If you’re a fan of the royal family, you’ve certainly noticed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s eldest child is regularly wearing shorts, and the reason has to do with etiquette.
The little prince’s outfits have been scrutinized by the media worldwide. From an early age, and as far as anyone can remember, George has always worn shorts.
Whether for arrival at the Victoria airport or at the children’s party during the family’s Canadian tour, at his sister’s christening or at his father’s polo match, Prince George always appears wearing shorts and socks.
Questioned by the UK edition of Harper’s Bazaar, etiquette expert William Hanson revealed that this habit is actually a deeply rooted social marker.
“It’s a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts,” Hanson said. “Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent class markers that we have in England.
“Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class – quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban. Even the Duchess of Cambridge,” [née Kate Middleton].
The expert went on to explain that we won’t be seeing George in wearing trousers anytime soon, at least not in the next five years.
“The usual custom is that a boy graduates to trousers around eight-years-old,” Hanson explained. “This is, historically, perhaps due to the practice of ‘breeching’, which dates back to the sixteenth century. A newborn boy would be dressed in a gown for their first year or two (these gowns have survived as the modern christening robe) and then he was ‘breeched’ and wore articles of clothing that more resembled shorts or trousers than dresses.”