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Did The Queen Kickstart The Gucci Loafer Trend? An Investigation

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It’s an undisputed fact that, in her own way, Queen Elizabeth II is very much a fashion icon for the ages. From the Norman Hartnell gowns that defined her look in the 1950s to the Balmoral Hermes scarf and wax jacket combo to the rainbow-hued co-ords that have become her staple, Her Majesty has honed a definitive personal style throughout her 65-year reign. What we’ve so far neglected to notice, however, is that the Queen has long been a low-key pioneer of one of the biggest footwear trends to emerge in the last few years: the horsebit loafer.

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On a recent trip to the Royal Academy of Arts, opening a new wing to celebrate the institution’s 250th anniversary, Her Majesty officially marked the start of spring with a bold orange coat and matching hat. On her feet? A pair of leather loafers. At first glance, her footwear appears nearly identical to Gucci’s ubiquitous design, as seen on just about every celebrity, model and influencer since creative director Alessandro Michele re-introduced the classic style in his debut collection for the house. And on further investigation, it seems the Queen has long favoured this particular shoe, wearing the classic style with a sturdy low heel for royal events for the best part of the last decade, predating the current vogue by a good few years.

As appealing as it is to imagine Her Majesty firing off a Net-A-Porter order to pick up a new pair of Gucci loafers, or perhaps sending a missive directly to Michele himself, we have to break it to you that the pairs favoured by Elizabeth are not, in fact, the work of the storied Italian fashion house. Instead, they’re most likely the handiwork of Covent Garden-based shoemakers Anello & Davide, who have succeeded Rayne as the Queen’s shoemakers of choice. It’s thought that she owns similar pairs in a selection of colours and finishes, with an assortment of heels for different occasions. Jealous, us?

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