The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer married in 1981. At this time, gloves were as usual an accessory as a hat for the royal family, but Diana never wore them because she wanted flesh to flesh contact. Now no longer necessary, the Queen still likes to wear gloves, particularly when she is expected to shake a lot of hands.

Facial hair

One year, Prince Harry showed up at the 2017 Remembrance Day parade in full officer’s uniform and a beard, which was considered to be against the rules, although Harry had left the forces at this time. The Queen does not like Harry’s hipster look, but he isn’t breaking any rules and since he’s had a beard since 2013, he is likely to keep his beard for his wedding.


Kate Middleton canada hat

A stylish hat can steal the limelight and one can only imagine how many hat boxes the Queen has since it’s tradition to wear a hat. In the UK up to the 1950s it was unusual for women to show their hair in public, and hats were the norm. Now hats are worn for more formal occasions, though the Queen always wears a hat.

Princess Diana stopped wearing a hat at every public event, since she believed it got in the way of her being able to cuddle a child. The Duchess of Cambridge uses hats to honour the country she is visiting, wearing a Maple Leaf hat on a visit to Canada. The Queen has worn some unusual hats too.

Bright colours

Queen Elizabeth wears bright colours at every royal engagement for a reason. The Queen is 163cm tall (5 foot 3 inches), so it helps be to bright so that she can be easy to spot, even in crowds that are 10 people deep.

No bare legs

Bare legs are not allowed, so Kate wears barely-there hosiery. What Kate wears, flies off the shelves, so the sales of sheer nude tights have soared since her engagement in 2010.

No short skirts

Megan Markle ripped jeans

The hemline on dresses or skirts should be on or below the knee. No mini skirts are allowed. Kate has managed keep to longer hemlines, though in June 2016 she stepped out at a National Service of Thanksgiving, which was part of the queen’s 90th birthday celebration, wearing a custom blue Catherine Walker coat dress complete with white lace appliqué that rested above the knee.

Meghan Markle is getting used to the new rules and it is unlikely that she’ll be seen in public again in ripped jeans, hot pants or a plunging neckline.


The rules about who can wear a tiara, and at what time those people can wear a tiara, are detailed in the royal rulebook. Tiaras are normally worn at formal events and since the old rule did not allow hats to be worn indoors after 18:00hrs (because that is when the ladies changed into evening dress) this is the time the tiaras and the family jewels would come out. Usually it is only married women who wear tiaras so the first tiara is worn on a wedding day at the earliest.

Boys in shorts

Boys in long trousers before the age of 8 mark themselves out as not being aristocratic or royal. It’s a class divide and has nothing to do with the weather. That’s why we saw George in shorts when he was visiting his baby brother Louis on his birth-day.

Nude nails

The Queen has been using the same brand of nail polish since 1989. Essie’s “Ballet Slippers” nail polish is less than GBP7 a bottle and is now a favourite brand for Kate. Since bright colours are not banned, Kate has sometimes displayed a bright red pedicure, but she’s not yet been seen in public with a daring bright manicure.

Clutch bags

Diana, Princess of Wales, used to travel with a clutch bag to help halt any awkward situations. She would use a clutch to cover her cleavage when getting out of a car. The queen uses hers to signal when she wishes to leave or be rescued from a particular situation/person. Kate holds her bag in front of her in both hands when shaking hands might be awkward.