In October 1988 the Queen paid a state visit to Spain. Alighting from the aircraft in a blue and white silk dress and matching coat, she was greeted warmly by King Juan Carlos, who announced: “Darling, you look wonderful.”

With those four words Karl-Ludwig Rehse’s career was made. He was chosen to be one of Her Majesty’s three private couturiers, picking out materials and designing outfits for her for the next three decades.

Start your free trial to read the full story

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.