Sophie Wessex explains the Queen's famous sense of style: 'She needs to stand out'

Emily Nash

The Countess of Wessex has opened up about the Queen's famous sense of style for a new documentary to mark her 90th birthday next month. Sophie, 51, explains why the monarch likes to choose bright colours for public engagements in a clip from Our Queen at Ninety, which airs on ITV this Easter Sunday at 8pm.

"Don't forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, ten, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen's hat as she went past," said Sophie.

"She needs to stand out for people to be able to say 'I saw the Queen'."


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Sophie Wessex said: "She needs to stand out for people to be able to say 'I saw the Queen'"

In the two-hour documentary, which also features contributions from Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry also reveals how continuing his grandmother's work around the world can be daunting at times.

"People have always said, 'do you feel as though you are following in her footsteps?' That's exactly what we are doing," he said. "There is nowhere on this planet that I can think of, that she hasn't been in the last 90 years.

"She has been everywhere and that's sometimes quite hard, because you go to a place where she hasn't visited for maybe 20 years, maybe 15, and you just think to yourself, 'how can I ever fulfil this huge expectation that comes with her and being a member of her family?"

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"There is nowhere on this planet that I can think of, that she hasn't been in the last 90 years," said Prince Harry

The documentary also gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Queen's daily life and her preparation for special occasions. In one scene she is seen inspecting tables ahead of last November's State Dinner for President Xi of China.

Her Majesty is asked whether she is happy with the positioning of spotlights overhead and microphones hidden in the flower arrangements to pick up her speech. "In the old days they used to march up and plonk them (microphones) down," she recalled.

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Her Majesty turns 90 next month

Another clip showed her cheerfully boarding the Royal Train at Euston Station at 11pm the night before an out-of-town engagement.

Her deputy private secretary Edward Young said: "For the Queen there's no such thing as an average engagement. Every visit is very, very carefully planned for. There is just as much preparation put into a visit to a school or a hospital as there is to an audience with the Prime Minister."

The monarch is also seen sitting down to work on papers from her daily Red Box, at a desk covered with family photographs including images of her parents and grandchildren Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and Prince Harry.

Edward added: "The Queen is of course Head of the Armed Forces, Head of the Commonwealth, Governor of the Church of England and, of course, Queen of 16 realms – not just the United Kingdom – and that requires a great deal of active management."