There are age-old guidelines that govern what members of the Royal Family should wear when attending official engagements, some of which can be identified when studying Meghan Markle’s shifting style since she became the Duchess of Sussex. But eagle-eyed royal watchers won’t have missed a particular item Meghan was holding on Monday (July 9) while attending Prince Louis’ christening, and that was a pair of olive-green gloves.
Though Meghan didn’t actually wear the gloves, she may have been carrying them to compliment her new ladylike fashion sense, which has evolved since entering the royal fold. They perfectly matched her Ralph Lauren dress, Manolo Blahnik pumps and Stephen Jones fascinator. But the new royal may have also been mirroring the Queen, who always wears gloves for health reasons.
Her Majesty is almost never caught without a pair of gloves on, and there’s an important practical reason for this: to limit the spread of germs. Her Majesty, charming as ever, loves greeting her fans and shaking their hands, but for these walkabouts she will don a simple pair of gloves – usually white or a dark hue to match her handbag. When meeting fewer individuals, while at Buckingham Palace, she typically skips the gloves.
Her glove-maker, Cornelia James, opened up to Reader’s Digest about the monarch’s preferences, saying: “When you’re the queen and you’re shaking hands, you don’t really want to show your arms … The glove goes a bit under her [sleeve], so you don’t actually see any arm,” she said, adding that each pair takes about 45 minutes to an hour to make. The designer makes gloves for other members of the Royal Family, too, and is known for crafting Princess Diana’s first pair. “Princess Diana never wore gloves for a long time, and my mother noticed she bit her nails … She said she should wear gloves. The next day we got a call from the palace … and Diana asked for gloves,” the designer revealed.
While royals are no longer required to wear gloves at black-tie events, there are some guidelines around wearing them should a royal choose to go this route. According to Bustle, members of the family may wear them while traveling to an event, when shaking hands, standing in a receiving line or dancing, but mustn’t wear them when eating. While the Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted many times wearing gloves, it appears to be only if the weather is cool, like when Meghan sported a pair while attending church services in Sandringham at Christmas.