Oh yes the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth has worn the same pair of shoes for 50 years and counting. Well i am actually surprised. It rare to see anyone where the same kind of shoes for decades. Hmmm. I am sure no youth of these days would ever try that (Let me know if im wrong.)
The Rayne brand of shoes have been the excellent choice of the royal family especially the queen.
Then there’ll be a fitting at the Palace, and — after any final adjustments, including a clean and polish — they’re ready.
The Queen’s selection — she has worked her way through hundreds of almost identical pairs over the years but circulates about ten pairs at any one time — includes plain black leather, black patent, white leather and beige leather, and three designs of evening shoe in satin, silver and gold. They are all hand-dyed and water-repellent.
The heel is always reassuringly chunky and 2¼ in high, with a raised insole to give the royal size 4s an added lift in the arch. If she is likely to be walking on uneven surfaces, the heel will be lower.
But even having them handmade isn’t quite enough to get them fit for a Queen.
Stewart Parvin, who has designed dresses for her for 11 years says that the shoes have to be immediately comfortable and that to achieve this, a member of staff with the same size feet will trot up and down palatial corridors for her until they are suitably broken in.
Parvin says: ‘The Queen can never say: “I’m uncomfortable, I can’t walk any more.” ’
Once she has taken delivery, her dressers Kate or Beverley might also use wooden shoe stretchers to make them more comfortable.
Her shoes have occasionally been ‘worn in’ by Angela Kelly, her devoted personal assistant, as they have almost the same size feet. But now there is the aforementioned junior staff member ‘Cinders’, who is the same size exactly. She wears beige cotton ankle socks when testing the Queen’s shoes, and is only allowed to walk on carpets. The shoes then get one trial run outside to ensure there is no slippage.
Footmen Ian and William are responsible for everyday care, including polishing and storage. After the Queen has worn them, they are aired on shoe trees then stored individually in silk or cotton drawstring bags.
Originally the Queen’s shoes were made by Rayne, a British family firm founded in 1885 to make theatrical shoes for actresses such as Lillie Langtry (Edward VII’s mistress).
Twenty years ago, like most of the British shoe-making industry, Rayne went out of fashion — and production.
Ever loyal, the Queen knighted Eddie Rayne. But she was said to be so distraught at losing her beloved shoemaker that courtiers tracked down a former employee of Rayne, David Hyatt, who, by then, was working for another shoemaker, Anello & Davide. With help from the Palace, Hyatt recovered the Queen’s old lasts from the liquidators.
According to David Hyatt: ‘We supply one or two pairs a year and occasionally renew the tops and re-heel them. The Queen doesn’t waste money. She’s no Imelda Marcos.’