The reason Prince George is only seen wearing shorts

By Gemma Strong

Whenever Prince George steps out for an engagement, like on the royal tour of Canada, or poses for official photographs, there's one thing about the little royal that has long perplexed royal watchers: the fact that he only ever wears shorts.

According to an etiquette expert there is a very good reason for this - and it's nothing to do with fashion, but rather royal and aristocratic tradition.

TAP TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF GEORGE IN SHORTSPrince George pictured on the Canada royal tour

"It's a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts," William Hanson told Harper's Bazaar UK. "Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent class markers that we have in England.

"Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class – quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban. Even the Duchess of Cambridge."

Arriving with his mum in New Zealand in April 2014

The tradition can be traced back through the royal family, with both Princes William and Harry regularly seen wearing shorts until they were deemed old enough to progress to full-length trousers.

"The usual custom is that a boy graduates to trousers around eight-years-old," William added. "This is, historically, perhaps due to the practice of 'breeching', which dates back to the sixteenth century. A newborn boy would be dressed in a gown for their first year or two (these gowns have survived as the modern christening robe) and then he was 'breeched' and wore articles of clothing that more resembled shorts or trousers than dresses."

Pictured at his sister Princess Charlotte's christening in July 2015

Ultimately, he concluded, in the case of William and Kate, the decision to dress George in shorts in more likely down to tradition than a class issue.

"The modern habit of upper class families choosing to dress their boys in shorts will deliberately hark back to a bygone age," he said. "The British upper set are always keen to hold on to tradition, and this one also silently marks them out from 'the rest'."

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