The Royals can’t wear this… ǀ 10 rules all royal family members need to follow ǀ Justine Leconte


The members of the British royal family need to follow certain rules when getting dressed to appear in public. The royal fashion etiquette is strict: there are rules the royals have to follow because they are old traditions… while there are other style rules that are rather based on the queen’s personal preference. In this video, I discuss 10 rules the royal family follows, as well as the exceptions to the rules! I have research this topic but I am not an expert of the royal etiquette, so feel free to complete my points if you know more! Studying the codes of fashion in royal families is almost like studying fashion history. There is so much to learn there.

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Hi everyone, it’s Justine. Following a recent royal wedding that took
place in London, I got into royal fashion and into the dress code that the royal British
family goes by. I found some of these rules very intriguing,
and so I researched a bit further to see where those rules were actually coming from. I learned so much that today I want to share
with you ten rules that the Queen and her family apply whenever they make a public appearance. Let’s go. Rule #1. Bare legs or not bare legs? So it is true that women in the royal British
family are expected to cover their legs at all times, so it is very appreciated when
they wear dresses or skirts, it’s the taste of the Queen, but they can not go bare legs,
so they will wear tights underneath. Kate Middleton, for years now, has been consistently
wearing skin-color tights, even if they’re very thin, so that her skin is not bare. So when Meghan and Harry announced their engagement,
and Meghan was showing naked legs under her skirt, it was judged as being inappropriate
and it apparently was a faux-pas. Since then, she has also been wearing tights
at every public appearance. What is not true, however, is that the tights
have to have the color of your skin. It could be any other color as well. It’s just that Kate always goes with that
skin tone. Rule #2. The cleavage question. Wearing a cleavage is not appropriate, officially,
so the Queen never does it. Kate Middleton has been seen with many different
designs of necklines… square ones, boat ones, scoop ones, oval ones, but never a plunging
neckline because that’s off-limits. Exception: Princess Diana, especially with
evening gowns, would go like, typically drop shoulders, and then a heart shape that would
go deeper between the breasts, on the chest here, but in that case she would always, always,
always have a clutch with her, and she would hold that clutch right here. Literally, you see that on many, many pictures. Whenever she got off a car or had to lean
forward, to keep her modesty to some extent. So technically, cleavages are not welcome
in the royal British family. Rule #3. The Queen likes the female members of the
royal family to wear skirts and dresses rather than trousers, which are considered way too
casual, and not appropriate for a lady. But she also wants the hem of the skirt or
the dress to end below the knee. Not the knee. And hell, not shorter. So between below the knee and floor-length
is the authorized range. At the beginning of her relationship and of
her public life, Kate Middleton has been seen wearing shorter skirts. And she has a great figure. Wonderful legs. Why not? She has been reminded that this is not appropriate. And her hemline has been lengthened, and she
seems to stick to it since then. We’ll see how Meghan goes about that rule
now that she’s here too. Rule #4. Wearing black is only appropriate for funerals
if you’re a royal. And some very rare evening occasions, but
really, mostly for funerals. Each member of the royal family is expected
to carry a full black outfit with him, with her, when they’re traveling, at all times,
in case of a sudden death in the family and they have to come back to London for the funeral. The history behind this is that when the Queen’s
father died, she was traveling, she didn’t have anything black with her, and she didn’t
want to get off the plane when she came back to England, before somebody got a black outfit
delivered to her, so that she could change on the plane and get off wearing death-appropriate
black clothes. So now, that’s the rule. Royals don’t wear black but they always
carry a black outfit with them just in case. Rule #5. The headwear question. When you’re a normal woman, like me, you
sometimes get to wear a hat for a fancy summer wedding. When you’re a royal, it’s every day. And usually, you get unique, artistic pieces
designed for you to match your outfit. I think that’s one of the fun parts of royal
wardrobe; they have wonderful, wonderful hats. And this is a very longstanding tradition
in… among the aristocracy, not just in the royal family. Until the 1950s, so the generation of the
Queen, really, women were expected to cover their hair, when going out. They wouldn’t go with naked hair around
the city. It was not considered appropriate. So this is really just an old tradition that
has kept on living. Though, hats are ok during the day. Not at night. So for evening occasions, the young, unmarried
ladies will go with a nice hairstyle. The married ones, and only these ones, get
to wear a tiara, the princess crown. That also means, for all the gentlemen in
attendance, that each woman wearing a tiara is taken, and off limits, so it’s also a
smart code. Rule #6. Little boys wear shorts, not trousers. You probably noticed that Prince George, the
son of William and Kate, is always wearing those cute high socks and short pants, no
matter how freezing it is. It is cute, but it is also a very, very old
tradition among the aristocracy and the royal family. Since the sixteenth century, babies that were
high-born like that would wear dresses, no matter if they were boys or girls, until the
age of about eight. Since the nineteenth century, shorts have
been considered to be ok too, and added to the list of possible options. So little Prince George will be wearing shorts
for a couple more years really, until he’s allowed to wear trousers, no matter how freezing
England can get in winter. Trousers are considered to be for middle class,
suburban, regular little boys. Rule #7. Nails among female members of the royal family
should be kept natural-looking. And that means either no polish at all (you
see that on Kate Middleton very often), or transparent, or light pink. That’s it with your options. The Queen herself has been wearing Essie “Ballet
Slippers,” the reference, since 1989. This one reference. That’s it. Exception: Princess Diana has been seen wearing
bright shades of red. The Queen was apparently not amused at all. Rule #8. Do not take off your coat, no matter how hot
it gets. This is another very, very old tradition. Women in the past, would not get undressed
when they arrived somewhere. They would stay in the outfit they arrived
in. Kate respects that rule 100%. You will not see her taking off her jacket
at an official event. On the other hand, Meghan has been seen with
boat necklines, like this, bare shoulders, and the dress is only attached here on one
point. See this kind of look? She has great shoulders that she likes to
show off, so I’m very curious to see how her style will evolve, knowing that the Queen,
officially, doesn’t really like that. Rule #9. Always be photography-ready. When you’re a royal, as soon as you step
out of your house, you will be attacked by paparazzi and your photo will be taken. Have you noticed that they always look impeccable? They always look perfectly ironed and steamed. And nothing’s moving. Their clothes look perfect all the time. How is it possible? With their tailors, they always go for heavier
and stiffer fabrics, so you will not see them wear linen, because linen creases and folds
and it doesn’t react well after a day of being worn. So they will not wear linen; they will prefer
silks, heavier silks, or a mix of silk and wool, which is warm, and looks shiny and very
precious. Exceptions to that rule have been seen at
Princess Diana’s wedding, where her dress was visibly wrinkled, and that comes from
putting all that volume of dress into a car. Meghan has been seen with little wrinkles
on the… around the hips and around the waist, on her wedding dress too. And those two dresses were made by tailors
who were not the official tailors of the house. So maybe that is why. Other than that, on regular clothing for public
appearances, you’d never see a crease. Rule #10. The Queen has officially said she hates… And I quote her… She hates shoes with wedges. Typical sandals with slingback… A nice heel at the back. We also know that Kate loves wedges. So here a compromise has been found, indeed. Kate only wears wedges when the Queen is not
there. And you can check, go back and check on all
public pictures. There’s no exception to that rule. So I’m very interested in seeing how Meghan
will choose sides on that wedge question. Notice that my nails are dress-code compliant. Though they are gel nails, so I don’t know
if that would qualify. Thumbs up if you enjoyed this video. Thank you so much. You notice that some of these style rules
really are tradition driven, coming from past centuries, while other rules are more linked
to the Queen’s personal taste, but because she has been reigning for so long, her taste
has influenced generations after her, not just in her family but also throughout England,
and it’s interesting to see how when a royal wears something, whole England wants to buy
it too. It’s a very interesting phenomenon, and
it’s typical English, we don’t have this in France at all. Actually, it would be interesting to do a
video about the Queen’s style and the evolution over time, because it’s like, almost 100
years of fashion. Let me know if you would be interested in
a video like this and I can research and see what I can do. Until next week for a new video. I wish you a great Sunday. Take care. Bye.

