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Yvonne Yorke


From Commoner to Princess: The Royal Rules of Style (PHOTOS)

Posted: 12/14/2010 3:00 pm

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Catherine Middleton's first appearance as royal fiancée was an unqualified fashion success. That blue Issa dress flew off racks, and was sold out both in Britain as well as in the U.S, and knockoff copies of it began appearing within days.


Some commentators noted that Kate's engagement dress was strikingly similar to Princess Diana's engagement outfit. I don't know what they were looking at, because in reality, the two outfits looked nothing alike. The only similarity is that they were both blue. The young Lady Diana Spencer had on a stiff, matronly-looking suit with an unfashionably-long skirt several inches past her knees. Paired with a white blouse set off with a large bow, it reminded some of a flight attendant's uniform.


Read the Royal Wedding Big News page.

Kate's figure-enhancing dress, however, had a wrapped detail which showed off her trim waist, and the fluid skirt was a flattering length just above her knee. She knows exactly what looks good on her, and suits her body. Of course, Kate is nine years older than Diana at the time of her engagement, and is more sure-footed and evolved in her personal style. Even so, as Catherine Middleton makes the transition from commoner to royal princess, she will no doubt be instructed on these rules of royal dressing:

1. Bright Colors
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If you ever look at pictures of the Queen and the other ladies in the British royal family, they are almost always dressed in a bright color. Diana frequently wore her favorite shades of eye-popping reds, vibrant pinks, and royal blues. The reasoning behind this dress code is that a royal should always stand out in the crowd. Of course, in practice, who could have missed spotting the late Princess of Wales? After all, she was one of the most photographed women in the world. However, the rule is there, and that’s why you rarely see a British royal lady dressed in pastels or some drab shade. The exception to this rule is if they are in the country, such as in Balmoral in Scotland, or attending the Braemar Games, then the tweeds and tartans come out of the royal closets. (Photo: Princess Diana in 1996; Queen Elizabeth II in 2010; Getty)
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