achieve this, a member of staff with the same size feet will trot up and down palatial corridors for her until they are suitably broken in.


    Derby Day in 1990, and the Queen is being blown about (left) — but the shoes keep her steady. Then in 1993, (left) glancing down at her feet — yes, the shoes are still the same— at Sandringham at Christmas time



    Left: In Russia, in fur, in 1994. The Soviet Union has collapsed, but the trusty slip-on is eternal. By 1996 (right) She has long since dispensed with boxy jackets, but the patent leather remains on a visit to a criminal court

    Parvin says: ‘The Queen can never say: “I’m uncomfortable, I can’t walk any more.” ’

    Once she has taken delivery, her dressers Kate or Beverley might also use wooden shoe stretchers to make them more comfortable.

    Her shoes have occasionally been ‘worn in’ by Angela Kelly, her devoted personal assistant, as they have almost the same size feet. But now there is the aforementioned junior staff member ‘Cinders’, who is the same size exactly. She wears beige cotton ankle socks when testing the Queen’s shoes, and is only allowed to walk on carpets. The shoes then get one trial run outside to ensure there is no slippage.

    Footmen Ian and William are responsible for everyday care, including polishing and storage. After the Queen has worn them, they are aired on shoe trees then stored individually in silk or cotton drawstring bags.

    Originally the Queen’s shoes were made by Rayne, a British family firm founded in 1885 to make theatrical shoes for actresses such as Lillie Langtry (Edward VII’s mistress).

    Read more: The Queen has worn the same Anello & Davide shoes for 50 years | Mail Online
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    i don't know why but i love reading about stuff like this.
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    They need to make them in more colors for her. Pretty cool.

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    The rest of the article, full article would not post due to system glitch

    The Queen has worn the same Anello & Davide shoes for 50 years | Mail Online


    Co-ordinating with the black fur trim on this fuchsia pink coat in 2004 (left) and a jolly Queen in 2006 (right)



    Over the Atlantic: Presidents may come and go — but not the shoes, seen here on a visit to the U.S. in 2007 (left). In 2008, right, the shoes of Christmas past enjoy yet another festive outing at Sandringham

    The Queen came to Rayne in the early Sixties, recommended by the Queen Mother, who had followed in the footsteps of another impeccable royal dresser, her mother-in-law Queen Mary, who issued the company with a Royal Warrant in 1936.

    At the height of its success the company made the shoes for Elizabeth Taylor in her role as Cleopatra. Roger Vivier and Mary Quant designed shoes for them, and Princess Margaret and Princess Anne got married in Rayne creations; as did the Queen herself: a pair (there were actually three identical pairs in case of disasters) of beige silk sling-back sandals with a medium heel and a small platform sole. (She is almost a foot shorter than Philip, who is 6ft 1in.)

    Margaret Thatcher was also a fan. A pair of her favourite black Rayne satin stilettos were put up at auction last year for £150.

    Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana wore Rayne, too. The company’s shoes were all the rage for a time, and had nearly 70 stores and four factories when run by the founder’s grandson Edward Rayne.

    But on a trip to New York he accidentally revealed the Queen’s shoe size to a journalist at a cocktail party and the unknown fact was splashed across newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic. Rayne was summoned to the Palace by courtiers and was eventually forgiven.



    In 2009, pictured, Her Majesty added contrast to the blaze of red to greet wellwishers in Newmarket


    Another day, another decade — an elegant ensemble for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (left). Fast forward to now and the trusty £1,000 shoes were still going strong this week as the Queen visited Belfast (right)

    He would visit Buckingham Palace six times a year. A royal source said: ‘Occasionally, the Queen would produce a pair with a chewed heel, asking Mr Rayne if he could repair the damage caused by a playful corgi.’

    Twenty years ago, like most of the British shoe-making industry, Rayne went out of fashion — and production.

    Ever loyal, the Queen knighted Eddie Rayne. But she was said to be so distraught at losing her beloved shoemaker that courtiers tracked down a former employee of Rayne, David Hyatt, who, by then, was working for another shoemaker, Anello & Davide. With help from the Palace, Hyatt recovered the Queen’s old lasts from the liquidators.

    Anello & Davide, founded in 1922, still make dance and theatre shoes, just like Rayne in the early days. In the Sixties, they were on the feet of every star, from the The Beatles to Marilyn Monroe. But the Queen is one of their most enduring customers.

    According to David Hyatt: ‘We supply one or two pairs a year and occasionally renew the tops and re-heel them. The Queen doesn’t waste money. She’s no Imelda Marcos.’

    The Queen has worn the same Anello & Davide shoes for 50 years | Mail Online
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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    If anyone needs a comfortable shoe it's her, she's been walking non-stop for decades. I love that she wasn't sucked in by fashion and found something that works for her.
    "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."



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    It makes perfect sense: if I could find the perfect shoes for me, that are comfy and look good with everything, and have people replicate them when they are too worn out, I'd do the exact same thing.

    Also, look at all those outfits in this article! Was she ever not perfectly dressed?
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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    I'm glad she is recycling her shoes because she doesn't seem to recycle her clothes so much.
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    Sensible shoes. Boring as all getout, but sensible.
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    These were much cuter. Shame they didn't keep making them.

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    Love that red outfit she wore!
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    I've wondered who made those shoes for her. When she finds something she likes, she really sticks with it.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    I love the red outfit and the fuchsia coat with the fur. She has impeccable taste.
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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    I love all of her brooches. They remind me of my grandmother's era. Of course, all of my Grammy's were costume jewelry. I can't imagine wearing the real stuff all the time. The queen makes it look good, though, and not flashy at all.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    She has said that the most important items in her "official" wardrobe are her shoes. Maybe not so much these days but she's still on her feet a LOT so comfortable shoes are essential.
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    Better than the same shoes Wintour wears.
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