A former royal staffer has revealed how the Queen selects her outfits, including that she doesn't actually see her full wardrobe.

Palace insider Paul Burrell has revealed where the monarch keeps her clothing and accessories, and that she chooses what to wear by looking at sketches of her floral, bright-coloured custom-made ensembles.

Green with envy! Queen Elizabeth, right, with her granddaughter-in-law, Meghan Markle. Photo / Getty Images
Green with envy! Queen Elizabeth, right, with her granddaughter-in-law, Meghan Markle. Photo / Getty Images

"The Queen has to have her outfits brought down to her, all her clothes are kept on the top floor," Burrell said in Yahoo UK's video series, The Royal Box.

Burrell had a front-row seat to Her Majesty's day-to-day life when he was her footman (aka personal assistant), before becoming Princess Diana's butler.

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"Her dresser will bring down two outfits in the morning, which are sketched with pieces of material clipped to them so that the Queen can remember whether it's silk or cotton or wool," he said.

Pretty in pink! Queen Elizabeth and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looking stylish at St Pancras station in 2012. Photo / Getty Images
Pretty in pink! Queen Elizabeth and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looking stylish at St Pancras station in 2012. Photo / Getty Images

"The one the Queen picks is the one which is brought downstairs from up above, so she doesn't actually see her wardrobe with clothes in it."

The Queen, 93, isn't scared to repeat outfits, as the New York Post notes, she is known for re-wearing custom-outfits made by her dressmaker Angela Kelly or royal couturier Stewart Parvin.

Golden girl! The Queen, pictured with son Prince Charles, dazzled in a metallic frock at her 2012 Jubilee concert. Photo / Getty Images
Golden girl! The Queen, pictured with son Prince Charles, dazzled in a metallic frock at her 2012 Jubilee concert. Photo / Getty Images

The Queen is also known to hand down items she no longer wears.

"The Queen's clothes are a constant source of comment in the media and she will wear a favourite outfit for years," according to the 2011 book Not in Front of the Corgis.

"When she finally tires of it, she will hand it to one of her dressers, who can either wear it or sell it."

The Queen has an extensive collection of floral frocks. Photo / Getty Images
The Queen has an extensive collection of floral frocks. Photo / Getty Images

This is a trait shared by her granddaughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, who is also known for re-wearing her designer outfits, including a hot pink Stella McCartney dress she had own for nearly a decade and rewore recently to Archie's christening.

For the "intimate" christening gathering, Kate took a thrifty approach, sporting a pink Stella McCartney dress with a bow neckline, teamed with a red headband and a pair of red pointy-toed heels.

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Kate first wore the knee-length dress in 2009 and has had it in her wardrobe for a decade.

The Queen wore this tailored skirt-suit - teamed with pears and a box-shaped bag - in 1970.
The Queen wore this tailored skirt-suit - teamed with pears and a box-shaped bag - in 1970.

Of course, this recycled outfit approach is a far cry from Meghan Markle, who has spent £800,000 ($A1.43 million) on her Givenchy and Burberry-clad designer wardrobe.