Carrie Johnson posted a photo of the handwritten memo on the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death
On the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death on Friday, Boris Johnson's wife, Carrie Johnson, posted an Instagram tribute showing a tip she received during a previous stay at the royal family’s cherished residence in the Scottish Highlands. Queen Elizabeth traditionally retreated to Balmoral Castle for a private vacation each summer, where family and friends convened together — with prime ministers invited too!
In a handwritten note printed on Balmoral letterhead, the undated message read, “Ma’am, Her Majesty will be wearing an ice blue cocktail dress for dinner this evening.”
Giving more background in the caption, Carrie wrote, “Kept this note that was left on my pillow when we stayed at Balmoral. How lucky I feel to have got to meet and speak with her a little. We were so lucky she was our Queen.”
Boris served as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2019 to 2022 and was the 14th prime minister of Queen Elizabeth's historic 70-year reign. The former mayor of London reminisced on his relationship with the late sovereign in a Sept. 1 essay for the Daily Mail — and shed more light on the style guidance!
"All of her PMs have had the surreal experience of going to Balmoral, and watching Britain's longest-serving monarch as she prepares her special vinaigrette," he wrote. "We have accepted from her hand the sausages barbecued by [Prince Philip] the Duke of Edinburgh and tried to help her pack it all away in her special Tupperware boxes. I expect every PM has been pretty nervous on arrival."
"The first evening, we found a note on the bed for Carrie,” he continued. “'Ma'am,' it said helpfully, 'Her Majesty will be wearing an ice-blue cocktail dress for dinner this evening.' I don't think Carrie had packed anything like an ice blue cocktail dress, but it was a useful piece of information,” Boris joked about what his wife packed for the Balmoral getaway, where outdoor sports, hikes and picnics reign supreme.
Queen Elizabeth's trusted aide and friend Angela Kelly previously discussed why the monarch's clothing choice was shared with other guests in her book, The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.
"Once Her Majesty has chosen her dress for dinner, a handwritten notice is pinned up in the Dressers' Corridor detailing what she will be wearing, so that The Queen's ladies' maids can select an appropriate dress for the lady they are looking after," she wrote. "When it comes to the Royal Family, it doesn't matter if they wear the same colour as The Queen because they are family, and sometimes the ladies will wear cocktail dresses even though The Queen might be wearing a long one."
She continued, "Other guests, though, feel they shouldn't be in the same colour as Her Majesty, although The Queen would not mind if this did happen."
Queen Elizabeth often wore bright colors to pubic engagements in order to pop in the crowd, a fashion lesson picked up by her granddaughter-in-law Kate Middleton.
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On Sept. 6, 2022, Carrie accompanied Boris to Balmoral Castle for a formal farewell from his premier post. The position passed to Liz Truss, who historically became the first prime minister appointed in Scotland instead of England. At the time, a source told PEOPLE the decision was made to host the audience at Balmoral to provide certainty for schedules amid the Queen's ongoing mobility issues.
While the Johnsons were photographed shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth’s Equerry Lieutenant Colonel Tom White as they arrived for Boris’ audience at the castle, no photos of him with the Queen on Sept. 6 were released to the public. Days after her death, he told the BBC that she was “bright and focused” during what proved to be their final meeting.
"Given how ill she obviously was, how amazing it was that she be so bright and focused. It was a pretty emotional time," the former Conservative Party head said.
On Sept. 7, 2022, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would not preside over a scheduled Privy Council meeting so she could rest.
The Johnsons went on to attend her state funeral and King Charles’ coronation in May.
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