Kate Middleton is well known for her distinct, polished, and truly regal fashion sense. Though, it turns out, some of her looks may not be by choice.
While traveling through Norway and Sweden, Middleton has been showing off her signature chic and literally buttoned-up style in an array of coats, including the black belted trench coat she wore to play hockey in Sweden, and a red and white houndstooth number she wore on the same trip. In fact, you rarely saw her without a coat on because, according to Harper’s Bazaar, it’s against royal protocol for her to take it off in public.
“Here’s something you might not have noticed,” the magazine wrote in 2017. “When Kate turns up to an event wearing a coat (or a coat-dress, as she so often does), she won’t ever take it off while she's there. Even though she is most definitely wearing a chic dress underneath, taking off a coat is apparently an unladylike action and probably disrupts her outfit choice.”
So there you have it, even if Kate becomes a sweaty mess she still won’t take her coat off because of an odd, old-fashioned rule. She’s certainly used to those fuddy-duddy guidelines, however, as she and the entire royal family have to abide by some pretty strange royal fashion decrees.
For example, Kate and the other women of the royal family will never be spotted wearing brightly-colored nail polish as it’s considered gauche. And you’ll never catch her or other royal women without nude pantyhose on at an event thrown by the Queen. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the Queen insists ladies always cover up, even with sheer pantyhose, before coming over.
And perhaps most famously, Kate, the Queen, and now even Meghan Markle are almost always seen carrying a small handbag or clutch. This is less of a royal protocol and more for their own protection. This way, the royals aren’t seen as rude if they don’t shake someone’s hand (as they need to carry their purse instead). Furthermore, the Queen reportedly uses her bag as a signal to her staff.
“If the Queen places her handbag on the table at dinner, it signals that she wants the event to end in the next five minutes,” the Telegraph reported. “If she puts her bag on the floor, it shows she’s not enjoying the conversation and wants to be rescued by her lady-in-waiting.”
While it’s hard to feel bad for a princess, it is kind of annoying to think about having to put on nude tights, a buttoned-up coat, and carry a clutch just to leave the house. So next time you’re feeling a little jealous think about the fact that you can wear sweatpants and you won’t be breaking any protocol for doing it.