A hole lot of trouble! After the shock of King Charles’s shabby sock, CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS remembers how a torn glove on Prince William’s wedding day left the late Queen furious
- Late Queen had a gaping hole in her glove at Prince William’s wedding in 2011
- It was referred to thereafter internally as ‘Holegate’ and left the Queen ‘furious’
- She kept an extra pair of gloves in her handbag for every engagement after that
King Charles might 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 have suffered a wardrobe malfunction.
However, when the late Queen attended Prince William’s wedding with a gaping hole in her glove, it entirely escaped the world’s notice – despite the eyes of 162 million global TV viewers focused on the event.
Only now can The Mail on Sunday reveal the mishap, with a Royal stylist of the time admitting: ‘We got away with that one.’
Her Majesty, however, is said to have been mortified to discover the split as she waved to the crowds from a carriage transporting her back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey.
This newspaper has reviewed pictures from the day to reveal that the hole, a stitching error on the middle finger of her left glove, was indeed initially in plain sight.
Former royal stylist Bernard Connolly has revealed the late Queen Elizabeth II had a hole in her glove as she waved to the crowds at the wedding of Prince William and Kate in 2011
A close-up reveals there was a stitching error on the middle finger of the Queen’s left glove
But later photographs from the day in April 2011 reveal that the Queen must have noticed – and had begun tactfully covering it up with her right hand.
She is said to have been less than amused that the lapse was not spotted by any of her 20 dressers, led by Angela Kelly.
Stylist Bernard Connolly, who was working for the Queen at the time, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘How it wasn’t written about at the time, I will never know.
‘The Queen went out and waved to the world with a hole in her glove – can you imagine?
‘You don’t do that. 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 was not just any engagement, but the future King getting married.’
There was fury 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
It was the one occasion the Queen was apparently really angry that no one had spotted it before she went outside.
Apparently, she always kept ‘an extra pair of gloves in her handbag for every engagement after that day.’
Speaking from his flat in Henley-on-Thames last week, Mr Connolly, 58, a former stylist on Britain’s Next Top Model, also recalled how the Queen always insisted on wearing the same pair of plain black shoes – even though they rarely matched 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 with Connolly, saying: ‘She looked marvellous.’
Ms Kelly was one of the Queen’s closest confidantes, but her circumstances are said to have be greatly reduced since Her Majesty’s death with rumours that she has been given little work to do and 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 was true because she’s got 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 heartbroken by the death of the Queen. You can see it in her face.’