Female members of the British royal family often make headlines for breaking so-called fashion rules, but according to royal fashion expert and journalist Elizabeth Holmes, many of these protocols are about respecting the Queen Elizabeth II, the way she dressed and the tone she set. with her fashion choices.
In her book, HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, Elizabeth said there are many royal fashion “rules” that are actually myths.
She said: “There’s this expectation about how they look with this need to be elegant but sensible, classy but frugal. It’s a very fine line that they walk.
While there are a few written style rules for members of the royal family, most of them are simply part of a “wider cultural insistence on sophisticated modesty, an expectation that they be composed and presentable to any time”.
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When Meghan Markle made her first public appearance following her marriage to Prince Harry, she wore a pair of nude tights with a very pale pink dress by Goat.
At the time, comments were made about the shade of her tights and that they weren’t true to her skin tone.
Kate, the Princess of Wales, meanwhile, sometimes swaps nude tights for transparent or opaque black tights.
Wearing pantyhose is an informal style tradition that the Queen has always followed. Royal expert Victoria Arbiter said the pantyhose rule is “the only strict and unwavering rule in terms of what the Queen demands”. But according to Elizabeth, there is no written rule about wearing tights – instead they are worn as a sign of respect for the Queen.
She explained: “Meghan didn’t wear bare stockings a lot, but when she and the Queen appeared together, she did. Kate leans into that kind of stuff a lot more than Meghan did.”
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Bare legs above the knee
Upon arriving on Fraser Island in Queensland for her 2018 royal tour of Australia with Prince Harry, Meghan wore a relaxed Reformation striped dress that included a thigh-high zipper on the left side.
Some social media users criticized Meghan’s choice of dress on the Kensington Palace Instagram page, calling her outfit “inappropriate”.
Elizabeth wrote that Meghan’s dress “made headlines with false claims that it breached royal protocol”, when in fact there is no formal rule that prohibits thigh-high slits . Instead, the Queen would have preferred skirts and dresses to be cut above the knee or just below the knee if a leg is to be shown.
Meghan isn’t the only royal to have worn a dress with a thigh-high slit, in 2016 Kate attended the premiere of A Street Cat Named Bob in a white Self-Portrait dress which had a thigh-high slit. thigh.
In 2012, Kate wore another dress with a thigh-high slit when she attended an event at the Thirty Club in a Roland Mouret dress. Princess Beatrice was also seen wearing dresses with thigh-high slits.
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Meghan’s first evening engagement to Prince Harry was in February 2018 and she wore a black Alexander McQueen suit.
Elizabeth said: ‘The black pantsuit got a lot of attention, and that’s because it’s something we haven’t seen from the Royal Family. He [sent] a very strong message that Meghan understood it was a job and was showing up for work.”
Throughout her time as a senior working royal, Meghan regularly wore smart pants, shirts or blouses and jackets.
In July 2018, during her visit to Ireland, she wore a Givenchy suit, then in September of the same year, she opted for a black Altuzarra suit for the WellChild Awards.
Princess Diana was a big fan of costumes, especially menswear, and in recent years Kate has worn costumes a lot more.
Neutral nail polish
Apparently, the Queen preferred royal women to be nude or wear subtle neutral nail polish. Since 1989, the late monarch is said to have always worn Essie’s “ballet slippers”, which Meghan also wore on her wedding day in May.
While many royals choose neutral, sheer or no nail polish, there are no written rules on what is allowed and what is not according to the expert.
“There’s a tendency for the Queen and Kate to wear very neutral or light shades of polish,” she told Insider.
Kate has worn police black nails on her toes several times, and when Princess Diana wore her famous “revenge dress” in 1994, she had bright red nail polish on.
Meghan also strayed from tradition when she stepped out at the 2018 Fashion Awards with dark nail polish on her fingers.
More recently, Sophie, Countess of Wessex chose metallic nail polish for the 2022 Royal Variety Performance.