Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House of Commons, President of the House and bearer of the Sword of State, approaches the Abbey – accompanied by an umbrella – a hint of Cleopatra preparing to greet her subjects.
The fitted tunic and cap, and the matching embroidered headband, were inlaid with gold leaves – worn on the head in ancient Rome as a symbol of victory, importance and divine status. In Mordaunt’s £2,000 Ronnie dress by Atelier Safia with an almost coronet and modern version of an ermine gown, Mordaunt looked the most regal of the Tory ladies.
On the other side of the spectrum was Environment Secretary Therese Coffey, perhaps literally flying her flag on the occasion. In her red hat, white jacket and navy and white print dress, teamed with a Union Jack-print scarf, some commentators say she looks a bit like a souvenir Toby Jug.
The prize that stood out in the crowd surprised no one – Liz Truss, wearing light jet orange Karen Millen with a matching saucer hat, mixed prize definitely went to Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie Symonds, bright red and pink for the right conservative navy coat with gold buttons in a light blue £279 Claudie Pierlot dress. And a blue hat.
Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshatha Murthy and Samantha Cameron tough it out in the Tori camp for the most fashionable outfits of the day award. Samantha has her own clothing label, so it’s no surprise that Sefin chose the £390 Voletta maxi as the cutest of all her outfits.
Akshata has established herself as a fashion follower with a passion for big labels. However, her outfit was chosen not by a major fashion house, but by a sky-blue dress by British designer Claire Michevanny (Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton wore a yellow dress by the brand yesterday), probably because it cost a relatively modest £945. Akshata’s stylish black hat – somewhere between a pillbox and a beret – was one of the best of the day.
But the competition to see who could be the most frugal Akshata didn’t do much. Home Secretary Suella Braverman won the vintage fashionista in a silver-grey LK Bennett dress.
Andrea Leadsom’s cream dress and matching round-neck coat, covered in lace, was perhaps the least well-reviewed of Tory women’s outfits. On a day when the King and Queen were guaranteed to wear cream hair and silk, and with showers forecast, the color was a risky choice.
But Theresa May has pulled it off, thanks to her coat’s splashy abstract-print front panel. Her orange trilby-style hat was surprisingly stylish, recalling her days in the number 10 in leopard-print boots. Unfortunately, on Saturday, the former prime minister played it safe.