Britain’s royal family is a centre piece on the world’s stage and while it’s a huge privilege to be part of this illustrious family unit, it comes with lots of rules, traditions, and guidelines that must be followed. In past years, these protocols were the lay of the land but in more modern times, ladies of the royal households have been bending these rules. Some monarchists are devoted to these protocols, but does it really matter if Meghan Markle wears black nail polish instead of royal-approved beige?
Keep reading for 8 fashion rules that the royal family must follow
Dresses and skirts should always be an appropriate length
According to Harper’s Bazaar, dresses and skirts worn by royal family members must be an appropriate length — no body-con mini dresses here. The hemlines should always be around knee-length, or close to, but they should never be more than three or four inches above the knee.
The Queen must formally approve your wedding dress
It’s a royal tradition that The Queen must formally approve all royal wedding dresses. Queen Elizabeth II approved Kate Middleton’s wedding dress when she married Prince William in 2011 and the same went for Meghan Markle when she wed Prince Harry in 2018.
Not just anyone can sport a tiara
Tiara’s are reserved for the fanciest of royal occasions and not just anyone can wear them. According to an article by Forbes, a tiara is usually worn for the first time by a bride, as they’re not allowed to be worn by single women and children.
Keep an eye on the queen’s bag if you want to know what she thinks of you
This might sound strange, but The Queen sends secret messages to her staff using, that’s right, her handbag. According to House Beautiful, if The Queen wants to leave dinner, she’ll simply set her bag on top of the table lets her aides know the party is ending shortly and she’s ready to depart. Royal historian Hugo Vickers told PEOPLE, “It would be very worrying if you were talking to the Queen and saw the handbag move from one hand to the other.” This is a signal that The Queen uses to indicate that she’s ready to wrap up her current conversation.
Royal women are expected to wear hats to formal occasions
For nearly every formal occasion, The Queen and other royal family members must wear hats. This isn’t a new rule either, it comes from an old English tradition that says women should keep their hair covered. “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,” said Diana Mather, a senior tutor for The English Manner etiquette consultancy, to BBC.
A black ensemble must be packed on every trip
This one’s a bit grim. In case a death in the royal family occurs while one member is abroad, a spare black outfit must be packed. That way when the travelling family member returns back to the U.K, they’ll be dressed appropriately. According to Harper’s Bazaar, this rule was put into place after King George VI’s death because The Queen (Princess Elizabeth at the time), didn’t bring black clothes with her and consequently had to wait an appropriate outfit to be delivered.
There’s a reason why prince george always wears shorts
Dressing young boys in shorts is a longstanding tradition among British royalty and aristocracy. British etiquette expert William Hanson in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK that they start wearing pants around 8 years old.
Coats shouldn’t be taken off in public
This one is interesting, but according to Stylecaster, there’s a reason why Kate Middleton doesn’t take her coat off in public, as it’s considered “unladylike.”
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