Royal weddings in the United Kingdom are a piece of mass public fascination. The nation, and many others, become enthralled in the prospect of a commoner becoming a princess. Once someone enters the Windsor family, every single ensemble they step out in falls under the intense scrutiny of style-lovers everywhere. The relatively new duchesses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle find themselves splashed over the covers of fashion magazines on a regular basis, and Princess Diana was a fashion icon who could expect to be pictured in newspapers daily. With so much emphasis on their outfits, it is surprising to know how many restrictions the royals actually have on their wardrobe choices – and interesting to learn how the royals use their attire for a multitude of purposes.
- All wedding dresses need to be approved by the Queen.
The wedding dress is the most important dress of a woman’s life and usually it is entirely down to the preference of the bride-to-be, but if you decide to marry into the royal family, you have to wave that right. While the future princesses are involved in the design process, nothing goes down the aisle without the Queen Liz seal of approval. Talk about a controlling mother-in-law, eh?
- Say goodbye to colourful nails.
If you’re obsessed with having wild and wonderful acrylics put on every few weeks, perhaps the royal family isn’t for you. Only clear polish or neutral colours are allowed, that’s why you never see Kate Middleton rocking a neon pink stiletto nail. Queen Elizabeth has actually been sporting the same polish (Ballet Slippers by Essie) for a whopping twenty-eight years. What a commitment.
- Handbags aren’t just handbags.
You might find it odd that you rarely see a royal without a handbag, I usually wonder what could possibly be inside. A phone? Their keys to the palace? Surely not. The Queen actually uses her bag to give signals. If she puts her bag on the table at an event, it means she’d like to leave. Party’s over. If you happen to end up having a chat face to face with the Queen and she moves her bag from one arm to the other, you’ve probably bored her – this means she wants to wrap it up. Princess Diana used to carry a clutch bag just to cover up her cleavage as she got out of cars to prevent the paparazzi getting sneaky shots. Kate Middleton uses her clutch to avoid awkward handshakes at events. If the duchess doesn’t wish to shake hands with someone she’ll place both hands on the bag. Newest royal addition Meghan Markle has taken to wearing bags with shoulder straps, which is unusual among the royals who like to make their bags a multi-purpose piece of kit. Someone send Meghan the memo!
- The Queen needs to be bright and colourful.
You’ve probably noticed that for all major events the Queen is wearing an incredibly bright, intense coloured outfit. Lest we forget the neon green ensemble she sported at the most recent royal wedding. Her outfits are always so bright so she can be spotted in a crowd. Partly so the crowd can easily pick her out, but also for security purposes. As a practical safety measure, the queen steps out in the flashiest colours so that in an emergency she can be whisked away more easily.