We have gathered some of the best fashion hacks that have been used (and are still used to this day) by some of the most famous royal women in the world. And although we are simple commoners, we are sure to adopt one or two.
Keeping Hats in Place
Have you ever wondered how royal women manage to always keep their gorgeous headwear in place? Princess Diana hid combes inside her hats that would make sure they wouldn’t fly off in the middle of an English wind gust. In fact, it was the Queen’s rule to never have a hat fly off.
Above, Diana is seen pulling off another perfect hat look at the Arch of Triumph in Paris – a classy, dark blue velvet veiled hat. Back then, milliner John Boyd was one of the main hat makers for the princess.
A Classy Way to Hide Cleavage
Leave it to the crafty Princess Di to come up with a way to hide her daring cleavage in a seamless way. The trick? Simply hold an elegant little clutch bag over your cleavage and voila!
In the photos above, the Princess is seen in a daring light blue dress designed by the famous Jacques Azagury. “I will need a really good, s#xy dress”, demanded the princess when meeting with Azagury, and he delivered. His job was so well done that she had to cover her chest with an oval-shaped, pearl-colored clutch.
Wear Weights on Your Hems
We all love that iconic pic of Marylin Monroe with her skirt being blown up, but in the Royal world, this would be a huge no-no. So, how do you avoid this when you’re constantly wearing dresses in a place with really bad weather? You would sew dressmaking (or old curtain) weights in your hems, just like Kate Middleton does.
Above, the Duchess of Cambridge is seen in a pink floral Kate Spade dress that flows nicely and stays down despite the weather in London.
Striking Colors that Capture Looks
One might think that the royals are probably more suited to wearing classic colors, like beige, white, brown, or grey. However, the late Queen Elizabeth II was known for loving bright, solid colors. She can be seen below dressed in a bright blue suit and hat from head to toe.
Apart from loving the tones, there’s another reason for the use of bright colors – the Queen wanted to be easily spotted when she was out in the town.
Using Hairnets to Keep Wild Hairs in Place
While most of us don’t exactly associate hairnets with elegance, the Duchess of Cambridge uses them all the time. Kate Middleton loves her chignon bun style and uses a hairnet to keep wild strands of hair from popping out.
Above, the Duchess wears her signature chignon bun and covers it with her trusty hairnet while attending Easter Day Service at Windsor Castle. She tops the look with a cream-colored cap with a bow.
Black Is Only for Funerals
As serious and elegant as "The Crown" outfits may be, there is a protocol in place that states the Royal family should only wear black when attending a funeral. Every Royal should always travel with at least one black outfit in case of any emergency situations.
For the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Consort Camilla wore traditional black attire, with an astonishing piece of jewelry to adorn the all-black look. On the left of her black suit, one can see Queen Victoria’s Hesse Diamond Jubilee brooch. She topped the look with a black veiled hat.
Use Hats to Protect Your Hair
A hat can be a gorgeous accessory or a shield to protect your locks. Kate Middleton also uses the hat trick to keep her hair from blowing in her face, especially since she’s often carrying one of her children. But the hat trick has been used for decades, especially by the beloved Princess of Wales.
Above, Princess Diana uses a beautiful blue and white Philip Somerville turban hat on an official visit to UAE in 1989. She paired it with a classy white suit with a blue lapel, designed by Catherine Walker.
Modesty Is the Best Policy
Modesty is a basic principle when it comes to royal outfits, meaning no bare shoulders, no short skirts, and no tacky cleavage. In the photo below, the Princess of Wales proves one can be very modest and look very fabulous.
Here Kate Middleton wears a red pleated skirt by Christopher Kane and a matching turtleneck by Ralph Lauren while attending a charity event. No visible shoulders, no cleavage, and not too much leg, and she looks fabulous at every event.
Keep Your Hands Clean and Classy
The late Queen Elizabeth II might have loved bright colors for her suits, but she always kept it neutral when it came to her gloves. The Queen was almost always seen wearing a pair of black or white gloves. Apart from being very classy accessories, which are crafted by a special royal glove maker, they allowed the Queen to stay hygienic after shaking so many hands.
Above, the Queen attends the Ceremony of the Keys in her traditional light blue suit and white gloves, the perfect color combination.
Denim Is for Walking the Dog
It is no surprise that in the Royal family wearing denim is strictly reserved for going out to walk the dog. However, rule breaker that she was, Princess Diana wore denim on more than one occasion – and she rocked it!
Here you can see Princess Di wearing a casual pair of jeans with a white and blue colored, V-neck cable knit sweater back in 1992. She paired the ensemble with some elegant flat slippers and walked gracefully down those stairs.
