Inside the Queen's new fashion exhibit ahead of her milestone birthday

Fore more than six decades, the Queen has made a fashionable imprint on royal history. Now, in honour of her 90th birthday on Apr. 21, the monarch's wardrobe will take centre stage in three special exhibitions titled Her Majesty The Queen, Fashioning a Reign: 90 years of Style from the Queen's Wardrobe.

The first exhibit, Tartan in royal dress, will open on Thursday (Apr. 21) at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

TAP TO VIEW FULL GALLERYa-queen-1 The Queen wore this outfit by Norman Hartnell for her sister Princess Margaret's wedding in 1960
Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Significant events in The Queen's life and reign, Her Majesty's support of British craft and design, and tartan in royal dress are among the themes explored in the largest display of The Queen's dress and accessories ever to be shown in Scotland.

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For the wedding of her sister Princess Margaret and Mr Antony Armstrong-Jones on 6 May 1960, The Queen wore a turquoise-blue dress with a matching bolero jacket of silk taffeta, guipure lace and silk tulle by Norman Hartnell.

a-queen-2The outfit she wore to attend the official opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999
Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

The British couturier was also responsible for designing Princess Margaret's wedding dress together with the ensembles worn by the principal female members of the royal family. The occasion was a turning point in the protocol of royal dress, as it was the last time members of the Royal Family wore full-length day dress for a family wedding.

Norman Hartnell, who first worked for the then Princess Elizabeth in the 1940s, also created the evening dress of embroidered duchesse satin worn by The Queen with a sash of Royal Stewart tartan for the Gillies Ball at Balmoral Castle in 1971. Originally introduced by Queen Victoria, the Gillies Ball is given for neighbours, estate and Castle staff when Her Majesty is in residence. Traditionally gentlemen of the Royal Family wear Highland dress,while royal ladies wear long evening dresses with Royal Stewart tartan sashes.

The evening dress that the Queen wore to the Gillies Ball at Balmoral Castle in 1971
Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

For the official opening of the Scottish Parliament on 1 July 1999, Her Majesty wore a purple coat made of a silk-wool blend with a green silk-crepe and lace dress, and a shawl of purple and green Isle of Skye tartan, woven on the Island of Lewis.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert championed the wearing of tartan, both in their own clothes and in the clothing of their children. A woven silk-velvet dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1835–7 will feature in the exhibition and is an early example of tartan wearing royals today - members of the Royal Family wear a range of different tartans for both official and informal occasions in Scotland.

Balmoral tartan, designed by Prince Albert in the 1850s,remains the private property of the oyal Family and can only be worn with The Queen's permission.

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