Literally everyone is doing it, so why not do it too? We're nothing if not interested in a trend.
Donatella Versace recently announced to an audience at Oxford University that the Queen is "rock and roll.. the most fashionable person". Harrods has commissioned 31 fashion and jewellery houses to create some of the most decadent crowns, dripping in jewels and precious gems. Not one to miss a chance to stick his tongue firmly in his cheek, Henry Holland has designed a pair of Union Jack tights for Pretty Polly and, even better, a tea towel.
Even Dame Vivienne Westwood, who designed the wardrobe for a band who once sailed down the Thames spitting out "God Save the Queen, She aint no human being," has created a beautiful capsule collection for the monarch's diamond jubilee, called the Red Carpet, featuring her favoured Union Jack prints and bustier tops and styles influenced by looks favoured by the Queen.
It's Ma'am as in ham, not ma'am as in palm
So in honour of HRH, this week's column is a lesson in how to dress like Elizabeth II. Forget the glamourous tans and jet set lifestyles of Her European counterparts, this is British royalty: there are short, squat dogs, neck scarves and tweed. This is an homage to the woman who can fix her own car when it breaks down, thanks very much. The woman who saved up war coupons to pay for the silk to make her wedding dress. A woman who has been shot at as she rode her horse down the street. (It was The Mall and they were blanks, but scary all the same.)
A grandmother. A matriarch. You could see her as the embodiment of a generation of strong women, staunch survivors who are the cornerstone of every family. We can all recognise this formidable grandmother figure can't we?
So, even if you're anti-royal or have little interest in the Queen of England, this week's shopping suggestions could be viewed as an homage to her generation of women, who wouldn't be without their rouge and their handbags. To those women who don't hold any truck with nonsense, have a steely resolve and match their bags with their shoes.
To business then.
Topshop's animal jacquard skirt has a great A-line shape and falls below the knee. It would be perfect with a print blouse, for which you should go straight to Gulou, where myriad vintage printed shirts are waiting to be paired with this skirt. The animal print is visible enough to keep it fresh, but not so bold as to hinder the styling, which means the lovely champagne tone will go with any print or colour.
Another option, believe it or not, is American Apparel. Yes, that mecca for spandex-clad, writhing and gyrating young girls has a few items that would certainly work for this look. Mix and match colours and polka dots and pair their mid-length circle skirt with one of their pussy bow blouses, RMB565 and RMB600 respectively. If you're a fan of her 70s style tinted shades, pick up a pair while you're there - they have a selection.
Gulou is a obvious destination if you're looking for vintage print dresses, blouses and scarves. Delia on Wudaoying Hutong also has a selection of vintage clothing. Polka dots, florals, prints and tartans - the Queen hasn't shied away from pattern over the past 60 years which means there's plenty to choose from.
Scarves in particular, whether worn round the neck, tied under the chin or wrapped turban style round one's head, are something of a trademark for Liz. Alight at Gulou's Mega Mega Vintage or, if your budget can stretch (much) further, Lane Crawford, where you'll find a selection of beautiful scarves in silk, chiffon and cashmere from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Franco Ferrari and Faliero Sarti.
Some Paul Smith Marcello tasselled loafers will certainly fit the mood. A bit dandy but not masculine, with a narrow shape and rounded toe, they'll relax up any look that threatens to be too prim. £340 + £30 delivery from paulsmith.co.uk.
Robert Clergerie's Varsc patent leather lace up platforms are another, slightly edgier choice with two blocks on the sole. If a brogue and a Japanese geta (a traditional clog) had a romance this shoe would be their love child. These can be found at Lane Crawford for RMB5300.
If you need a heel or want something more feminine, these grey suede courts with a bow from asos (RMB448.18) make for a more dainty option.
We shall have to mention the Queen's taste for yellow, leading us to Taiwan-based shoe company Heavy Machine. Though a 3.5 inch statement lacquered heel is probably something the Queen would eschew (ha ha), it turns an otherwise ladylike, reserved style into something slightly left of centre. Stocked at Fei Space for RMB2280.
If you're prepared to suffer for fashion, gloves have been a vital part of the Queen's wardrobe these many years and so should part of your look too. You can get a pair of white lace gloves from asos for a pinch at £6. asos Marketplace is also worth a look if you're after vintage. Markets around Beijing sell a variety of gloves if you're just looking for a cheapo pair to ham it up.
Hats. First a reminder: HRH is of the old school. That hat needs a brim, or at least must cover a sizable portion of the head. None of your pansy fascinators (read - hair clip with a couple of feathers) for this woman. When it comes to your headwear, you've got to commit. Beijing is sadly drowning in baseball caps (ugh) but there is some hope for those who want something beautiful to perch upon their heads. Milliner Elisabeth Koch is stocked in UCCA in 798 and Thaiv in Central Park, but can be contacted at her atelier should you wish to get something bespoke or made to measure.
If you want pearls, head to the pearl market (duh) in the south of Beijing, opposite the Temple of Heaven. Stop at Tiantan Dongmen on line 5.