Royal clothes on show

Outfits from royals throught the ages are going on display in Edinburgh. Pic: Royal Collection
Outfits from royals throught the ages are going on display in Edinburgh. Pic: Royal Collection
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EDINBURGH is to play host to a major exhibition exploring the fashion tastes of Britain’s Royal Family.

Outfits worn by monarchs from almost 500 years ago are to be featured

The show at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will turn the focus to the Tudor and Stuart dynasties.

The sartorial extravagance of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles I and Charles II will be explored through extensive displays of clothing, accessories and jewellery, as well as paintings and drawings.

The exhibition, which opens next month and will run until mid-July, will look at how central fashion was to life in the royal courts and how laws were enforced to dictate the fabrics, colours and types of garment that could be worn at each level of society.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Collection said: “In the 16th and 17th centuries, entry to the inner circle at court, and subsequent political and professional success, was largely driven by personal appearance.

“A key obligation for the courtier was to reflect the glory of the monarch through splendid attire, and sartorial competition led to an insatiable search for the novel to distinguish the wearer from their rivals.

”The exhibition will lift the lid on how male fashions often matched those of women in the “luxuriousness of materials and complexity of design” – so much so that some elements of masculine dress were adopted by women.”

Also featured will be quirky accessories from the Tudor and Stuart periods, ranging from a purse in the shape of a frog, to jewels set with stones reputed to hold magic powers.

Anna Reynolds, curator of the show – In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion – said: “The exhibition was at Buckingham Palace last year and was incredibly successful.

“We had around 134,000 visitors, which is actually second only to our Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.”

Manuela Calchini, of VisitScotland, said: “Anything connected to the Royal Family is hugely popular among overseas visitors to Scotland, and we are lucky to have so many of these connections in Edinburgh.