Think of the royal family and tattoos aren't necessarily what springs to mind. The distinguished clan have a strict protocol when it comes to appearance, from makeup and jewellery to nail polish colour and even the shade of their tights. So it comes as a huge surprise when royals show off an inking, be it permanent or temporary. Lady Amelia Windsor has several tattoos on her ribcage, left hand, and wrists, and Princess Sofia famously showed off the sun tattoo between her shoulder blades on her wedding day. Even duchesses Kate, Meghan and Camilla have experimented with body art in the past.
Tattoos actually have a long history within the royal family. One of the first royals that we know of to have a little body art is King Edward VII. Back in 1862, he had a Jerusalem Cross tattooed on his arm during a visit to the Holy Land and twenty years later, in 1882, King George V was tattooed during his trip to Japan.
Today, despite usually covering them up well, the royals continue to be partial to a little motif. Here’s who's been tempted by tattoos…
Lady Amelia Windsor
Something of an it-girl, Lady Amelia Windsor is the granddaughter of the Queen's cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and isn’t shy of expressing her personal style. Inked in more places than one, the stylish royal showed off her rib-cage tattoo while attending the Serpentine Summer Party. She also has tattoos on each of her wrists and a tiger on her left-hand shoulder blade.
Duchess of Cornwall
Yes, it's Camilla with a tattoo! While in Zanzibar back in 2011 with her husband Prince Charles, the Duchess visited a henna tattooist and had her own ink creation painted on her hand. The royal couple were on a four-day trip to Tanzania to highlight environmental issues in Africa.
SEE: The prettiest tattoo ideas you'll want to copy
Prince Frederik of Denmark
Prince Frederik of Denmark keeps his tattoos well hidden but they have been seen on photos taken of the royal on the beach
The heir to the Danish throne, Prince Frederik will become King with two tatts but it's something that’s not unusual in his family. His grandfather, King Frederik IX, who ruled Denmark from 1947 to his death in 1972 had tattoos of dragons and birds on his torso. Why? Because, just like Prince Frederik, who has a shark on his calf and a tattoo on his arm that means ‘pingu’, the chosen symbols are used to represent their time served in the Danish Navy.
Princess Sofia of Sweden
Princess Sofia with her tattoo on her ankle (left) and a tattoo on her back (right)
Before marrying Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland, who is fourth in line to the Swedish throne, Princess Sofia worked as a glamour model and reality television star. After getting together with her future husband she wasn’t just going to erase her tattoos because she was becoming royal. Quite right too.
On her wedding day, a sun between her shoulder blades was visible and on a holiday a few years, she revealed a large tattoo of a flying butterfly on her ribcage. She also has a minute inking on her ankle and is said to have previously had a motif on her arm.
Celebrity tattoos: A look at the stars' inkings
Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
Princess Stéphanie has a love of tattoos
The youngest daughter of American actress Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, Princess Stéphanie was lovingly called ‘wild child’ by her mother when she was growing up. After her mother was killed in a car accident in 1982, while Stéphanie was riding with her, she reportedly grew more rebellious and opted for several tattoos including a floral bracelet, two jumping dolphins on her foot and a motif on her back. "I realised how lucky I was to have life," Stéphanie later said in an interview. "I had my arms open to the future and I said to myself, 'This could be all over tomorrow.' Nobody has really tried to understand me or my behaviour, which just reflected my decision to enjoy life to the full."
Pauline Ducruet showed off her daisy tattoo at an amfAR event
Pauline Ducruet is the daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and is 14th in line to the Monegasque throne. Like mother, like daughter she’s also partial to visiting the tattoo parlour and has a floral motif on her wrist too. A daisy to be precise.
When Monaco's Charlotte Casiraghi arrived to attend a Gucci event she wore a crop top which unveiled the star tattoo on her stomach.
The Duchess of Sussex
During the royal couple's trip to Morocco, Meghan was given a henna tattoo by teenager Samira who has lived in Asni for six years - the henna flower was created on Meghan’s right hand to celebrate her pregnancy as per Moroccan tradition. Samira explained: "It is a traditional practice for pregnant women in Moroccan. It is to bring luck for the baby."
WATCH: Meghan receives her henna tattoo - video
When the artwork was completed, Meghan said: "That’s really lovely," and proudly showed it to husband Prince Harry, who was sitting next to her. Meghan added: "It will dry for a little bit and then we can walk through."
Here's a close-up photo of Meghan with her beautiful henna tattoo...
The Duchess of Cambridge
Shocked? Don’t be. We’re not about to tell you Kate has a constellation of stars up her spine, but she has been partial to semi-permanent inking. In February 2018, while seven-months pregnant with Louis, the Duchess received a small henna tattoo while marking the opening of a new artist’s residence in Sunderland. Wonder how it faded so fast? Henna is a natural dye that only lasts around one to four weeks.
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