Prince Philip – A Life In 9 Outfits
As Cordings joins the nation in mourning the sad loss of the Duke of Edinburgh, we pause for a moment to celebrate the life and style of a truly elegant royal gentleman who set the highest standards of dress throughout his life, both on duty and off.
When His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died peacefully on Friday, April 9, he left a legacy of distinguished and honourable service, not only to the Queen and to the nation, but also to timeless British style.
The Duke was not a flamboyant or trend-espousing dresser, far from it, but he clearly appreciated fine clothing and had an innate sense of what suited him. What is more, he knew how to honour every occasion, no matter how grand or humble, by selecting his outfits with consideration, propriety and, when required, with panache.
Tall, handsome and athletic, as a young naval officer (and a Greek prince, to boot), he turned heads and captured the heart first of Princess Elizabeth, and then of the country. This upright young man knew how to wear a uniform very well indeed, and he applied the rules of military style – pristine quality, polished practicality and considered detail – to both his formal and casual wardrobe throughout his life.
He cherished and held on to many of his favourite wardrobe staples. Long before sustainability became a fashion watchword, Prince Philip owned several trusted items of clothing that he would bring out and wear decade after decade, among them his beloved double-breasted naval blazer (bequeathed by a great friend) and his stalwart green loden coat, a winter must, especially at Christmas.
From his ceremonial attire to his sporty polos and breeches, his Savile Row suits to his heritage country tweeds, his white tie and tails to his cool summer shirts and pressed slacks, the Duke of Edinburgh was unquestionably one of the world’s most stylish men. We shall miss him but, whenever we need reminding of how to dress properly, with elegance and taste, we need only look back at the impressive gallery of outfits he wore as the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
These are 9 of our favourite examples of Prince Philip’s impeccable style:
OUTFIT 1: THE SHETLAND SPORTS JACKET
On honeymoon in Hampshire in 1947. The newly married Prince’s off-duty wardrobe featured heavier woollen tailoring suited to a British winter. This tweed jacket is an early example of the Duke’s easy elegance, relaxed but smart, a classic British look.
Cordings Brown Shetland Tweed Blazer has an understated twill, crafted in the finest Shetland tweed, substantial but not heavy, and looks equally at home in town and country. Team with our West of England Flannel trousers.
OUTFIT 2: TONE ON TONE SEPARATES
Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 1974. The Duke often wore earthy browns, especially to outdoor events. Close matching the colour tones of this tweed jacket and trousers ensemble deftly brings a sleek, co-ordinated note to casual country style.
The Redcar Lightweight Tweed Jacket comes in a soft and light 12oz Yorkshire tweed, with a subtle over check, perfect for summer and warmer climates. Matching trousers are available or team with our British woven cavalry twill trousers.
OUTFIT 3: THE TATTERSALL SHIRT
Umpiring a polo match in Richmond in 1961. The epitome of sporting elegance, Prince Philip was not averse to forgetting his usual smart tie and instead wearing his shirt open-neck, as with this subtly checked cool cotton style, paired with dashing britches. Cordings Hugo Check Shirt also has a discreet small check and teams perfectly with chinos, jeans and cords, with country tweeds and with city suiting. Our shirts have a traditional generous cut, ensuring ease of movement, team with our Cattrick trousers for a smart off duty look.
OUTFIT 4: THE TWEED FLAT CAP
Prince Philip and Prince Edward at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1977. The Duke liked to top off his country looks with a traditional, no-nonsense, tweed flat cap. Like father, like son, it seems – and the shades add a cool, rather glamorous, edge.
Our Brown Herringbone York Cap and Hunting Tweed Garforth Cap are made for us in England in a British tweed. Neat and close-fitting with a natty stitched-down peak, it is made for the most discerning of sporting country gents.
OUTFIT 5: THE MACKINTOSH COAT
Prince Philip in 2016. The Duke of Edinburgh’s trusty camel raincoat, another favourite, worn over decades, could always be relied upon to look good and provide shelter when inclement weather threatened. It was his throw-on-and-go-anywhere style stalwart.
Our Fawn Duncan Mackintosh has simple classic lines that will never date. Handmade by Hancock in Scotland, using techniques originated in 1824, each one is a piece of history.
OUTFIT 6: THE REGIMENTAL SILK TIE
Prince Philip at the 2006 Braemar Gathering in Scotland. More often than not, the Duke wore a tie, and was especially fond of diagonal striped colour-block styles, many of them regimental issue, adding bold colour to a range of outfits, including his Scottish kilt ensembles.
Our Duck Club Woven Silk Tie is made in Britain using silk cloth woven in Suffolk. It offers an elegant way to inject colour, luxury and a playful note to a variety of looks.
OUTFIT 7: THE FEDORA HAT
Prince Philip wears a fedora in 1997. When the sun came out, the Duke could often be spotted keeping it cool in a jaunty fedora, which brought a sophisticated and cosmopolitan finish to his relaxed outdoor style.
Our Linen Milano Hat in Putty is made in a natural linen, lined in cotton and trimmed with a black grosgrain band and ribbon. In sizes S-XL.
OUTFIT 8: THE TWO BUTTONED SUIT
Prince Philip at Windsor Castle in 2011. The Duke owned a number of suits in a lightweight worsted fabric. Immaculately cut, sleek and dapper, he sometimes had them tweaked to keep the lines contemporary.
Cordings Navy Two Button Trafalgar Suit has a classic cut, superbly crafted in the finest quality British wool, with immaculate attention to detail.
OUTFIT 9: THE AUSTRIAN LODEN COAT
Prince Philip leaving a Christmas Day church service in 2017. When it was chilly out, Prince Philip often turned to his striking long green loden coat. Stalwart and practical, he cut a smart and imposing figure while wearing it.
Our traditional Green Austrian Loden Hubertus Coat is made using Tyrolean loden cloth, a tightly woven and felted wool, naturally warm and water resistant, with a deep inverted back and football buttons.