If you’ve ever suffered a night out with a few too many hours of dancing or a long day of meetings, chances are you’re familiar with the age-old hack of storing a pair of flats in your handbag. These back-up shoes are the unsung hero of a busy day, easing your feet back to their pre-heel state.
And if you thought this was just something us plebs do, while the upper classes struggle push through the pain, think again, friends.
During the RAF Centenary on Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II made a subtle outfit change between engagements, proving even royalty comes armed with a second pair of shoes. Arriving at Westminster Abbey in a classic blue and turquoise ensemble with a matching hat, the monarch was also sporting a pair of patent leather, cap-toe heeled black shoes. A few hours later she was spotted at Buckingham Palace in the same outfit, but with flat horse bit loafers on.
Known as her “work shoes,” the custom-made loafers are by West London designer Anello & Davide, a brand the Queen has worn for more than 50 years. Handcrafted from the finest calf leather with a gold clasp or bow, these shoes cost roughly $1,800 and take a team of four people to produce one pair. To construct a new pair of shoes, the team works from previous measurements of Her Majesty’s feet. Consisting of a pattern cutter, a clicker who picks the leather, a closer who adds stiffeners, and a maker who completes the finishing touches including adding the sole and heel, the team’s attention to detail is crucial in constructing footwear for the Queen.
Once the shoes are complete they arrive at the palace for a fitting where final adjustments are made including cleaning and polishing the new footwear. The Queen’s collection from the designer includes leathers in black, white and beige, a patent pair, as well as an evening version in satin, silver and gold. Every pair is hand dyed and fitted seamlessly to repel water.
Even better? There’s good news if you’re looking to change careers and have size four (US size 7) feet – look no further than Buckingham Palace. Reportedly there’s a junior position called the “cinder” who breaks in new shoes for the Queen, which is basically the next best thing to becoming royalty. SIGN US UP.