Have Beauty Favorites
When it comes to fashion and beauty, we all have favorites – products and styles we remain loyal to throughout the years. Queen Elizabeth II was no exception, as was evidenced by the many photos of her applying her trusty lipstick. Her favorite was Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Color Lipstick, in the Fig shade.
Apparently, Elizabeth Arden has a Royal Warrant since it is the preferred beauty brand of the Royals. Above, we see the Queen applying lipstick during the Windsor Horse Show in 1985.
Go for the Bodysuit
As a Royal lady, you must always look chic and elegant, and this includes making sure your shirt is never untucked. To not have to deal with constantly checking her shirt, Meghan Markle has chosen a much simpler option – wearing a bodysuit.
The Duchess of Sussex loves her bodysuits, as is seen in the above photos, with Markle wearing a sleek Alexander McQueen black suit with a shirt-style white bodysuit from Tuxe.
Headbands Are Always Welcome
When tired of wearing a hat, Royal ladies opt for a classy headband. After all, a fashionable headband can jazz up any outfit. Below, we see Princess Beatrice attending her sister Eugenie’s wedding in Windsor.
Princess Beatrice wears a dark blue dress by Ralph & Russo and pairs it with a purple headband designed by Sarah Cant. The princess was her sister’s maid of honor, which is not traditional at a royal wedding, and to top it off, she wore a different outfit than the rest of the bridal party. However, that headband made her look fabulous.
The Silicone Pantyhose Keeps Things Slip-Free
Another dress protocol for Royal ladies is that they must always wear pantyhose to not expose their legs. But as many of us know, pantyhose can sometimes slip, and ripped pantyhose is the tackiest thing to be caught in. Luckily, the royals have a solution for that too.
To avoid accidents, Kate Middleton always wears pantyhose with silicone pads in the bottom so they can stick to her shoe. This is exactly what she did when attending Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 in her white suit.
Use Nude Nail Polish or Go Natural
Royals are usually seen with very neutral, nude nail polish, as demanded by the late Queen Elizabeth II. Her favorite shade was Essie’s ‘Ballet slippers’, which obviously went very well with her bold-colored outfits. Even though she mostly wore gloves, her hands always had to look perfect.
The Duchesses have followed in the Queen’s footsteps, wearing clear or nude nail polish. Above, we see Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle attend the Royal Foundation Forum with classy hands adorned with clear nail polish.
Jazz Up Your Outfit
Being a Royal doesn’t mean you can’t have fun when picking your outfits. No one took this more to heart than Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter. Below she is seen in a 1975 Village Fete wearing a groovy patterned orange and green dress with a cute neon-green hat.
By some force of nature or divine styling, the flowers in her hand look like the perfect match for her outfit.
Show Off Your Figure
The former fashionable Princess of Wales wore the 80s style like no one else. The princess knew how to show off her figure while looking elegant. Below she is seen in a puffy white top, a chic burgundy belt, and a floral pencil skirt while attending a polo match in Cirencester in 1985.
The key is to always balance your figure by wearing either puffy tops with pencil skirts or puffy skirts with slender tops.
The Search for a Fantastic Fascinator
Even the word sounds amazing – a fascinator. These are basically hats that are out of the ordinary, like pieces of art for your head. Royal sisters Princess Eugenie and Beatrice certainly love their fascinators, as seen below.
In a Ceremony to honor Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, at the Trooping the Color Parade, Princess Eugenie wears a Vivien Sheriff fascinator with colorful brown and purple feathers. Princess Beatrice dons an ochre asymmetrical fascinator that resembles orange peels. Classy orange peels.
Go Easy on the Makeup
Wearing the right makeup can make or break a look, and the ladies in royalty know this. You will never see a member of the royal family wearing colorful and flashy makeup. On the contrary, a neutral, natural-looking finish is the way to go.
One can see the elegant then-Duchess of Cambridge attending the UK Creative Industries Reception in 2012, wearing a minimal amount of makeup and very basic, light colors. Of course, a touch of black blended eyeshadow never hurt anyone.
The Chic Pillbox Hat
Pillbox hats are the epitome of understated elegance, which is why they are so often used by royalty. Jacqueline Onassis was also a big fan of the pillbox hat, which first came out back in the 1930s. These hats are the perfect headwear if you’re looking for something less encumbered than a fascinator or a large wide-brimmed hat.
Above, the princess of Wales wears a regal blue outfit with a classic pillbox hat with a bow to match. A perfect ensemble to attend the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in 2022.
