All celebrities are scrutinized and always have been, but the members of the British royal family are watched, discussed, and judged with an intensity that's unmatched. (For example, it's believed that around two billion people around the world watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.) The royal family is an institution that's steeped in tradition and formality, and while it does evolve, it does so at a slow pace. Since clothing determines how we represent ourselves to the world, it's understandable that there's a lengthy set of wardrobe-related guidelines that the royal family must adhere to.
In the spirit of the royal family's newest member Markle (well, and Archie), we're highlighting some of the major wardrobe rules that she's going to have to get used to. Read on to see what they are via IRL examples on Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, Princess Eugenie, and Markle herself.
Can't Wear: Anything Low-Cut
While a turtleneck isn't required, modesty is the best policy in the royal family, so you won't find many (if any) cleavage-baring tops in their closets.
WHO: Princess Diana
Can't Wear: Flat Sandals
Kate Middleton very rarely wears open-toed shoes at all, but when she does, they always have a heel. When she wants to wear flats for a less-than-formal occasion, she sticks to ballet flats, boots, or white sneakers. That said, her most-worn shoe style is classic pumps.
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On Kate Middleton: Emilia Wickstead dress
Can't Wear: Bare Legs/Short Hemlines
While this tradition is said to be loosening up, royal family members usually wear stockings with dresses and skirts for formal occasions, and short hemlines are a no-go. (We fully expect Markle to ignore this "rule" on occasion, as she did for her and Harry's engagement photos.)
Can't Wear: Large Handbags to Events
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On Kate Middleton: Boden coat
Can't Wear: Fabrics That Wrinkle Easily
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On Princess Eugenie: Fiona Graham hat; Gainsbourg dress; M2Malletier bag; Valentino shoes
Available in sizes 14 to 24W.
Available in sizes 34 to 42.
Can't Wear: Black to Daytime Events
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On Meghan Markle: Carolina Herrera dress
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.