It has been revealed that Prince Philip once compared one of the Queen's dresses to their sofa, asking Her Majesty: "Is that the new material for the sofa?" The hilarious quip was recalled by the monarch's right-hand woman, Angela Kelly, in her new book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe in which Angela shares many rare and personal anecdotes about her time working alongside the monarch as her dresser.
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Angela recalled one of Her Majesty's fittings, in which the monarch was draped in a piece of bold, jacquard material. When asked by the Queen whether she approved of the look, Angela boldly told her no, not at all. It was at that precise moment that the Duke of Edinburgh walked past the room, and when asked by his wife what he thought about the large print she was wearing, he made the cheeky joke.
The dressmaker recalled: "I vividly remember one fitting where the Queen was draped in a very large piece of bold, jacquard material in a large print. Even a six-foot-tall model would have struggled to pull off something like that, and it absolutely drowned Her Majesty. Once again, I could not hide my disapproval when Her Majesty asked my thoughts.
The Queen and Prince Philip 1951
"Without hesitation, I said, ‘No way! It doesn’t suit you at all and it is totally the wrong pattern.’ An awkward silence and an icy atmosphere descended on the room. Everyone in sequence turned their heads towards me with what felt like daggers in their eyes, except for the Queen who stared straight ahead and goodness knows what she was thinking. The atmosphere was ice cold.
"Just at that moment, the Duke of Edinburgh happened to walk past and Her Majesty asked what he thought of the material, knowing that, like mine, his feedback is always honest. ‘Is that the new material for the sofa?’ he joked, before continuing on his way. I excused myself, left the room, and privately punched the air with delight. I composed myself, then walked back into the dressing room where I noticed the material was being folded and put away unused."
Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday.