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The Royal family of Britain abides by a very specific and strict guide of style. And while it must be tough to always appear prim and proper. The Queen’s handful of sartorial rules have kept the family 60-plus years looking posh and avoiding potentially embarrassing faux pas. All these are in the (figurative) handbook!
Bright colors are a Queen’s Need
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She wants to be noticed, after all. Queen Elizabeth II has sported monochromatic fuchsia, lime green, and canary yellow outfits from her wardrobe throughout her reign, which boasts every (yes, every!) color of the rainbow. However, the uniform is quite sensible: she wants to guarantee that the crowd can see her.
Her daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex said, “She has to stand out for people to say, they saw the Queen.
Women must have hats
Royal etiquette requires one that women wear for all official events. It’s a stipulation dating back to the 1950s, a time when women started dissecting their hats when they went out in public.
The Queen insists on keeping the tradition alive, in particular informal engagements such as weddings and christenings. In fact, she seldom forgets a headpiece, often trading a hat for a headscarf or a crown.
Tiaras are like marriage rings
Yes, the family’s just married women get to donate the jewels. That’s because tiaras mean the status of a relationship — and let curious bachelors know if a woman’s off-limits.
“It indicates the crowning of love and the loss of innocence in marriage,” Geoffrey Munn, Tiara’s author: A History of Splendor.
Princess Diana was the last royal to adhere strictly to the traditional family jewels portion— she came from the aristocracy and wore Spencer tiara to her family at Prince Charles ‘ wedding in 1981. On her 2011 wedding day, Kate Middleton donned her first tiara, a piece of Cartier halo borrowed from the Queen’s collection.
Young Princes Wear no pants
Prince George’s closet contains no dinosaur sweatpants. Like his father, Prince William and his Uncle Harry, the four-year-old heir — he’s third in line to the throne — will only attend public events wearing smart shorts and never pants.
The tradition, in fact, dates back to the 16th century and breeching practice, or when a tot grew out of gowns and moved on to breeches, well. Adds Hanson, “The usual custom is that around 8 years old a boy graduated from pants.
Sure, they’re trendy. But gloves are also a safety measure that the Queen favors when she attends an official engagement that requires her to shake hands with many people. The accessory, which the royal glove maker says is almost always either black or white and made from cotton and nylon, prevents germs from spreading.
Princess Diana was a notable exception to the rule, preferring to actually hold the hands of those she met during public visits. For nothing, she has not been dubbed the princess of the people!
Always Have Black On-Hand Ensemble
You will seldom see a royal wearing black, but they are required to pack a full black outfit in case of an emergency while traveling outside the country. This means that if a family member dies, they will return to England properly dressed, as they will certainly be photographed when they leave the aircraft.
Still, black is considered a major faux pas outside of mourning. On Remembrance Day, you’ll only see the hue worn, a memorial observed for those who died in battle.
Royals Must Stay in Coats
Etiquette bars the female family members from publicly removing their outermost layer. Thay viewing it as an “unladylike action.” So, unfortunately, if the temperature suddenly spikes, Duchess Kate just has to sweat it out.
Nails should be as natural as possible.
Bright colors are only saved to the Queen’s wardrobe. The rules state that fingernails have to be a practical and natural shade, which means the royal manicurists favor pale pinks and clear polish. Indeed the Queen has been using the Essie shade ballet slippers faithfully since 1989.
However, Kate Middleton has found a loophole: The Duchess is daring to wear red on her toes.
Handbags Aren’t Just Only to Belonging
Queen sends out signals to her staff using her iconic Launer bags. For instance, she sets the purse on top of the table when she wants to leave dinner, letting her aides know how to wrap up in five minutes. Or, if she is in the middle of a sluggish conversation, she will put her bag on the floor, giving her lady-in-waiting a cue that she would like to be rescued.
Clutches Well In a Bind
Princess Diana relied on her custom clutches to shield her chest while stepping out of the cars to avoid an embarrassing slip up, thus keeping paparazzi from getting their money shot.
Duchess Kate uses hers as a net for safety. If she doesn’t want to shake hands while on a visit. She’ll hold her bag with both hands in front of her, seeming too busy to reach out. (The public may not touch a member of the royal family unless they make the first move).
Wedges Look down on
They aren’t completely banned. Vanity Fair wedged heels aren’t favored by the Queen. it’s well known among the family’s women.
Don’t Forget About Pantyhoses
No Bylaw expressly states that pantyhose is a must. But, it’s an unspoken rule that the Queen expects, and enforces, members of the female family and their guests to wear tights on all public outings.
That said, during her November Engagement photo call, newcomer and resident rule-breaker Meghan Markle skipped nude stockings. However, she learned her lesson quickly. The Suits actress slipped on a pair during the Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in March.
Hamlins Weigh Down
Otherwise a moment of Marilyn’s suffering. The Queen has small, lead-curtain weights sewn inside her hemlines in her custom dresses. Even though they weigh less than one ounce each, if there was to be a sudden wind rage, they keep their skirts from flying up.
As a fan of billowy dresses, after several stiff breezes threatened to show London (and probably France) a glimpse of her underpants, Kate Middleton has taken note of this tailored trick.
Military Uniforms are to the most formal events
Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, who has 24 honorary military appointments, was notable in wearing a military uniform for them. According to Slate, it’s thought that since Elizabeth I in 1588 she may be the first royal woman to publicly dress in military attire.
Prince William gave his red Colonel, Irish Guards uniform at his 2011 vows. He had been appointed to the position recently. However, he changed to a double-breasted tuxedo for the reception after the ceremony.
Using fashion while traveling abroad to complement hosts
The family will pay tribute to a country they visit while traveling by sporting the national color or by incorporating a meaningful emblem in their outfits. For example, while visiting Ireland the Queen was wearing jade green while Kate was wearing a maple leaf brooch and hat on trips to Canada.
Denim is not forbidden
It definitely is not a go-to piece in any royal wardrobe. Women in the family tend to favor skirts, cardigans, and blazers for more casual outings. While men take to polo or button-down shirts, and khaki pants. But the BBC consulted an etiquette expert who explained that jeans are a no-go most of the time, “but if, for example, the duchess is outside walking the dogs, then jeans are perfect.
Essentially, overdressing is better than underdressing, so denim tends to be just for private life.