All The Royal Fashion Rules Meghan Markle Will Have To Follow Now That She’s A Duchess

She'll never have another fun manicure in her life. Pour some out.

On Tuesday, Meghan Markle appeared at her first royal engagement after marrying Prince Harry – and while people loved her chic outfit, they did question the pale sheer tights she was wearing.

It was a big change for Megs, considering she wasn’t one for hosiery before her wedding – she did wear black opaque tights to a few post-engagement events, but aren’t we all partial to black opaque tights?

But royal protocol is more important than fashion, and now that Meghan is Duchess of Sussex, she has to follow all of these rules.

No coloured nail polish

Only natural-looking nails are permitted at official royal events – the Queen has reportedly been wearing Essie’s pale pink Ballet Slippers polish since 1989. This also seems to apply to lipstick, which is why you never see any of them with a good red lip.

No fun manis or lipsticks for Meghan EVER again! What a heavy price to pay for a life of endless luxury.

No bare legs

The royals are single-handedly keeping the makers of tan tights in business, because the Queen is not one for getting the legs out. Even when wearing midi-length dresses, the royal women are required to wear nude hosiery underneath. Yuck.

No short skirts

Of course. Hemlines should always be about knee-length, and never more than three or four inches above the knee. Kate Middleton apparently got an earful from the Queen about the length of her skirts in 2014, and was ordered to lengthen her hemlines ahead of her tour of Australia.

Absolutely no cleavage

This seems pretty obvious, but even the slightest hint of cleavage is strictly forbidden.

Diana, famous for bucking protocol at every opportunity, found a good way of getting around this: ‘cleavage bags’. Designer Anya Hindmarch made loads of them for Di, and said she came up with the name herself:

We used to laugh when we designed what she called her ‘cleavage bags’, little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars.

Handbags are more than just handbags

They’re cleavage-hiders, yes, but they’re also a way for the royals to maintain a respectful distance from us common folk.

You often see Kate holding her clutch in front of her with both hands to avoid protocol-breaking handshakes – and the Queen uses hers to signal to her staff that she’d like to end a conversation or leave an event. Drama!

No wedge heels

“What?” you might be thinking. “Sure Kate LOVES a wedge heel.” And she does, but you’ll never see her wearing them around the Queen. And why is that? Well, her Maj just doesn’t like them.

“The Queen isn’t a fan of wedged shoes,” a source told Vanity Fair. “She really doesn’t like them and it’s well known among the women in the family.” Be warned, Meghan.

No taking off your coat in public

It’s unladylike to undress in public – and ‘undressing’ includes taking off your coat. What if you’re absolutely sweatin’? *eyeroll*

And tiaras can only be worn by certain women


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Even if you’re a princess by birth, you can’t just wear a tiara whenever you like. They’re reserved for married women at formal events, according to an etiquette expert:

The old rule is that hats are never worn indoors after 6pm, because that is when the ladies changed into evening dress and tiaras and the family jewels would come out. Flashy diamonds and tiaras are not worn during the day, and only married ladies wear tiaras.

The more you know.


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