The Elegant Equestrian Style
The royals are known for their love of horses and their excellent equestrian skills. For example, Princess Anne was a professional horse rider that even competed in the 1976 Olympics. She has won several other awards at European Equestrian Championships and even included her equestrian looks in her personal fashion.
The princess is seen above in traditional dressage at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1979. While it’s difficult not to look elegant in equestrian clothing, Princess Anne manages to pull off the outfits with a particular style.
Don’t Be Afraid of Lining
As important as proper attire is when it comes to the royal family, proper behavior is equally as important. This means that scratching an itchy fabric, rearranging bra straps or anything of the sort is completely out of the question. So, to always keep this in check, Queen Elizabeth II herself came up with the brilliant idea of adding a lining to her outfits.
Above, the Queen attends the Hungarian State Visit Return Banquet in 1999 at Marlow, UK. She’s wearing an opulent golden gown adorned with golden flower details. The dress probably feels great against her skin with all that extra lining.
Use a Bigger-Sized Shoe to Avoid Blisters
One of the worst things about high heels or stilettos is the blisters you get afterward. But the Royal ladies don’t suffer much, since they’ve discovered the ultimate fashion hack to avoid painful blisters – just wear a shoe that’s one or two sizes too big!
Above we see Meghan Markle next to her beau Harry as they announce their engagement. Notice the nude pumps from Aquazzura she’s wearing? Well, if you zoom in, you’ll see they look quite big on her feet. The larger size keeps the feet from rubbing with the shoe and causing blisters. Who knew?!
Use a Shampoo Without Sulfates
If you want to keep healthy, lush locks, it is very important to choose the right hair products, and that starts by choosing sulfate-free brands. Take Kate Middleton, the Duchess has gorgeous brown hair with waves that bounce and shine.
The Duchess has made it clear that she only uses sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. In fact, Kerastase is one of her favorite brands. Here, Kate wears her signature light brown mane on a visit to Belize.
Be Ready for All Kinds of Weather
This one is a neat little fashion hack that the royals have been using for decades. In order to be prepared for any kind of weather, Kate Middleton buys shoes that are a larger size for the summer months and travel to hot climates. This way, if her feet swell up from the heat, she won’t have any issues.
Similarly, she buys her exact shoe size when it comes to the cold season or winter months. Above, Middleton is wearing a stunning cream-colored gown with sparkly silver stilettos that hold her feet ever-so elegantly.
Always Take a Brooch
While this advice may sound old-fashioned, brooches are actually a very fashionable accessory making a huge comeback in the last years. Queen Elizabeth II loved her brooches, always using one to adorn her suits. The Queen would choose a brooch depending on the event or country she was visiting.
She didn’t even go to church without one, like in the photo above where she’s seen wearing a light orange suit with a diamond-encrusted brooch while attending Sunday service at Wolferton.
Hurray for the Headscarf!
For those who feel fascinators or hats might be too over the top, a headscarf is a perfect alternative. Queen Elizabeth II was a big fan of headscarves, which she usually tied under her chin in a very elegant manner. The scarves were, of course, all silk, and covered in beautiful colored patterns.
Above, she is seen in 1982 next to Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. That blue, yellow, and white silk headscarf just classes up an otherwise simple outfit.
Leather Insoles Are the Answer
Wearing heels and being on your feet all day is no picnic, even for a royal. Combine that with uncomfortable slips and you’ve got yourself a fashion disaster. But fear not, we have another hack for you – buying leather insoles for your shoes!
The Duchess of Cambridge is an expert on the subject, knowing that a luxury leather insole will stop your foot from slipping and sliding. Above we see the Duchess arriving with her husband William at the Witton Country Park in a classy black skirt and blazer suit and black leather pumps.
Use a Cotton Bud for a Perfect Blend
Look at Princess Diana’s stunning makeup in the photo below, while she attended the Braemar Highland Games in Scotland in 1981. Her eyes look perfectly blended, yet natural. The secret was to use a cotton bud and blend the eyeliner very subtly.
This hack came from the princess’s personal makeup artist, Mary Greenwell, who often had to soften a hard black eyeliner situation. With those blue eyes and flawless skin, it was only fair to bring out her features in the best way possible.
Use a Toothbrush for Your Hair
This one might sound a bit strange, but we promise it works. Have you ever noticed how Meghan Markle’s hair always looks perfect? Well, the Duchess has revealed that she uses a small bristle toothbrush and some hairspray to always keep her hair in place.
