Kate Middleton raised eyebrows last week when she left her winter coat on during a lunch with Norwegian royals Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit. Though Norway is known for its subzero temperatures (Middleton did call the country “freezing“), there’s another, more surprising reason why she kept her coat on during the meal.
A photo of the gathering showed Middleton buttoned head-to-toe in a plum Dolce & Gabbana coat while her lunch mates, including her husband, Prince William, dressed more suitably for the indoors with lightweight sweaters and button-down shirts.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway for lunch 🇳🇴🇬🇧 #RoyalVisitNorway #princewilliam #duchessofcambridge #princehaakon #princessmettemarit #unitedkingdom #norway #europe #royal #norweiganroyals #englishroyals #europeanroyals
As most of you know, coats are not the easiest thing to maneuver in, so Middleton’s behavior sparked curiosity among fans who wondered why she didn’t take her jacket off. Turns out, it all boils down to the royal family dress code. According to OK!, British royal women aren’t allowed to take off their coats in public, as the act is deemed “unladylike.” (Yeah, we’re rolling our eyes, too.)
Though Middleton was in Haakon and Mette-Marit’s home, the meal was still considered a public engagement due to cameras being allowed in the space. This meant that Middleton was forbidden, per royal family tradition, from taking off her coat—no matter how warm the room might be.
The rule doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider how little Queen Elizabeth is seen without her vibrant coats. The royal family certainly isn’t known for the most progressive dress code (Prince George is only allowed to wear shorts because pants are considered “pedestrian”), so it’s not too shocking that the fear of appearing “unladylike” would play into Middleton’s outfits.
At least now we know Middleton isn’t just extremely cold whenever she keeps her coat on indoors.