It’s one of the last places you’d expect to see Queen Elizabeth II.
The monarch was seated in the front row of Tuesday’s Richard Quinn catwalk show at London Fashion Week — right next to Vogue Editor-in-Chief (and Dame) Anna Wintour.
It was the 91-year-old’s first-ever visit to London Fashion Week; after the show, she said it was a “great pleasure” to be in attendance. She presented the first-ever Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Quinn, honouring him as the country’s biggest up-and-coming talent.
“It is a great pleasure to be here at London Fashion Week today,” she said to the crowd. “From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting edge, practical designs.”
“As a tribute to the industry, and as my legacy to all those who have contributed to British fashion, I would like to present this award for new, young talent,” she continued. “I would like to thank the British Fashion Council for selecting the first winner: Richard Quinn.”
A shellshocked Quinn was overjoyed to take home the award.
“It’s a bit surreal,” he said to the UK’s Telegraph. “We only found out a few days ago [that the Queen was coming] so we added in a few Queen touches with the headscarves and the scarf patterns. … We were already planning a few scarves, but we really hammed it up.”
“I think she’s definitely a fashion icon. … She was the first royal woman to wear trousers, I believe. It’s a tongue-in-cheek take on Balmoral, but done my way,” he continued, referring to the royal castle in Scotland.
Going forward, the award will be handed out each year by a different member of the royal family.
(You can watch the Queen at the fashion show in the video, top.)