Above, we see Markle with her sleek ponytail at the Land Rover Driving Challenge in 2020. She swears it helps her smooth her hairline and keep flyaways in check.
Thick Fabrics Are Your Friend
Thick fabrics are often used by the royal family because it avoids dresses flying up in the wind. The last thing you want is for hems to start flapping up in the wind at any given moment. Below, we see Princess Eugenie wearing a light blue suit made of thick tweed fabric.
She was attending Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018, which had over 2,200 guests, so having her dress fly up was not an option.
Choose Diplomatic Attire
Royals often chose outfits according to the event they’re attending or the country they’re visiting. If anybody has to be diplomatic, it’s them.
Above we see Kate Middleton attending the Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony wearing a classy white suit adorned with a diamond maple leaf brooch, and a red hat. Her purse also has splashes of red, honoring the country’s signature red colors. The maple leaf brooch was a perfect touch.
As for Purses, the Smaller the Better
You never see a Royal with a big purse, because, let’s be honest, a small purse is just way more elegant. The royals, especially Queen Elizabeth II, considered small purses to be more feminine and ladylike. Her majesty’s favorite purse brand was Launer. And she wasn’t the only royal to have a favorite.
Above we see the beautiful Princess Diana arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1995, carrying her Lady Dior purse, given to her by the French First Lady. The small, elegant, black little purse accompanied the princess on many occasions.
Say No to Wedges
If there’s one thing Queen Elizabeth II couldn’t stand, it was wedge shoes. In fact, every Royal lady made sure to never be caught wearing a pair while in the Queen’s presence. And let’s face it, stilettos are way more elegant.
While the Duchess of Cambridge has appeared wearing wedge shoes on some occasions, she’s made sure it was never around her mother-in-law. Above we see the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex wearing beige-colored pumps to the Centenary of the RAF.
Breaking New Shoes in
A well-fitting and comfortable shoe is one that has been broken into, which is why Queen Elizabeth II used to have someone wear her shoes before her. It was always her dresser, Angela Kelly, who broke the Queen’s shoes in before she wore them.
Above, her majesty is seen at a State Visit to Ireland in 2011, with the same classic black style shoe that she’s worn for over 50 years. The famous shoes are handmade by Anello & Davide, a London-based company. After each event, a footman airs the shoes and puts them in a silk bag.
Don’t Forget to Curl Your Eyelashes
Even when you don’t have a drop of makeup on, the right eyelashes can make a huge difference. To enhance a royal lady's lashes, the curler is the best way to go.
Meghan Markle always seems to have beautiful big eyelashes, like in the photo above where she attended the Invictus Games at The Hague in 2022. Markle uses the Shu Uemura eyelash curler and Dior Show mascara. For the rest of us mortals, any mascara by Maybelline will do the trick!
The Coat and Dress Match
For those who didn’t know, it is frowned upon for royals to remove coats in public. So, what does one do to combine fashion and functionality? One goes for the coatdress hybrid. Aside from being incredibly regal and elegant, the coatdress keeps skirts from flying up in the wind. It’s a win-win.
Above we see the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a plaid blue and green coatdress with a chic belt while visiting Scotland. She looks super classy and is probably warm and cozy in that long coat.
Use Wraps to Cinch Your Waist
Using outfits that cinch the waist is always a good option for a flattering figure, like the one Kate Middleton is wearing below during the royal Australia and New Zealand tour of 2014.
Designed by the famous Diane Von Furstenberg, this Ikat wrap dress with a cinch at the waist is casual and elegant at the same time. The navy blue and white patterns go lovely with Kate’s hairdo and smile.
Avoiding Hair Dents
We’ve all had that annoying moment when we think we’ve tied the perfect high ponytail and suddenly we see an ugly bump of hair on the top of our head. This is precisely why you see Meghan Markle wearing so many loose, low buns.
The Duchess of Sussex avoids annoying hair dents by wearing a bun during the day and letting it down in the evening. By nighttime, her bun has created natural, gorgeous waves. Markle is seen above at a polo match in Windsor in 2018, wearing her signature bun hairstyle.
Create Iconic Fashion Looks
Fashion is often a means of making a statement when it comes to the royal family. Since they are not known for being too vocal, one of the best ways to communicate is through their outfit.
Above, the Duchess of Cambridge looks stunning in a Prada dress covered in poppy prints. A very subtle detail, as the poppy is the flower of remembrance, and the Duchess wore this to her mother-in-law’s 20th anniversary memorial service in the White Garden at Kensington Palace.
