Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Can’t Wear This in the Daytime Without Upsetting Queen Elizabeth

Life in the royal family might be full of power and privilege, but it also comes with a lot of rules and restrictions as well. One of the most interesting sets of rules are the ones that apply to clothing and style. Royal family members are expected to conduct themselves with absolute decorum at all times, and that expectation naturally extends to their fashion choices. Keep reading to learn what the rules for royal fashion are, and one particular guideline regarding jewelry.

Modesty is key for the royal family

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle | Karwai Tang/Getty Images

While the royal family has access to incredible wealth, traditionally, they style themselves in clothes that are a little more low-key. Reportedly, Queen Elizabeth II frowns on short dresses or skirts and it is preferred that all hemlines be cut no more than three or four inches above the knee.

Members of the public will rarely if ever, see royals wearing low-rise jeans or shorts, and if they ever do appear in public dressed so casually, it would be for a sporting event or during a very rare moment of leisure. Another thing that royal women avoid when choosing their outfits: cleavage. Excessively low-cut tops would be seen as very vulgar by members of the royal family.

The royals also tend towards monochromatic colors and simple patterns, with one glaring exception: Their matriarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is well-known for her love of neon outfits and bold hats. However, there is a real reason why the queen chooses to adorn herself in bright colors. Reportedly, the monarch is making sure that she can always be easily spotted in a large crowd. 

Handbags can signal secret messages

Accessories aren’t for decoration in the royal family. The queen has a large collection of handbags and clutches, and over the years, she has designed a clever communication system utilizing her handbags. Reportedly, the queen will use them as cues to her staff to help move meetings or conversations along. If the queen switches her handbag from one arm to the other, it is a cue to her staff members that she is ready to end the conversation.

The queen’s handbags also have the power to bring a boring dinner party to an end. It is said that if the queen places her handbag on the dinner table, it is a sign that she is ready for the meal to be over. Staffers then hurry to ensure that the meal is finalized within five minutes of the gesture.

Diamonds are frowned upon in the daytime

Handbags definitely aren’t the only accessory that carries a lot of power in the royal family. While Meghan Markle is no stranger to breaking some of the rules of royal fashion — including removing her coat or blazer in public on more than one occasion — there’s one particular style guideline that even Markle doesn’t often tinker with.

According to a recent report, Queen Elizabeth particularly dislikes it when any member of the royal family wears diamonds in public before 6 PM in the evening. An etiquette expert states that the rule is because the queen doesn’t want the royals to come across as overly flashy since, after all, they do have some pretty impressive diamonds in their collection.

Reportedly, the queen prefers that in the daytime and late afternoon hours, the ladies of the family, including Kate Middleton and Markle, adorn themselves with pearls, gemstones, or even metallics like solid gold or silver. Naturally, the rule excludes wedding rings, so there’s no danger of Duchess Meghan or Duchess Kate trading in their stunning rings for less-flashier models anytime soon.