With one section devoted to each woman, HRH is a celebration of their stories and their style, pairing hundreds of gorgeous photographs with extensive research. A picture emerges of the British monarchy’s evolution and the power of royal fashion, showing there’s always more than what meets the eye.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I began following Elizabeth Holmes on Instagram (@eholmes) a few years ago and just loved the way she would analyze royal outfits in an approachable and appealing way. She humanized them with her clothing breakdowns, but also showcased how what we wear always has a message. The power of fashion is undeniable and I loved that she brought it to the forefront of many people's minds. So naturally I was thrilled to get a copy of HRH and see what she had to say about older royals (specifically Diana and the Queen).
Favourite Piece of Non-Fiction
The book is broken into four sections: Elizabeth II, Diana, Catherine, and Meghan. It's important to note that each section starts with an essay that gives an overview of each woman's style evolution before moving into the specifics of certain outfits or events. I thought this was a smart move as it gave Holmes a chance to fully explain each woman before giving us the visuals to devour. I'm not a big fan of non-fiction (I like to jump into fiction to get out of the real world!), but Holmes wrote this book in such a casual and approachable way that it's like listening to a friend telling me all about the royals.
Excellent Insight Into Royal Fashion
As someone born in 1990, Diana's fashion isn't something I'm familiar with (beyond the newest season of The Crown) and I loved getting to see how her style changed from "throw on anything" to "this is the only way I can speak my mind". And while Meghan's section is the smallest, this is to be expected as she's only been a royal for a few years. I love that Holmes included quotes from Markle's now deleted blog, as she is the only royal we truly knew before she married into the Family and was no longer really able to talk about her clothes. Contrary to Diana and Meghan, the Queen and Kate both seem very nonchalant about their clothing in a way that Holmes describes as seeing clothings as a type of uniform, not something to make statements with. It was lovely getting to see each of these women in a new way and the ways that each of them have changed the clothing game for each other.
Reintroduces the UK Royals to Us
As a history major, I've always been enamoured with the British royal family but there's really such a limited about of information that given to the public about them. This is why Holmes' book is so wonderful - it's giving us insight into people who are otherwise incredibly private (for good reason). The most interesting aspect of this is that being a royal essentially means not being able to give your personal opinion publicly anymore, so these women have to find ways to make their clothes speak for them. The nuances of fashion that they, and their teams, but think about is actually incredibly daunting, especially for this new generation of royals. Catherine and Meghan are critiqued or applauded everywhere they go, so simply throwing on "any old thing" (like the Queen or Diana could do) is simply not an option anymore, regardless of if they are simply going to the park. Everything means something...
I devoured this book and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in fashion, in the British royals, or simply wants to see some lovely photos bound together in a beautiful coffee table book. This currently sits at the top of my coffee table book collection (as Holmes intended it to) and I'm constantly opening it up to show my husband something new (luckily we watched The Crown together, so he's used to me talking about royals and knows roughly who these people are!). Such a fun book to have in my home!
FINAL RATING: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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