LONDON – Long live the queen. Long live its classic fashion.

Queen Elizabeth II’Her understated, humble style was filled with bold and colorful palettes throughout her 70-year reign until the 96-year-old’s peaceful death last week at her beloved Balmoral Castle.

“There’s a level of humility that you don’t expect from someone who is so world famous,” Fulton Umbrellas said CEO Nigel Fulton. “I think it reflects in every aspect of her life, including her dress.”

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Fulton’s father, Arnold Fulton, an inventor and mechanical engineer, began designing and producing umbrellas in 1956. The company, which has been around almost as long as the late monarch’s reign, is considered a global brand of rainwear, protecting millions of people from the rain. across Europe, USA, Canada, Russia, Asia, Middle East and Australia every year.

“We spent years developing in wind tunnels,” Fulton said. “Every one of our umbrellas – there’s nothing standard about it. We go top to bottom and look at every component,” Fulton said.

Two of Fulton’s biggest fans were the Queen and her mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

In the 1960s, Arnold Fulton developed the world’s first clear dome umbrella. After collaborating with British fashion designer Mary Quant, the umbrella sold well.

An umbrella is an outdoor performance product. If it doesn’t work in the wind outside, it just goes in the trash.

— Nigel Fulton, CEO of Fulton Umbrellas

But like many fashion items, sales plummeted and by the late 70s sales were so slow that Fulton decided to drop it as a line. When the Queen Mother sought out the British heritage brand umbrella, Fulton brought them back into production.

“And in doing so, we made them fit the queen mother and made the rod slightly thicker so it could be used more like a cane. We made the blanket the size she wanted,” Fulton said. . “Before you knew it, we had an umbrella that the Queen Mother was very happy with.”

A mandate worthy of royalty

After supplying umbrellas to the Royal Household for five years, they asked for a royal warrant – a document that allows a company to provide products and services to the royal family. In 1993, they were blessed with a Royal Warrant from the Queen Mother, which lasted for several years.

Fulton made contact with Buckingham Palace in the early 2000s and began a direct supply to the Queen, and it was then that the company began color matching for the Royal Household. The Queen’s main dresser would send Fulton a color swatch of the outfit she would wear before the engagement, and they would create an umbrella with perfectly matching trim.

In 2008 Fulton received the Queen’s Royal Warrant, which is still valid today.

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“We put a lot of effort into technology behind an umbrella,” Fulton said. “We take a very scientific approach. An umbrella is an outdoor performance product. If it doesn’t perform in the wind outside, it just goes in the trash.”

Fulton thinks the clarity was what the Queen loved most about the “brolly”, a British nickname for an umbrella.

“It covers her head and shoulders really well. Most importantly, she can be seen while she’s using it, which I think is particularly important,” he said.

The 39th sovereign’s royal engagements to be crowned at Westminster Abbey took her anywhere, and she dressed for every possibility due to the unpredictability of British weather.

‘He’s rocking!’

It all depends on the weather in the UK, Fulton said, and when it “rocks”, as Britons like to say, the rain is a nice part of it.

According to UK Met Office data, London has an average of 112 days of measurable rain (>1mm, >0.39in) per year. October-January sees the wettest days on average, with January being the highest (around 11 days of the month see measurable rain).

“We have very interesting weather. It’s variable,” Fulton said. “We can have four seasons in one day. It can go from very sunny to rainy, windy in literally five minutes and then back to sunny. And then we can have hail.”

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When the weather turned less beautiful, the Queen was regularly spotted holding Fulton’s iconic $26 transparent birdcage-style umbrella as she carried out her more than 21,000 engagements, connecting more than 2 billion people around the world .

timeless love

Fulton imagines that the longest-reigning monarch in British history felt the personal nature of umbrellas.

“These are personal items that the Queen used with her own hands, and I think she always felt this emotional attachment to them,” he said.

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Although Fulton said he hadn’t counted the number of Fulton umbrellas the Queen had owned over the years, it was a beautiful rainbow of colors.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, also owns several, as do Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Camilla, Queen Consort. The Queen had by far the largest collection.

“We’re known in the royal household as the kind of go-to umbrella supply,” Fulton said.

The Queen also hated rubbish, which is why Fulton said he was confident it would not be thrown away. What will happen to them now is unknown.

State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey at 6 a.m. EDT on Monday. Towards the end of the service, the last message will sound, followed by two minutes of silence across the UK

Her Majesty The Queen will be buried alongside her husband of nearly 74 years, Prince Philip, at the King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle.

And it will be a reunion as beautiful and timeless as Her Majesty’s remarkable fashion.