Mary Angela Kelly, LVO was born 4 November 1957 in Liverpool. She is a British fashion designer, dressmaker, and milliner, who has served as Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to Queen Elizabeth II since 2002.
The daughter of a Liverpool dock worker, she is responsible for the Queen’s clothes, jewellery, and insignia. She researches the venues for royal visits as well as the significance of different colors, in order to create appropriate outfits for the monarch.
Notable creations by Kelly include: the replica of the royal christening gown. The original, which had been commissioned by Queen Victoria for the christening of her first child, Victoria, Princess Royal, was retired in 2004 by Elizabeth II for conservation purposes. Kelly’s replica has been worn by royal babies for their christenings since 2008.
The Queen’s outfit for the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton; a primrose-yellow double crêpe wool coat and matching wool dress, with hand-sewn beading at the neck in the shape of sunrays.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s outfits for the wedding of Zara Phillips.
Kelly founded a fashion label, Kelly & Pordum, with Alison Pordum, who was also employed as the Queen’s in-house dressmaker until 2008.
In 2006, she was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO), and promoted to Lieutenant of the same Order (LVO) in 2012.
Angela has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty’s Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen.
In October 1992, Kelly was working as a housekeeper for the British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Christopher Mallaby, before she was hired by the royal household, The Telegraph reports. The Queen and Prince Philip visited Mallaby’s home during an official royal visit to Germany, and met Kelly by chance. Kelly mentioned that she was planning on returning to Britain, and the next year, she was offered a position as a dresser for the Queen. She supposed the Queen must have liked her and probably decided she was trustworthy and discreet.
She came from a humble background and she was raised in a modest household in Liverpool, where her parents, Thomas and Teresa Bradley, worked as a crane driver and a nurse.
Kelly was not formally trained in the fashion world, but her mother taught her how to sew and make clothes for her dolls. She left school as a young girl and never had any formal training, but she has risen to the top of her profession.
Kelly is an essential part of the Queen’s inner circle, and the two women have developed a friendship over the years. While Kelly still calls the Queen “Your Majesty,” she is one of the few non-family members who is allowed to touch the Queen. Kelly has also been called the monarch’s “gatekeeper” due to their close relationship. Kelly sees the Queen every day, frequently joins her on trips abroad, and lives on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Kelly maintains that the two have a surprisingly normal relationship. She says that they are two typical women who discuss clothes, make-up and jewelry.