You can take a university paper studying Duchess Meghan and Duchess Catherine’s royal style

And it’s completely free!
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Since joining the royal family the Duchess of Sussex has cemented her fashion icon status, with the ability to make items of clothing she wears sell out in minutes and now even dropping her own clothing collection in collaboration with one of the charities she is a patron of.

There’s unsurprisingly a lot of thought that goes behind the royal family’s sartorial choices, some of which can even hold political and economic weight.

During the recent announcement that the Sussexes would be travelling to South Africa the British High Commissioner for South Africa Nigel Casey joked the visit could spark a “hat and frock burying frenzy” which could boost the country’s economy – and he’s probably not wrong.

But of course this is not just a feature of the modern royal family, it’s something that has been going on for centuries, and you can now learn all about it in a university course that delves into the history and strategy behind the royal family’s fashion choices over the past few centuries.

Meghan has been known for her impeccable style – so much so that fans have been so eager to emulate her look – clothing she wears can sell out in minutes. (Image: Getty)

The free online five-week course offered by the University of Glasgow is titled ‘A History of Royal Fashion‘ and is a partnership with Historic Royal Palaces, the charity which looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.

As the description of the course explains, royal fans can learn how royalty used fashion to “entertain, control and impress” and will explore the wardrobes of the royal family across five royal dynasties – the Tudors, Stuarts and Georgians, to the Victorians and Windsors.

Speaking to Insider, Dress and Textiles Histories lecturer at the University of Glasgow Sally Tuckett says, “The course gives a small insight into each royal family through history.

“For instance, Henry VIII’s wife, Catherine of Aragon, made his shirts even when Anne Boleyn was on the scene. It shows how politics weighed heavily on fashion, and how it was part of rivalry.”

Adding: “It shows how there’s so much more to fashion than clothing.”

During her time in the royal family Princess Diana was also a fashion icon of the time. Here’s her in an ivory Hachi gown during a gala dinner in Washington DC in November 1985. The one-shouldered silhouette was a favourite of hers. (Image: Getty)

The course will be taught through a range of mediums Sally explains, including exclusive images and resources from the Historic Royal Palaces collection.

While Sally says the course probably appeals more to those who want to learn how to make the royal clothes of the past accurately, she told Insider that looking at the past can actually teach us a thing or two about the new generation of royals like Kate and Meghan.

“During Queen Victoria’s reign, she was big on British products to support to British manufacturers,” Sally says.

“You can see that with the modern royals. They often choose designers close to their hearts.”

While Sally says royal style has obviously changed immensely over the generations, the biggest difference is that the public now have much more access to the royal’s fashion choices.

She explains that when Henry VIII was King, he had only a small circle of people who knew what he was doing, however these days the whereabouts of the royal family are known within thirty seconds of a photo being taken of them and shared to social media.

Sally says the royal family often choose designers close to their heart – British designer Catherine Walker is a favourite of many of the royal ladies, especially Duchess Catherine, seen wearing a coat dress from the aforementioned designer here. (Image: Getty)

This week Duchess Meghan announced she would be launching her own capsule clothing collection later this year to benefit one of her royal patronages, the charity Smart Works.

Smart Works is a non profit organisation which works to help women get into the workforce, equipping them with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready.

The collection, in collaboration with British departments stores Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, clothing label Jigsaw and designer Misha Nonoo, will work on a 1:1 basis, with every item purchased equating to one shared with a woman from Smart Works.

In an Instagram post announcing the launch, Sussex Royal wrote that throughout Meghan’s visits to the charity “she noticed that while the donations were plentiful, they were notably a combination of mismatched items and colours which weren’t always the right stylistic choices or sizes that necessarily “suit” the job at hand: to make women feel confident and inspired as she walked into her job interview.”

Writing about the initiative in the September of issue British Vogue, which she has helped to guest edit, Duchess Meghan says her vision for the initiative was about “[reframing] the idea of charity as community,” adding, “not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story; it reminds us we are in it together.”

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