CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS remembers how a torn glove on William’s wedding day left the late Queen furious
By Charlotte Griffiths for The Mail on Sunday 22:30 11 Feb 2023, updated 23:17 11 Feb 2023
The late Queen had a gaping hole in her glove at Prince William’s wedding in 2011. It was subsequently referred to internally as ‘Holegate’ and left the Queen ‘furious’. She kept an extra pair of gloves in her handbag for every engagement thereafter
King Charles may have attracted attention – and a few jokes – after accidentally revealing a hole in his sock during a visit to a London mosque last week, but he’s not the first monarch to suffer a wardrobe malfunction do not have.
However, when the late Queen attended Prince William’s wedding with a gaping hole in her glove, it completely escaped the world’s attention – despite the eyes of 162 million global TV viewers who tuned in to the event.
Only now can The Mail on Sunday reveal the mishap, with a royal stylist at the time admitting: ‘We got away with that one.’
However, Her Majesty is said to have been horrified to discover the split as she waved to the crowd from a carriage taking her back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey.
This newspaper reviewed photos from the day to reveal that the hole, a stitch fault on the middle finger of her left glove, was indeed clearly visible at first.
Former royal stylist Bernard Connolly has revealed that the late Queen Elizabeth II had a hole in her glove when she waved to the crowd at the wedding of Prince William and Kate in 2011. A close-up reveals a stitching flaw on the middle finger from the Queen’s left glove
But later pictures from the day in April 2011 reveal that the Queen must have noticed – and tactfully started covering it up with her right hand.
She was said to be less than amused that the lapse was not noticed by any of her 20 dressers, led by Angela Kelly.
Stylist Bernard Connolly, who worked for the Queen at the time, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘How it wasn’t written about then I’ll never know.
‘The Queen went out and waved to the world with a hole in her glove – can you imagine?
‘You don’t. You wouldn’t do it in a fashion show or in a photo shoot, and you certainly wouldn’t do it to a monarch.
“It wasn’t just any engagement, but the future King getting married.”
There was anger at the palace about it ‘even years’ afterwards, Mr Connolly added. ‘It was referred to internally as ‘Holegate’.’
And he said that when it wasn’t reported, “we thought, ‘We got away with that one’.”
Sock and awe: During His Majesty’s visit to a mosque in Brick Lane, East London, where he followed the Islamic custom of removing his shoes, a hole in his sock was clearly visible
This was the one occasion the Queen seemed to be really angry because no one noticed before she went outside.
Apparently she always kept an extra pair of gloves in her handbag for every engagement after that day.’
Mr. Speaking from his flat in Henley-on-Thames last week, Connolly, 58, a former stylist on Britain’s Next Top Model, recalled how the Queen always insisted on wearing the same pair of plain black shoes – even though they rarely the bright outfits prepared by Ms. Kelly and her team.
‘The Queen wore those bloody black shoes with everything. I hated it. But those black shoes were non-negotiable.’
One exception was the cream shoes she wore to William’s wedding to Connolly and said: ‘She looked amazing.’
Ms Kelly was one of the Queen’s closest confidants but her circumstances are said to have been significantly reduced since Her Majesty’s death with rumors that she has been given little work to do and has been ‘frozen out of the inner circle’.
Connolly, who also once dressed Princess Diana, would not be drawn on the rumour, but said: ‘It would be very sad if it were true because she has such a wealth of knowledge.
‘People like her – with that knowledge, that interest and that care – come around once in a blue moon.
‘Angela is still saddened by the death of the queen. You can see it in her face.’