Prince George seems to have a kind of uniform — shorts with dress shoes, socks, and a collared shirt. The go-to look is not only cute; it lets the little prince move around all while looking presentable, but it turns out comfort isn’t the only reason behind this uniform. Like with his mom Kate Middleton’s outfits, there’s always a meaning in the way the young royal dresses.
We were treated to several versions of his shorts and shirt combo during the royal tour of Poland and Germany, but we didn’t second guess it much. After all, it is summer! But etiquette expert William Hanson told The Daily Mail there’s a long-standing historical reason why we never see the toddler in pants. It dates back to a 16th century tradition where little boys aren’t graduated to pants until they’re a little older, in a process called “breeching.”
This practice is a marker of class for British nobility, and the fact that we’ve never seen him in pants is definitely no accident. “Not only does The Duchess of Cambridge have to worry about what she is wearing in public, but she has to dress her own children and find a balance between royal tradition and heritage and more proletariat customs, such as the ‘suburban’ habit of making young boys wear trousers,” Hanson told The Daily Mail.
Although it dates back centuries, noble families and even public schools (which, confusingly, are actually private schools in the UK) still follow the tradition. “British upper classes, and particularly royals, are especially keen to hold on to tradition, so this sartorial one will silently mark them out from ‘the rest’,” Hanson noted.
Fall might be around the corner, and it may never be that warm in the UK, but don’t expect to see Prince George in slacks any time soon. Hanson noted that, per tradition, boys start wearing trousers around the age of eight. As the prince just celebrated his fourth birthday, that means we can expect him to rock four more years of adorable shorts!
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(h/t InStyle; photos via John Stillwell, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Andrew Milligan, Andrew Matthews, Chris Jackson/Getty)