The Queen's Trick for Breaking in New Shoes

Who has time for royal blisters? Not Elizabeth!

Queen Elizabeth in 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's nothing fun about breaking in a new pair of shoes. Even the fanciest, nicest shoes in the world need to be worn a bit before the threat of pinched toes and blistered heels goes away. Which is why the Queen has a special trick for avoiding such unpleasantness. 

Or should we say, a special person. Namely: Angela Kelly, the Queen's longtime personal assistant, adviser, and curator (of her many jewels, insignias, and outfits). In her 2019 book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe, Kelly admitted that she has the arguably unglamorous honor of breaking in Elizabeth's shoes for her.

"The Queen has very little time to herself and no time to wear in her own shoes," explained Kelly in a quote brought to our attention by The Mirror. "And as we share the same shoe size it makes the most sense this way."

Imagine having your own shoe pre-wearer! Imagine a life without the pain, blood, bandages, and blisters felt by most of us when it comes to getting new shoes! Is there anybody out there who isn't at least a little bit jealous of the Queen right now? 

Of course, this isn't the only odd task Kelly has done for the Queen. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Kelly was one of the few people kept in Elizabeth's scaled-back staff "bubble," which required more of those involved. It was during this time—as referenced in the updated 2022 re-release of her book—Kelly was in charge of cutting Her Majesty's hair (which sounds like an incredibly stress-inducing to-do list item). 

Kelly began her career at Buckingham Palace over 28 years ago, starting out as the Queen's Senior Dresser before rising the ranks to become one of Her Majesty's closest confidantes. Queen Elizabeth also gave her blessing for Kelly to write and publish the book, an honor never before bestowed on a member of the staff. Looks like Kelly is a shoe-in for favorite staff member in more ways than one!

Alicia Lutes
Freelance Writer

Alicia Lutes is a freelance writer, essayist, journalist, humorist, and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. She has written extensively on culture, entertainment, the craft of comedy, and mental health. Her work has been featured in places such as Vulture, Playboy, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Rotten Tomatoes, Bustle, Longreads, and more. She was also the creator/former host of the web series Fangirling, and currently fosters every single dog she can.