Published On: Tue, Jun 2nd, 2020

Queen wears white gloves in lockdown riding pictures – this is why

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The Queen has been seen for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began, in new photographs showing her riding one of her ponies. The 94-year-old has reportedly been riding daily during lockdown in Windsor Home Park, where she is isolating with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, 98. The Queen was wearing her signature white gloves for the ride – but there’s a reason that she wears them in public. 

The Queen looked in good spirits as she rode around the manicured lawn, in pictures taken from a safe distance by a PA Media photographer. 

As she smiled in the pictures, the Queen was wearing jodhpurs, a green tweed jacket and a colourful pink headscarf. 

The royal also wore white gloves as she held onto the harness of Fern, a 14-year-old Fell Pony. 

But while the coronavirus pandemic may mean more Britons are now wearing gloves for protection, the Queen has been wearing her white gloves for years. 

READ MORE: Queen heartbreak as monarch’s ‘favourite horse’ died exposed

It means they can spend two weeks at home, followed by a third week in quarantine in order to be sure they’re safe to go back to the royal residence – and they are tested before they go back to work. 

It’s likely the Queen is wearing her gloves partly for protection from the virus, but also for the professional photographs that were released as it was her first public appearance since the lockdown. 

The Queen never wears synthetic or leather gloves, instead choosing comfortable cotton – and they are specially made for her by one company. 

Cornelia James first made a pair of the signature gloves for Queen Elizabeth II’s honeymoon in 1947.

The company received a Royal Warrant in 1979 to be the official glove manufacturer to the Queen, and has been ever since.

Genevieve James, creative director and daughter of the founder, told Reader’s Digest that the Queen carries multiple pairs with her so that they never look dirty. 

The royal is also very economical with the gloves, washing and repairing them rather than throwing them away – and they cost £110 per pair. 

The Queen will order three dozen pairs for the year rather than buying them every so often. 


The gloves are typically from the  Francesca or Regina collection, and are also a special length. 

The custom-made gloves stretch five inches from the base of the thumb up the arm, so that her arms are never on show and they can be tucked into her coat or jacket. 

They used to be made of brushed cotton, but in more recent years the company has used a lighter Swiss cotton jersey fabric. 

James also told Reader’s Digest that Princess Anne is a customer – and she even referred Princess Diana to their service for a different reason. 

“Princess Diana never wore gloves for a long time, and my mother noticed she bit her nails,” said James. “She said she should wear gloves. The next day we got a call from the palace … and Diana asked for gloves.” 

It’s thought the company has since made between 60 and 70 pairs of gloves for the Queen. 

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