the queen meeting justin trudeau

The Queen secretly shared her views through her clothes and accesories (Picture: Getty)

Never complain, never explain’ was the Queen’s famous motto.

The late monarch rarely talked about her feelings on public – and private – matters, but some believe she used her clothes and accessories to send subtle hints instead.

From sentimental brooches to poignant colour palettes, it seems the Queen made her thoughts known, without ever saying a thing.

So what secret messages did the Queen send over her 70-year-long reign? We take a look back as the nation marks a year since her passing.

Supporting the EU with a hat

Queen wearing a hat resembling the EU flag at the State Opening of Parliament in 2017

The Queen’s hat raised eyebrows (Picture: Carl Court/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2017, the Queen attended the State Opening of Parliament – just a year after the public voted to leave the EU.

In her speech – which was written by the government – the Queen explained how the country was preparing to get Brexit done, but her choice of outfit left many wondering whether she was a secret remainer.

Queen Elizabeth II Records Her Annual Christmas Broadcast wearing a brooch that looks similar to the EU ring of stars

Her brooch resembled the EU circle of stars (Picture: Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen opted for a blue outfit and a striking hat which appeared to resemble the EU flag.

And then, she seemed to double down on her European support during her Christmas Day address in December 2019, when she wore a round brooch, set with 12 diamonds, that looked like the EU flag’s circle of stars.

Trolling Trump?

The Queen wears a ruby tiara with Donald and Melania Trump

The rubies protect the wearer from evil (Picture: Alastair Grant/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and wife Melania spent three days in the UK in June 2019, during which they attended a state banquet with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

For the occasion, the Queen donned her Burmese ruby tiara – and Twitter was convinced she was throwing shade at the divisive President, who had been openly criticising Meghan Markle, the Queen’s granddaughter-in-law.

The rubies were gifted to Her Majesty by the Burmese people and are said to protect the wearer from evil…

A butterfly for Philip

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 01: (NOT FOR USE AFTER 30 April, 2022, without clearance from Buckingham Palace Press Office.) NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.) In this undated image provided by Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II records a video message that was broadcast to attendees during an evening reception to mark the opening day of the COP26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 2021 sees the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference will run from 31 October for two weeks, finishing on 12 November. It was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Buckingham Palace via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Was the butterfly brooch a tribute to Prince Philip? (Picture: Buckingham Palace via Getty)

A bout of illness meant the Queen was unable to attend Cop26, the climate change summit in Glasgow in October 2021, so she recorded an address instead.

For her message she opted for green dress – the colour of nature – and a diamond and ruby butterfly brooch, which was an engagement gift.

Not only was the animal brooch also fitting for a speech about the environment, but many have wondered whether it was a subtle message to Prince Philip, who had died just six months earlier.

The Queen sat in front of an image of her husband surrounded by the creatures, and many associate the appearance of butterflies as a symbol of life after death.

Flying the flag for Ukraine

Queen Elizabeth II Receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau At Windsor Castle, wearing a blue and yellow outfit

Did the Queen dress in Ukraine’s colours? (Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Queen met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Windsor Castle, who had come to the UK to discuss the conflict with Boris Johnson.

Photographs of Her Majesty with the Prime Minister show the pair greeting each other in front of a large bouquet of yellow and blue flowers – the colours of the Ukrainian flag. 

The Queen also wore a blue dress with yellow accents, suggesting she was showing her support for the invaded nation.

Uniting against Covid-19

The Queen sent a message of healing (Picture: Buckingham Palace/AFP via Getty Images)

In April 2020 the nation was coming to terms with being plunged into a lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Queen recorded a message for her public, during which she promised ‘we will meet again’.

For the occasion, she wore a turquoise and diamond brooch that belonged to her grandmother, Queen Mary. The stone is said to be one that promotes healing and love.

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