Everyone seems to be pretty much obsessed with the royal family’s everyday lives, that is no secret. We follow their every move, from the birth of Prince George to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s engagement announcement. There is a lot of responsibility that weighs on them, including what they wear. The secrets that the outsiders don’t know about are the royal family dress code. Yes, there actually is one. While most of the rules seem pretty much expected, some are just out-right strange. Here are our picks of the 10 most unusual rules the royal family follows for their dress code.
1. No Colorful Nail Polish
If you really pay close attention to the royal family, you would notice that Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, and now Meghan Markle are never seen wearing colored nail polish. They stick to neutral shades and subtle pinks because only natural-looking shades are allowed at royal events. In fact, the Queen has been wearing the Essie shade “Ballet Slippers” for 28 years! Middleton is a fan of the shade “Allure,” and Markle has yet to find her favorite neutral shade. I guess only time will tell!
2. Royal Wedding Dresses Need The Queen’s Stamp Of Approval
This fashion rule is a longstanding tradition for the royal family. The Queen had to approve of Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress back in 2011 and did the same for Meghan Markle’s gown this year. If the Queen didn’t approve, they would be well out of luck and would have to go hunt for a new one!
3. Clutches Are Used To Hide Cleavage And Avoid Hand Shaking
Anya Hindmarch, who was Princess Diana’s handbag designer, famously called her clutches “cleavage bags.”
“We used to laugh when we designed what she called her ‘cleavage bags,’ little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars,” Hindmarch said in an interview with Telegraph.
It isn’t the only secret use for the clutch. You often see Kate Middleton holding a clutch with both hands. Her reason is to avoid shaking hands with people. So smart! Markle has gotten some backlash for her array of handbags, such as a shoulder bag or bag with a handle. I’m sure now that Markle has all of these formal events now she will stick to the clutch because it seems that it is the only bag that is acceptable for a royal.
4. A Tradition Is Why The Queen Always Wears Hats
There is no denying that the Queen has a reputation for her marvelous hats. She not only wears them because she can pull about anything she puts on her head off, there is a reason behind it. It is a very old tradition for women to keep their hair covered as it was prohibited to show off their locks.
“Up until the 1950s, ladies were very seldom seen without a hat as it was not considered ‘the thing’ for ladies to show their hair in public,” Diana Mather from The English Manner etiquette consultancy told BBC. “But all that has changed, and hats are now reserved for more formal occasions.”
That rule is not in session now, as you can tell by Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton’s luscious locks shown to the public. The Queen still obeys this rule, but it’s okay because her hats are always a show on its own. When The Queen isn’t seen wearing a hat, she replaces it with a crown or headscarf. Bottom line, the Queen always keeps her hair covered!
5. Prince George Is Only Seen Wearing Shorts
Not only do the adults of the royal family have a dress code, the youngsters have some rules to follow too. Let’s take a look at Prince George for a second. Am I the only one that realizes he is always seen wearing shorts?! There is actually a reasoning behind this. Apparently, pants on young boys are considered “suburban,” whereas shorts are indicators of a higher class, said William Hanson, a British etiquette consultant.
Are you wondering when you will actually see Prince George rock a pair of trousers? Higher class boys start wearing pants when they are around eight years old. This rule comes from another rule in the 16th century allowing royal sons to only wear dresses and gowns until the age of eight. In the 20th century, the rule was amended to include shorts. Thank heavens for this amendment because I think every boy would have a tantrum if they had to be seen wearing a dress!
6. The Queen Only Wears Bright Colors To Stand Out
When Is Queen Elizabeth ever wearing a neutral shade? She not only wears bright colors because she can pull them off but she wants to differentiate from everyone else. It is very easy to spot the Queen from a mile away with the hues of colors she wears.
In the documentary, The Queen at 90, The Countess of Wessex Sophie said, “She needs to stand out for people to be able to say ‘I saw the Queen.’”
The Queen’s personal assistant, Angela Kelley, was the one who recommended the Queen to be seen only wearing bright colors to stand out from the crowd. After all, the Queen was once quoted, “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.”
Keep doing you, Queen.
7. They Can Rarely Wear Jeans
This rule has been toned down over the years, but the royal family is not allowed to be seen in jeans most of the time. The royal family does have a distinct code if they want to dress casually. Women are driven to wear day dresses or trousers with a jacket or cardigan, whereas men are advocated to wear chinos with a collared shirt or blazer. There are obviously special cases though.
“Many places will not allow jeans as they are still seen as very casual wear, so it is better to play safe for both sexes,” Mather told BBC. “But if the duchess is outside walking the dogs for example, then jeans are fine.”
8. Only Specific People Can Wear A Tiara
This comes to no shock, but tiaras are only worn for the most extravagant royal events. Moreover, tiaras are worn for the first time by brides. Kate Middleton actually borrowed Queen Elizabeth’s Cartier Halo tiara for her wedding to Prince William in 2011, and she’s even had the honor to wear Princess Diana’s tiara on few occasions.
According to Mather, crowns, tiaras, and the like are reserved for married women and members of the royal family. Harrold also said that the headpiece also communicates to single men that tiara-wearing women are off limits!
“For married ladies, it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband,” Harrold told BBC. “For the gentleman it was a clear sign not to make advances toward the lady in question.”
9. No Wedge Shoes In The Queen’s Sight
Kate Middleton has been a fan of wedges for quite some time, but the Queen will have to disagree with this trend.
“She really doesn’t like them, and it’s well-known among the women in the family,” a royal source told Vanity Fair.
Middleton still wears this type of shoe style in the public, but never in the presence of the Queen. I mean, who would ever disrespect that woman?
10. Pantyhose Isn’t Mandatory But Highly Advised
During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement, Markle was seen not wearing pantyhose! Markle is known to break some of the rules of a royal’s closet, so this fashion move was no surprise.
Even though this is technically not part of the royal dress code, it is definitely encouraged. The Queen, Kate Middleton and the late Princess Diana have been seen wearing pantyhose on many occasions. Markle does wear pantyhose from time to time, you just can’t tell because that’s how sheer it is!
Which fashion rule do you think is the most bizarre that the royals follow? Let us know in the comment section!