Is This Why The Queen Felt The Need To Attend London Fashion Week?

Bucket list moment

Royals At London Fashion Week

by Lucy Morris |
Published on

By now you know that the Queen, the highest ranking royal in the country, attended London Fashion Week for the first time. You probably know this because every broadsheet and tabloid newspaper in the UK (and many abroad) covered it, because Instagram and Twitter are obsessed with the image of HRH sat on the ‘frow’ next to Anna Wintour, the grand dame of Vogue.

Sure, Queenie at age 91 probably fancied ticking fash week off her bucket list but there was a real and very serious reason why she attended. And, it wasn’t just because she was there to present designer Richard Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design at his AW18 presentation.

Royals At London Fashion Week

According to a statement made by Royal Central, ‘The Queen Elizabeth II Award aims to provide continuing recognition of the cultural and trade role the British design and fashion industry has played, and continues to play, throughout Her Majesty’s reign.’ This was a sentiment echoed by HRH herself when she described the award as ‘a tribute to the industry and my legacy and all those who have contributed to British fashion.’

As I type the British government is staring down a Brexit precipice that’s looming large over the economy and yet they showed zero presence at a showcase that employs 880,000 people and contributes £28 billion to the UK economy.

During the Cameron, Brown and Blair eras, the government loudly supported the homegrown industry. Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron both hosted seasonal receptions to celebrate London Fashion Week but under Theresa May’s reign, the support has wained. This year there wasn’t a reception and neither Thersa May nor her husband Philip attended any associated events. While it’s arguable that May and her government have more salient Brexit business to be dealing with, having the seal of approval from an eminent political can pull the national (and international) spotlight onto one of the biggest events in the calendar for one of the UK’s largest industries. Question: Did the royal family step in where May did not?

The Duchess of Cambridge did her bit too during London Fashion Week. Along with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, seven-month pregnant Kate championed Erdem while kickstarting a new initiative called The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace. Again, an example of a Royal placing LFW in the international conversation.

While May and her Conservative cronies fell short of attending and fashion week events, Sadiq Khan cleared his schedule. The Mayor of London attended Ashley Williams catwalk show and posted to his 699K Facebook followers that he was there to support the event that ‘delivers £97 million in orders for British designers every year’.

See: A History Of Politicians Supporting London Fashion Week


Debrief Politicians at London Fashion Week

Politicians at London Fashion Week1 of 4

Margaret Thatcher meeting Zandra Rhodes at British Fashion Week, October 1988

Politicians at London Fashion Week2 of 4

Cherie Blair Meet Alexander McQueen, September 1999

Politicians at London Fashion Week3 of 4

Sarah Brown at the Osman show, Autumn Winter 2010

Politicians at London Fashion Week4 of 4

Samantha Cameron at the Roksanda show, Spring Summer 2016

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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