What People Get Wrong About Royal Style Protocols

The royal family has a tradition of rules and protocols. Anyone who’s seen the Princess Diaries got a taste of what it’s like for folks suddenly entering royal spheres. Movies aren’t real life though, and there are a few fundamental rules most don’t know about. Here’s what you should keep in mind should you join the family of Queen Elizabeth.

No-Nos And Suggestions

When folks imagine what princesses should wear, they may think of nude pantyhose and knee-length dresses. Just because that’s how Elizabeth and Kate Middleton dress does not mean it’s an official rule. Tights are a common sight, but it’s not a rule that they must be worn.

Elizabeth Holmes, (the fashion journalist, not the disgraced former CEO), wrote a book on royal style. She told Insider, “There’s this expectation on how they look with this need to be stylish but sensible, fancy but frugal. It’s a very fine line that they are walking.” There aren’t that many formal rules, but that doesn’t mean society doesn’t have expectations. Perhaps this is why someone like Meghan Markle, typically tight-less, wears pantyhose in the presence of her majesty.

Daring And Undaring Are Okay

Middleton is known for wearing dresses with a slit up the leg. Markle wore them too and faced far more criticism for it. There’s nothing against the rules regarding a bit of leg, just as there’s nothing in the rules against pantsuits: Princess Diana would rock menswear from time to time. Reportedly, Elizabeth just isn’t a big fan.

Nail polish is an interesting category as well. Holmes says, “There is a tendency on behalf of the Queen and Kate to wear very neutral or clear polish shades.” Both Markle and Diana have been known to wear bolder colors on their nails. This is yet another place where it’s more down to Elizabeth’s preferences than any official decree.

A Few Traditions

While proper rules can be hard to find, there are certainly some royal traditions still alive today. Royal boys are expected to wear shorts. This dates back to the 16th century, and Prince George carries it on today. Another tradition is that only married women are allowed to wear a crown; it’s like a glitzier wedding ring.

Fashion in the royal family is a mixture of traditions, trends, and whatever Elizabeth likes. This reflects the royal family in the 21st century to a T. One can’t help but wonder what the next generation will bring to the table style-wise.

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