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May 19 will be a big day for Meghan Markle, who will officially marry into the British royal family. It will be a big day for fashion, as the world awaits what peculiar objects Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie will choose to place on their heads. But it will also be a big day for me because I will finally have an answer to the question: What is Prince George going to wear?
Although it’s still unconfirmed whether our tiny, blond, and gentle future king will be one of the pageboys at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it is highly likely that he will, as he’s already proven his adeptness in the role at Pippa Middleton’s big day. But when it comes to pageboy fashion, things can vary quite a bit.
To find out, we asked Susan E. Kelley, the founder of the site What Kate Wore. When it launched in 2011, it was focused on tracking the outfits of the soon-to-be duchess of Cambridge. But when Prince George was born, she founded another, called What Kate’s Kids Wore. The expert on all things related to George and Charlotte’s personal styles, Kelley discussed royal pageboy fashion history, her tiara predictions, and what the deal is with Prince George’s shorts.
So what do you think Prince George will wear to the royal wedding?
The boys are tougher because over the years there have just been some really different things. At Sophie [countess of Wessex] and [Prince] Edward’s wedding, the boys wore tiny versions of Order of the Garter robes. These boys were in velvet capes with ermine trim and plumed hats with ostrich feathers.
I think Meghan and Harry in particular will not want cringeworthy photos 10 or 50 years from now. We’ve had sailor suits — there are those pictures of William in a sailor suit. I don’t think they’ll go with a thematic approach.
Even at Kate and William’s wedding, the boys were in kind of miniature versions of Irish guard officers’ uniforms. I don’t see Meghan and Harry doing the boys in a military-style uniform.
And it’s possible, they may not do the knickerbocker kind of breeches that we’ve seen at a number of weddings. It’s possible they could just do a very simple suit.
I think it will be lower-key than what we see at a lot of upper-crust society weddings on either side of the pond. They’re going to be lovely; they’re just going to look terrific whatever they wear, but I don’t think they’ll be gaudy or showy or costumey.
What’s the deal with the shorts?
Well, there’s a practice for upper-class aristocracy that the boys wear shorts until they’re maybe 7, 8, or 9. It’s just a practice; it’s just kind of how it’s been, and when you have family traditions and styles that you just kind of keep doing that, [you] pass it on.
That’s one thing that is really an eye-opener for people, at least on this side of the Atlantic. The other one has been the smocked clothing, particularly on George. It’s arguably the most polarizing topic we’ve had on the site.
The socks probably go with the shorts thing? Like, it’s pretty cold out, but you still have to wear shorts?
Yeah. And then people started making [excited] comments when George switched from anklets to knee socks.
What about Princess Charlotte?
For the girls, I think we’ll see something similar to what we saw at Pippa Middleton’s wedding — a classic, timeless look, probably with a full skirt. Maybe a Peter Pan collar or ruffle at the collar. Probably short sleeves, probably not sleeveless, just because of the venue and because of the weather. Maybe some smocking on the bodice. We may well see a sash or a bow in the back.
I would look for another bespoke McQueen piece. It’s worked so well for her, and her relationship with the brand is so good. And I think they very much know her tastes and what she is comfortable in, which is so crucial. You don’t want to be fussing or fidgeting.
Another one could be Jenny Packham, but my guess is another McQueen, probably long sleeves, fitted bodice, probably fuller skirt or an A-line, a fit and flare. And probably in a muted color. I think she’s very sensitive to not wanting to steal the show, particularly at this type of situation. She wants the spotlight to shine on Meghan.
And actually, this is one that I care about a lot: What do you expect to see from Beatrice and Eugenie’s fascinators?
I think we’ll see some more Philip Treacy. They could be little cartoon characters on their own! Not the girls, but the hats!
Okay, and obviously, what are your Meghan predictions?
I have thought one of the dresses, probably the evening dress, will be by a smaller boutique heritage British brand. I think the other one could be Roland Mouret because of her relationship. They’ve known each other a fairly long time.
I don’t think it’s going to be Ralph & Russo. Obviously, I could be wrong; I’m wrong a lot, I’ll tell you. But she’s so hip to giving exposure to brands that I think she would probably say, “Okay, they got a lot of exposure” [from the engagement dress].
I don’t think there’ll be a lot of froufrou. I think it’ll be clean, elegant lines, and I think we’re going to see some surprises.
Do you think she’ll wear a tiara?
I do. I don’t think it will be any of the big ones. People have been talking about the Spencer family tiara. I don’t think she’s going to wear that. I don’t think she’ll wear the Lover’s Knot that was associated with Diana that’s now associated somewhat with Kate.
I actually think this may be a case where one is made for her, whether it’s a gift from someone, whether Harry wants to do it, or she wants to do it herself. The other thing she could do is she could do a “hair ornament.” I think we’re going to see diamonds, though.
It would cement in people’s minds that she is a member of the British royal family now, and all that that conveys. That’s such a huge element at this wedding — the machinery of the royal family, and Meghan being able to be true to Meghan. She very much gets the optics because of her background. She knows about a moment that the camera catches. She knows the power of that moment.