You might think that being a member of the Royal Family has certain advantages like the power to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it. But think again. While we won’t deny that the Royal Family lives a luxurious life, there are some serious rules and a strict protocol that all Royals have to abide by. Including a Royal dress code that Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton have to follow whenever they’re in the public eye.
The Royal set of rules for dressing outline every fashion and beauty choice imaginable. The Duchess of Cambridge and her future sister-in-law Meghan, who is rumored to become the Duchess of Sussex once she marries Prince Harry on May 19, are expected to always dress for public events in a very specific manner. While many believe that holding a royal status entitles you to the ability to walk into your closet, choose the first gown and tiara you find, and be on your merry way, that just isn’t the case at all. Royal protocol is very fierce and reinforced by Queen Elizabeth herself who is a traditionalist–especially when it comes to fashion.
The Queen has an opinion on everything from summer shoe choices to nail polish hues and expects everyone to listen to them–as a queen should, of course. So, while being married to Prince Harry or Prince William sounds like a dream, there are a few less than glamours elements to being a Royal.
Six Crazy Rules From The Royal Dress Code That Kate and Meghan Have To Follow:
1. Tiara Rules
Every little girl who dreams of becoming a princess definitely has a tiara on the brain. However, the reality is not every royal gets to model a tiara. Who gets to wear the royal headpiece and who doesn't is a lot more complicated than you may think. First, tiaras are never to be worn during the day. Kate Middleton is allowed to borrow the crown jewels for an evening event, but that's only because she is already married to Prince William. As it turns out, tiaras are reserved only for married royal women, meaning you won’t see Meghan rocking one until after she and Harry have exchanged vows, according to The Mirror.
“For married ladies, it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband,” Etiquette Expert Grant Harold told the BBC. “For gentlemen, it was a clear sign not to make advances toward the lady in question.”
2. British Royal Must Wear High Necklines
The British royal women are sometimes compared to other monarchs in parts of Europe where stylish women like Queen Letizia and Princess Charlotte aren’t as shy about dressing in bold fashions. The reason for this difference has everything to do with Queen Elizabeth, who is following in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps. She insists that the women in her family retain a conservative style—lower hemlines, high necklines and all, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
The Queen loves a good power suit and is a huge fan of knee-length straight skirts and fabulous hats. Since Elizabeth calls the shots in her family, all of the other women, from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to Meghan Markle, are expected to follow suit.
3. No Bare Legs, Women Wear Pantyhose
It makes no difference that your skirt is long enough to retain an air of modesty, if you’re wearing a dress or skirt, Queen Elizabeth expects that you’ll also be sporting nude pantyhose beneath your outfit.
In her engagement appearance with Harry, Meghan caused a bit of a stir by ignoring the pantyhose rule. But, considering the fact that she isn’t an official member of the family yet, most let it slide. Of course, the day Meghan (alongside Kate, Harry, and William) made her first public appearance with the Queen, she was sure to wear her nude pantyhose under an elegant cream coat and matching beret.
4. Only Light Nail Polish Colors Are Allowed
You won’t spot Kate or Meghan wearing the latest vampy shades of nail polish because Queen Elizabeth is firm on her rule that all royal women must stick to light, neutral shades. In fact, the Queen and Kate share a love of at least one beauty product: Essie’s Ballet Slippers, a light pink-nude hue that the Queen has been faithfully wearing since 1989, according to People.
In a sweet non-coincidence, Meghan got her own Ballet Slippers mani before she appeared with Harry during their engagement announcement and it was the perfect color to show off her gorgeous engagement ring.
5. The Royals Must Always Pack A Black Dress
No matter where they’re traveling to, the Royal family is expected to pack at least one black dress with them. The bizarre reason--in case a family member of the Royal family dies while they’re away. Even though the chances of this happening are probably slim, a Royal has to be prepared to honor their family member no matter where they roam.
6. Absolutely No Wedge Sandals, Demands The Queen
Wedges are cute, summery, and a thousand times more comfortable than heels, but if you’re a Royal the Queen strictly forbids them to be worn around her. Queen Elizabeth reportedly hates wedge shoes with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. Kate Middleton, who is obviously a fan of the cork wedge shoe, occasionally rocks them to casual appearances on her own time, but you'll never catch anyone wearing them in front of the Queen.
For more royal family news, check out all of the details on Meghan Markle's wedding day tiara and what Meghan Markle's royal title will be after her wedding on SHEFinds.