Be a Vision in Monochrome
As much as the royals love their floral patterns, they also have a soft spot for monochrome. The late Queen Elizabeth, for example, almost always wore monochrome outfits.
Above, her majesty is seen wearing a regal red suit and coat with a lovely matching hat, of course. Here she was visiting St. Anne’s Church in Kew, in 1989. As always, note that she carries her trusty black shiny purse, her usual leather shoes, and an elegant brooch.
Rules Are Meant to be Broken
You’ve got to love a princess that breaks the fashion protocol set by royalty. Princess Anne, alongside Princess Diana, was probably the biggest rule breaker when it came to choosing an outfit. Sure, people might roll their eyes in disapproval, especially her mother the Queen, but that didn’t stop Anne.
Above, she is seen wearing a blue striped blouse, dark jeans, and a patterned blue silk scarf. Her hair is down, her makeup is very natural, and she looks fabulous.
Shapewear Is a Lifesaver
Not surprisingly, the royal family is forbidden from showing any type of undergarment, which usually isn’t a hard thing to do, unless we’re talking about bra straps. There’s a hack for that too – royals either sew their bras to their dress or go for the easier option of wearing nude shapewear (aka bodysuits).
The Duchess of Cambridge is seen above wearing a gorgeous, white-laced dress and a matching hat. The look is elegant and summery at the same time. A perfect outfit for attending the races at the Ascot Racecourse in London.
Don’t Be Shy with the Highlighter
This is an essential beauty tip we learned from the Duchess of Sussex – don’t shy away from eye highlighters. Meghan always looks bright-eyed and fresh, as if she just came from the makeup artist, and her secret is as simple as applying highlighter to her under eyes.
Meghan is seen above attending the Endeavor Fund Awards in London, in 2020. As always, she’s glowing. If you want to achieve a Markle look, go for Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat.
Stick to Faux Fur
For over seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II wore many outfits made of animal fur for public events. However, since receiving harsh criticism from animal rights groups and activists in the last decades, the palace decided that from that moment on, her majesty would only wear faux fur.
Here, the Queen is traveling in a carriage for the State Opening of Parliament in Westminster Palace, in 2019. She’s seen wearing a white faux fur coat, a stunning diamond necklace, and her astonishing crown.
Buy Re-Wearable Outfits
For many fashion icons, re-wearing an outfit is completely unacceptable. But this isn’t the case when it comes to royals because it’s all in how you accessorize a piece. The Duchess of Cambridge is the queen of re-wearable outfits, and she looks spectacular every time.
Above, Kate attends a memorial service in London wearing a white dress by designer Suzannah. The black-buttoned dress was also worn at the 2019 Wimbledon tournament, and just by adding a black belt and a black bow brooch, it looked like a different outfit!
Always Have a Shawl Handy
A shawl is an accessory that can always come in handy, especially when you’re a royal. Princess Diana loved her shawls, and whether she used them to cover her hair during a windy day or use it for warmth in the winter, she always managed to make it look chic.
Princess Diana wears a white translucid shawl over her head on her visit to Egypt’s Al Azhar Mosque in 1982.
Gin Is the Perfect Diamond Cleaner
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the late Queen Elizabeth II had a lot of best friends. The collection of diamonds at Buckingham Palace is astonishing, and so, her team of dressers had to figure out a way to make them sparkle.
Keeping diamonds clean is no easy job, especially when each piece of jewelry has that many, but luckily, the Queen’s aides discovered that a combination of water and gin keeps the precious stone shining bright. Above, the Queen is wearing an astounding diamond and pearl crown, earrings, and necklace in 1980.
Look for Smudge-Proof Eyeliner
Leave it to Kate to have a great fashion hack when it comes to eye makeup. She is often seen wearing very dark eyeliner, but it’s never overbearing or too opaque. The secret? Using a gel formula eyeliner instead of the regular pencil format. The gel seals in better with the skin, helping it to stay in place for longer.
The trick is proven to work, since Kate has never been caught with runny makeup, no matter how many hours she’s been at an event. Above we see the Duchess at the Royal Academy of the Arts in London, wearing a flawless face.
A White Shirt Goes a Long Way
One must never underestimate the power of a white shirt, or blouse, for that matter. It all depends on how you manipulate it, as the Duchess of Sussex has shown us many times. This is one of the simplest fashion hacks, but a very effective one. Markle simply rolls up her sleeves in a symmetrical manner and the outfit instantly looks classier.
For the 2019 Wimbledon Championship, Markle wore a white blouse with rolled-up sleeves and a cream-colored skirt. Effortless but very chic, and perfect for a tennis match.