The rules behind British Royals wearing nail polish

There are many rules, procedures, and standards to adhere to when you are a member of the British Royal Family, but where does the use of nail polish fit into them?
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From how to greet others of rank, to what to eat and when, there’s a whole host of rules for members of the British Royal Family to adhere to.

As image is paramount for the monarchy, the importance of appearance is emphasised to royals to ensure they are dressed and groomed to a high standard at all times.

This means every little detail of a family member’s look is scrutinised – down to something as seemingly insignificant as nails.

While there has been previous reporting that the late Queen Elizabeth had a royal protocol when it came to nail polish -the reality is, most royal ladies have forgone the standard ‘neutral’ tones on occasion, with Catherine, Princess of Wales’, featuring red nails in her latest appearance, which came as a surprise to some royal watchers.

Princess Catherine was spotted with bright red nails when attending the Easter Sunday service.

(Credit: (Images: Getty))

The Princess of Wales’ dark red nails were a far cry from the neutral or clear shades she typically wears for public appearances.

Whilst the Princess didn’t break any rules as such, the stand-out hue could be considered as poor etiquette, as William Hanson, an expert in royal etiquette, told The Sun that ‘hot red and bright pink, for example, are not correct, especially for official occasions and particularly during mourning’.

He said that more acceptable colours for the nails included ‘translucent or dusky pink’.

These colours were favoured by the late Queen, as her preferred look was a sheer and neutral tone, with the favourite brand and shade that she regularly donned being revealed as Essie’s ‘ballet slippers’.

The late Queen Elizabeth’s nail polish of choice was Essie’s Ballet Slippers – buy here for $15.99 from Adore.

(Credit: (Images: Getty/Essie))

This information comes from the Essie website, which states that “Queen Elizabeth’s hairdresser sends essie [brand founder Essie Weingarten] a letter requesting ballet slippers – the only color Her Majesty would wear.”

Ballet Slippers is a sheer pale pink, and tended to complement many of the bold and colourful outfits that the late monarch wore.

Essie is obviously a royal family favourite, as reported on the nail polish brand’s website, it was the brand “chosen by Princess Catherine Middleton on the day of her marriage.”

Prince Harry’s wife, Duchess Meghan, caused a stir in 2018 when she attended the British Fashion Awards with darkly-coloured nails.

Royal insiders claimed at the time that the Queen had found the shade to be ‘vulgar’.

The dark nail polish that Meghan Markle wore in 2018 was criticised.

(Credit: (Image: Getty))

But Meghan and Catherine aren’t the only royal family members that will show off a more striking colour on their nails, as Princess Eugenie has been spotted sporting nail art and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, has worn everything from pretty pinks to modern taupes – though there’s never a chip in sight, of course!

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