Well not exactly, I went up to London to see the exhibition, Fashioning a Reign: 90 years of style from the Queen’s wardrobe.

The exhibition ticket gave you access to the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and while I consider these very fine examples of a slightly over-the-top decor that we seem to expect as appropriate for a palace (as in not really keen) the exhibition itself was excellent. By the way, overseas readers, I don’t totally go overboard in adulation over our royal family, but neither do I want to abolish our monarchy and have a republic, and especially not since our politicians have shown what a complete shower they are (but that’s another subject for another blog!)  Actually, I see the Queen as an immensely reliable and worthy figure-head for our country.  And wow her clothes!

First of all, you realise she’s quite small (160 cm/5’4″) and furthermore, that when she was young she had the tiniest of waists you could imagine. Even now her size is exaggerated by television and other media, so if you think that she is carrying a little bit of weight around her middle, when you see the actual dress or coat you realise it’s still quite a small size.

The hats, the coats, the neon coloured frocks – they were all there.  We also saw her wedding and Coronation dresses, both of which were superb.  But the gowns worn for State, overseas and other ceremonial occasions were truly beautiful.  I’ve often looked at what film-stars wear at the Oscars, or a film festival or a first-night but these formal dresses worn by the Queen are equal in beauty to any film star’s frock, and one or two surpassed anything that I’ve seen worn on the red carpet.  Wow – just wow. But as we weren’t able to take any photos you’ll have to go and see for yourself.

However, as we left the exhibition we began to wonder if these extraordinarily lovely dresses would have the same affect on the Queen as they were having on us.  There were so many of them, and they’re probably only worn once.   Are these dresses her uniform?  What does she wear when she’s off-duty and not in the public eye?  We looked for, but couldn’t find, any tweed skirts or comfortable trousers that she must wear when she takes the dogs for a walk and goes for a quick ride (or hack, I believe it’s called) because yes, at the age of 90 she still rides a horse. Click here for a few pics of our Queen with and on horses wearing some very comfortable clothes!  But apart from the lack of some sensible skirts that I’m sure she wears a lot, the whole exhibition is a delight.

I went up wearing that new (charity shop) black linen skirt I bought recently which is paired with a brilliant top bought separately (another one at £2.50) that echoes the orange in the skirt.


I had thought I’d wear a summer frock but the day started with rain and that made me change my outfit.

I topped it with a thin black jacket as it was still warm despite the rain. This was bought new in a sale some years ago.


I still can’t go bare legged!  The leggings I wore in London were a bit longer than these so I had even less leg on show!


And then in my bag I stuffed this black charity shop mac, which I had just in case it rained, which it did!  I can’t remember the price of this item but it would have definitely been under £10.  As I’ve said before, I don’t do anoraks or cagoules. I don’t get them at all and wonder why people wear them as they leave your legs exposed to the elements.  If it’s raining I want to be completely covered up! Actually, I think there was a slightly edgy look to this outfit, as when I wore the mac in the rain I was still wearing my very comfy sandals.  And it was such a useful thing to take with me because we’d arrived a bit early and were sent away, so we went off to the bit of green grass in front of the palace and I got the mac out and we sat on it.   And there were no creases despite being stuffed in the bag and being sat on!

Before meeting my friend (I didn’t drag Mr Frugalfashionshopper up to town for this one) I popped in to that quite pricy but lovely Red Cross charity shop near Victoria station.  This time I found a really reasonably priced article of clothing, a new (as in unworn) swimming cossie at £7.  I was so pleased to find it, as just as I decided to look for a swimming costume all the summer clothes disappeared from the shops and they’ve got coats with fur collars in them instead!  Manufacturers of clothing, shop owners, buyers – it’s still hot weather!  Don’t put out winter clothing into your shops just yet, please!

station-selfie-webAs well as the cossie I also bought this amazing necklace. Here’s me being quite brave and showing you a close-up selfie taken in Victoria station without the flattering lighting that I manage to achieve in my bedroom!

I had to have it as it matched my outfit!

That’s all for now

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Sharing as per usual with Catherine Summers and her #iwillwearwhatilike session.



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11 thoughts on “I went up to London to see the Queen!

  • 13th September 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Penny , your posts just keep getting more and more interesting and your style is just going places too !

    • 14th September 2016 at 7:45 am

      Thank you so much Joan, yes, it was a great exhibition and the skirt is a good charity shop find as well!

  • 13th September 2016 at 1:55 pm

    You look lovely as ever. Your close up is great too. Good brows…do you use the LFF brow kit?

    What is your other blog?

    • 14th September 2016 at 7:51 am

      Thank you Pierrette and thanks for the feedback on the selfie. Actually my brows are in need of attention! I get them dyed and tidied in my local salon and then don’t put anything on them, just wait until they need tidying up again.

      The other blog I mentioned is actually called ‘My Other Blog’! This is where I put my thoughts on more serious subjects like the Syrian refugees, and recently the simply dire political situation we’re in now, as in, I’m talking about Brexit! Here’s a link to one of the essays, which kind of ties in with the above post on the Queen. It’s about our class system, which I define through looking at carpets and how the different classes behave when you come through the front door! http://myotherblog.bn9.co.uk/theres-class-classy-and-the-downright-not-classy/

  • 13th September 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Perfectly lovely outfit for a visit with the Queen. Too bad I am so very far away…the show sounds fabulous! Thanks for taking us along. 🙂

    • 14th September 2016 at 7:59 am

      Thank you Jeanne, yes it’s a great exhibition.

  • 13th September 2016 at 4:57 pm

    What a lovely outfit, Penny. I do like orange! You look very elegant and the mac was a brilliant buy – especially if it doesn’t crease. I love your necklace, too. Just right for the Palace. x

    Have a great week


    • 14th September 2016 at 8:02 am

      Thanks Veronica and yes it was a really great find that necklace – couldn’t resist it. If you’re ever near Victoria station do go into the Red Cross charity shop, it often has some amazing designer clothes but it’s not that cheap either, but that’s London for you. And yes, now my hair is going white I find I really can wear red and orange!

  • 14th September 2016 at 12:38 am

    Penny. YOU look like a queen in that frock! Seriously, I would LOVE to see that exhibit. We Americans may not understand royalty, but boy, it’s just so interesting and fascinating! Were you able to take a ton of photos? Will you post them??

    • 14th September 2016 at 8:15 am

      No photos were allowed whatsoever – there was a shop at the end of the visit that we didn’t even go into as it was full of tourist plates and mugs, and maybe there was a catalogue – I’ll have to find out. But going into the exhibition and state rooms was a bit of a palaver as you went through airport screening. Bags went through X-ray and you walked through an archway that pinged if you had something metal. There were very stringent precautions and everywhere it said – NO photography! Such a pity but actually it was also very crowded and hot and people taking photos would have blocked the aisles, I expect. The difference between the Brighton museum exhibition where I could take photos, and the palace one was that there were so many more people in the London one, but that’s to be expected. And I expect they just don’t want people taking pics of the Queen’s dresses!

      I LOVED the dresses but to be quite honest I see the over-the-top gold decor (gilding, I think it’s called) of the palace and the many enormous chandeliers as quite an old-fashioned idea of splendour. It actually felt too much. However, I believe that the royal family’s apartments in Buckingham Palace are much plainer and I have heard that the Queen’s carpets are quite thread-bare, I mean you couldn’t live with that kind of decor and actually they don’t either!

  • 19th September 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Love your necklace and the way you have ‘layered’ your clothes to achieve the final outfit. Layers are definitely the way to go, especially in the UK where the weather can change by the hour!

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