Many eagle-eyed royal fans have noticed Kate Middleton and Prince William seem to only dress their young son, Prince George, in shorts for official outings. So, why is George never wearing pants? According to an etiquette expert, it’s just a part of royal fashion history!
“It’s a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts,” William Hanson told Harper’s Bazaar last fall. “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,” he continued. “And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban. Even the Duchess of Cambridge.”
According to Hanson, we’ll be seeing George in shorts for many years to come. Age eight is reportedly when it’s deemed proper for parents to take their little boy’s fashion to the next level in Britain.
“The usual custom is that a boy graduates to trousers around eight years old. This is, historically, perhaps due to the practice of ‘breeching,’ which dates back to the sixteenth century,” Hanson explained.
“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,” he continued.
“The modern habit of upper-class families choosing to dress their boys in shorts will deliberately hark back to a bygone age,” Hanson added. “The British upper set are always keen to hold on to tradition, and this one also silently marks them out from ‘the rest.'” The more you know!