Every Time Kate Middleton Broke Royal Protocol With Her Look

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Though Meghan Markle often bears the brunt of scrutiny when it comes to royals disobeying traditional rules of dress, Kate Middleton is certainly not exempt from all boundary-pushing. The Duchess has paid particular attention to hemlines, clutches, nude fingernails, and conservative silhouettes. But, that said, Kate Middleton breaks royal protocol with her looks as well, and has been known to throw in some more modern twists throughout the years. In fact, the young royal has taken the most staunch of royal protocol guidelines when it comes to her wardrobe and brought them into the 21stcentury.

Some broken rules, like choosing black tights over nude ones, are seemingly simple. Others, like choosing a wedge heel on many an occasion — despite the Queen’s reported dislike of the shoe style — tends to be a bit more blatant, rebellious and bold. That said, no mini skirts seem to be in the cards for Middleton anytime soon.

She is a global style icon, to be sure, and she is simply following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana when it comes to making her public wardrobe her own. Ahead, find six times Middleton perhaps ignored formal royal protocol with her outfits.

September 10, 2019: “Back to Nature” Festival

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Middleton has reportedly been advised against wearing wedge heels, as Queen Elizabeth II is not a fan, but she continues to style them into her looks on a regular basis.

March 28, 2019: Visit to the Scout’s Early Years Pilot at Gilwell Park

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Though Middleton slips into a cocktail dress or ballgown effortlessly, she’s also been known to wear a more casual denim styling for official events as well.

November 8, 2017: Place2Be School Leaders Forum

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While Middleton did wear a pair of tights on this particular occasion, her choice of black instead of nude was seen by many to have been against royal protocol. While there is nothing officially written about the color of a royal’s pantyhose, it’s more traditional to have gone with a sheer skin tone.

July 19, 2017: Royal Visit to Germany

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Off-the-shoulder silhouettes are generally frowned-upon, despite Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic evening gowns in her youth. Regardless, while in Poland in 2017, Middleton chose a bright red maxi dress that boasted the shoulder-baring style.

July 18, 2017: Royal Visit to Germany

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This particular rule has actually been broken by Middleton on the regular. While royals are generally required to have nude or pale polish on their nails, Middleton has been rocking bright red toe polish throughout her entire tenure as part of the family. Perhaps not as conspicuous as her hands, which are always nude, she indulges all the same.

April 20, 2014: Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia


Though Middleton is never seen in a true mini dress, her choice of above-the-knee dresses and skirts turn the heads of the traditionalists.