Before Princess Diana was making puffy sleeves happen and Kate Middleton was perfecting the art of tiara-wearing, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth were fashionistas. And while Netflix's The Crown has given British monarchy nerds a glimpse into just how gorgeous Margaret and Elizabeth's clothing was, nothing beats the real royal deal.
Back when she was still a princess, Queen Elizabeth would ride horses at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, which her family used as a country retreat. The grounds feature a tiny cottage which was a gift to Elizabeth from the people of Wales.
Here's Princess Elizabeth chilling at Windsor Castle in the summer. Just your typical teenage girl, destined to be queen. #Same
In which then-Princesses Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret (left) twin in summer dresses. FYI, Margaret was one of the royal family's most fashionable members, but was clearly in a more conservative phase when this photo was taken.
Here, Queen Elizabeth (right) and her lil' sis, Princess Margaret, are twinning again as they take a leisurely bike ride around Windsor, England.
Before she was on that Corgi grind, Elizabeth (left) was a fan of lhasa apsos. And jaunty blazers, apparently.
Queen Elizabeth spent time as a Girl Guide when she was a teen (England's equivalent to a Girl Scout). Here she is chilling in uniform during summer '42. She was 16 at the time.
Behold, a corgi! This is Elizabeth's puppy Sue hanging on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Elizabeth lived here with her family during the war due to safety concerns.
Another look at the princesses (Margaret's on the right) during their time at Windsor castle. Hat game, strong.
That same year, the princesses (Elizabeth is on the left) dressed in their royal best for a pantomime show. They were actually known to have acted in these shows occasionally, and at one point dressed up as Cinderella and Prince Florizel.
Just catching up on some stamp collecting, you know how it is. (FYI, Elizabeth was 20 when this photo was taken—she'd become Queen six years later.)
Taken around the same time, this lovely photo shows Elizabeth (left) and Margaret lounging around the gardens of the aptly-named Royal Lodge.
Duh, they had a pool.
This adorable picture was taken in Buckingham Palace, and features Elizabeth celebrating her engagement to Prince Phillip. The moment was captured in The Crown's first episode.
Elizabeth and Margaret were extremely well educated. Here, the future Queen watches her sister play some casual Brahms in Buckingham Palace's school room.
A young Elizabeth sits at her desk in Buckingham Palace, possibly studying up on how to be a Queen.
In an unusually candid image, Elizabeth (right) and Margaret enjoy a steam engine ride in South Africa.
TFW you flash-forward one year and suddenly BOOM, style is being served.
In the late '40s, Margaret started wearing Christian Dior's "New Look," featuring gorgeously full skirts and a tightly cinched waist.
Suddenly Princess Margaret started looking exactly like Natalie Portman.
And she started serving up lace goals.
Not to mention beauty goals.
As you might have guessed based on this outfit, Margaret reached peak icon in the '50s.
In 1953, Margaret's sartorial influence was making *actual* news. To quote an article in The Picture Post, "what she wears is News. It is seen by thousands of women in person, hundreds of thousands on news reels, millions who read the newspapers and magazines."
Meanwhile the London Illustrated said "The Princess…rapidly established herself as a leader of fashion. The 'Margaret look' came to mean simple elegance for the younger set." So in case you're wondering why The Crown's costume budget was so $$$, it's all this gal.
And sure, Elizabeth's style is slightly more modest,but don't get it twisted—HRH still looked amazing.
The new monarch attends a garden party in Sydney, Australia wearing a modest white, lace dress with gloves. Elizabeth had only been the Queen for two years in 1954.
The Queen casually sitting pretty, watching the Royal Windsor Polo Tournament at Smith's Lawn, Windsor Great Park.
A portrait of Princess Margaret, taken at her older sister, Queen Elizabeth's, birthday. It's like a photo booth, but more professional because, royalty. Her Majesty turned 30 years old in 1956.
Here's Princess Margaret at the Opera House in London wearing an elegant gown and white and fur wrap. This is the same year she married Anthony Armstrong-Jones (pictured behind her).
Newlywed Princess Margaret waves to the crowd as she rides off with her new hubby Anthony Armstrong-Jones for their honeymoon.