Countess of Wessex names Angelina Jolie as her fashion inspiration

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
The Countess of Wessex said she took inspiration from Angelina Jolie. (Royal Family/Getty)
The Countess of Wessex said she took inspiration from Angelina Jolie. (Royal Family/Getty)

The Countess of Wessex has revealed Angelina Jolie is one of her fashion icons – along with Queen Rania of Jordan.

Sophie chatted about her fashion inspirations during an online ceremony where she presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Priya Ahluwalia on Tuesday 23 February.

The 56-year-old, who is married to the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward, said her own style was developing and revealed she looked to a royal abroad for inspiration.

When asked whose style she admired, the countess said: "I think Angelina Jolie always looks amazing and Queen Rania of Jordan always looks stunning."

Answering the same question, The Telegraph reported Ahluwalia said: "I always love the Queen’s fashion, she is a fashion icon."

Asked about her own style, Sophie said: "It’s developed over time, I think it’s probably reasonably classic, but I like things with a bit of a twist."

The countess joined Priya Ahluwalia and Caroline Rish at the event on Tuesday 23 February. (BFC)
The countess joined Priya Ahluwalia and Caroline Rish at the event on Tuesday 23 February. (BFC)
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JUNE 19: Queen Rania of Jordan, Princess Sophie Duchess of Wessex and Queen Margarethe II of Denmark appear on the Lejonbacken Terrace after their wedding ceremony on June 19, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Queen Rania of Jordan, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Queen Margarethe II of Denmark on the Lejonbacken Terrace in Stockholm, Sweden. Sophie said Rania was a fashion inspiration. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

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Sophie wore a £595 Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress for the event, which featured cabaret dancers in an abstract scribble print.

The countess's confession came as she spoke to Ahluwalia and the British Fashion Council’s chief executive Caroline Rush in a Zoom webinar after presenting the award to the winner.

The Queen Elizabeth II award was set up in 2018 and it has become tradition for a senior royal woman to attend to give the award to its winner. Last year the event was attended by Princess Anne.

In the last year, Sophie has seen an increase in her public facing engagements, carrying out more and more high profile royal work.

During the webinar, Sophie said: "On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, I am honoured to announce the 2021 winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Priya Ahluwalia for Ahluwalia.

"Congratulations, it's so exciting."

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The countess wore a Victoria Beckham dress for the event. (Royal Family)
The countess wore a Victoria Beckham dress for the event. (Royal Family)

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Asked about how she felt, Ahluwalia said: "It’s lovely to be recognised for something you love doing."

The designer won the award for her menswear collection, which Sophie said she liked, adding: "I wish I was a man."

The Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design was created to recognise "the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy" and to praise designers for the difference they are making either through "sustainable practices or community engagement".

Ahluwalia was chosen because "her sustainably minded menswear collections, made of dead stock and repurposed locally sourced vintage materials, combine elements and influences from her Nigerian and Indian heritage, making her designs truly unique".

A statement about the win added: "She is a progressive thinking leader and agent for change who has used her platform to raise awareness around the challenges of the Black community, especially in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement."

Rush said: "We are delighted to announce Priya Ahluwalia as the fourth recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Ahluwalia’s unique and ethical design process combined with her ability and passion to give back to communities around London and the globe make her an inspiration for many young British designers.

"We are incredibly proud to recognise Priya and look forward to seeing her business grow.”

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