22 thoughts on “The Royals can’t wear this… ǀ 10 rules all royal family members need to follow ǀ Justine Leconte”

  1. About shorts. I was also in Australia for boys to wear shorts. It was up to I think the 60s that boys wore shorts until 15 or 16 years of age or when they went to work

  2. It is interesting which of the rules (and personal preferences of the Queen) are not followed by the younger generation. The Queen (and Princess Anne, Camilla etc) pretty much all wear gloves for official engagements for eg but that tradition has died out for the younger generation since Diana (though Sarah Ferguson often wore them in her short time as a Duchess). I believe the Queen is said to dislike clutch handbags for day wear as much as wedges but that hasn't stopped the Duchess of Cambridge carrying them in her presence.

  3. Duchess of Cambridge at the Spanish state banquet- pleanty of cleavage! Als, check thequeen's wardrobe in the late 60's Plenty of skirts/dresses above the knee. Maybe more research before another video on this…

  4. When I was in primary school in the 1980s the boys in my class had to wear long socks and shorts, like Prince George. They weren’t allowed to wear trousers until they were at least 8 or 9, I think. And we girls had to wear pinafores until about the same age when skirts were allowed. We all had to wear blazers, even in summer. And my school wasn’t even a private school.

  5. My grandmother followed a lot of those rules! She was American but I wonder if she followed the royals. I do know she always looked like a royal herself. I only saw her wearing bluejeans & sneakers once in my life & it was when she was just coming back from a nature walk with friends. She always wore pink tint nail polish too. I don't wear nail polish & I keep my nails trimmed short, but only because I like to bake bread. No one wants to see neon blue eagle talons kneading a ball of dough yuck LOL!

  6. I actually really like that Royals keep some traditions. I get that certain things could be modernised, but many of these 'rules' are used in modern ways. Progress is great, but it is nice to keep certain culture and traditions, a connection to your roots, if you will. People may find it boring now, but if it disappears, most will regret it.

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