Queen Elizabeth Can’t Leave Buckingham Palace Without this $22 Accessory
From her colorful hats to her iconic Launer Traviata handbag, Queen Elizabeth is all about a good accessory. In fact, the queen is quite meticulous about how she presents herself in public — especially when it comes to color coordination — and is one of the most loyal consumers in the royal family.
Her Majesty has worn the same nail polish brand (and color) for the last 30 years, purchased the same style handbag around 200 times, and has worn the same loafer style for over 50 years. But, those aren’t the only brands Queen Elizabeth is fully committed to.
What umbrella does the queen use?
In addition to her handbags, shoes, and manicures, the queen turns to Fulton umbrellas on rainy days — and, in England, there are lots of them — to keep her dry. Her go-to style? A clear plastic design called the “Birdcage.”
In stores, the Fulton Birdcage umbrella typically sells for around $22 a pop — which, for a royal, is very affordable. However, Her Majesty likely spends a lot more on her rainy day accessory, as each umbrella is custom made.
The queen is so meticulous about her matching outfits that she sends the umbrella company fabric swatches from her outfits so that she can match each umbrella perfectly. “We match the colors to the Queen’s outfit, and that’s the key with this umbrella,” CEO Nigel Fulton confirmed in an interview with Town & Country.
According to the interview, Fulton receives swatches and other requests (rumor has it, the queen prefers a thinner umbrella rim) in advance so that they have enough time to create a prototype for approval. Once the queen gives the green light, the brand goes ahead and makes a final style featuring the perfect shade of blue, pink, green, or any other color Her Majesty might wear to a royal engagement.
Unlike some of her other tried and true accessories, the queen has only used Fulton umbrellas exclusively or the last 15 years. Her love for the company — and style — likely stemmed from a bout of nostalgia, as the Fulton birdcage was the umbrella style her mother used to use.
In 1988, the Queen Mother’s secretary allegedly contacted Fulton in hopes of tracking down the clear domed umbrella. But, unfortunately, the brand had discontinued the design due to lack of sales. Fortunately, the right person was there to revive it. “[We] would be very happy to put it back into production if the Queen Mother wants it,” Fulton recalled his father (the former CEO) replying.
Prior to her custom partnership with Fulton, Queen Elizabeth had a few Birdcage umbrellas of her own. “She was asking her staff to go buy them in a department store or something,” Fulton explained. But, in 2003, took her loyalty to a new level when she requested the iconic design from the company.
How many umbrellas does the queen own?
With 15 years of custom umbrellas, the queen likely has an entire closet at Buckingham Palace dedicated to her iconic accessory. However, she doesn’t have as many — or request as many custom designs — as you’d think. “[The Queen] hates wastage,” Fulton explained. “So no, she would never buy a whole load of umbrellas and now use them. Never. It’s not the way she operates at all,” he added.
As a loyal customer, Queen Elizabeth likely has an entire rainbow of umbrellas to choose from, so she probably doesn’t require as many custom Fulton Birdcage umbrellas now.
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