Whether they’re splashed across magazines or on the news, the British royal family is perpetually in the public eye. Consequentially, each member is made to abide by a strict set of style rules to keep everyone looking prim and proper at all times.
Most rules are set by the Queen herself, but there’s more to these sartorial guidelines than avoiding tabloid-worthy wardrobe disasters.
In fact, some of these fashion rules are actually meant to serve other purposes, like how Queen Elizabeth uses purse signals to get out of conversations or events. Members of the royal family and their staff are trained to understand what these signals and style rules mean. So what are some other surprising fashion laws that the royal family — including the tradition-breaking Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle — must follow
- The Queen always has to wear bright colours.
In the 66 years that she has reigned as the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has hardly ever been spotted in monochrome colours or anything less than an electric pink or vivid yellow. More than just a fashion statement, this is to ensure maximum visibility for her even in the largest of crowds. In her biography, she was quoted as saying, “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.”
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- Pants aren’t allowed for young princes.
Anyone who’s followed the royal family over the past few years would be quick to notice how five-year-old Prince George of Cambridge has never been spotted wearing trousers. This is explained by one unspoken fashion rule prevalent among England’s elite: Trousers are for older boys and men, while little boys under eight years old must only wear shorts. It’s no coincidence that Prince George is always photographed wearing smart shorts — the status symbol for the high-class.
- No mini skirts allowed.
Kate Middleton, before she became the official Duchess of Cambridge, was a stark advocate of short skirts. However, as she settled into her new royalty role, the Queen required her to wear knee-length skirts. Fortunately, midi skirts can be flattering on any body type, as revealed by an article on Pretty Me. After all, there are a variety of styles, lengths, and prints to choose from, depending on what works best for you. And for Duchess Kate, making heads turn even in the most modest of hems is no problem.
- Clutches are multi-purpose.
For the women in the royal family, a purse is never just a purse. In the past, Princess Diana would rely on her clutches to cover her chest from nosy paparazzi as she stepped out of cars. Designer Anya Hindmarch, who used to design Diana’s favourite clutches, told The Telegraph, “We used to laugh when we designed what she called her ‘cleavage bags.
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Meanwhile, Duchess Kate is known to use her clutch to avoid awkward handshakes. Grasping them with both hands, she would hold the clutch in front of her. According to etiquette expert Myka Meier, this is a cautionary move, especially since the public is not allowed to touch any member of the royal family unless they make the first move.
- Dress in colours that complement host countries when visiting.
When travelling to other countries, the family pays homage to their host by dressing in the country’s colours or emblems. On trips to Ireland, for example, The Queen has been spotted sporting full-on jade green. Similarly, Kate has worn a maple leaf brooch during a visit to Canada.
- Gloves are essential.
British etiquette expert Grant Harrold has told BBC that “No self-respecting lady would be seen without gloves.” True enough, you’d be hard-pressed to catch the Queen’s hands bare in the open. Since a lot of hand-shaking is also in her job description, gloves also serve as protection from germs.
Article contributed by; Claire Weiss
Exclusively for theroyaluk.com
(Liked the article? Contact Claire Weiss at email@example.com)