Royals

The surprising etiquette behind Duchess Catherine's maternity coats

This make so much sense now!

It can't have escaped the notice of any dedicated follower of royal style that the Duchess of Cambridge is partial to a colour-block coat (or coat dress) when it comes to dressing for public events.

Indeed, in the last few weeks alone, Kate has been spotted out and about in a vibrant red-orange number by Boden, a Mulberry style in hot pink, the dogtooth print design by Catherine Walker - surely a nod to an iconic Princess Diana look - and a military-influenced burgundy coat by Dolce & Gabbana on the recent royal visit to Scandinavia.

Duchess Catherine used her late-mother-in-law's favourite designer, Catherine Walker, when it came to choosing a bright 'n' bold maternity coat.
Duchess Catherine used her late-mother-in-law's favourite designer, Catherine Walker, when it came to choosing a bright 'n' bold maternity coat.
This hot-pink Mulberry coat sure made certain that Catherine didn't get lost among a sea of her fans!
This hot-pink Mulberry coat sure made certain that Catherine didn't get lost among a sea of her fans!

When the Duchess is out and about, though, she certainly commits to the look. What we're trying to say is, if the coat is on, you won't see her taking it off – just as you wouldn't see her grandmother-in-law, the Queen, doing a quick outfit change in the middle of an engagement, or soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle doing the same.

Catherine reusing a powder-blue maternity coat by Seraphine she wore when pregnant with Princess Charlotte.
Catherine reusing a powder-blue maternity coat by Seraphine she wore when pregnant with Princess Charlotte.

According to 9Honey, this very formal tradition stems from a simple matter of etiquette: it's not considered ladylike for a woman of the Duchess's status to remove their clothing in public, regardless of how smart or situation-appropriate the outfit underneath might be. Should the royals' schedule require a change-up of layers, they'll make the change away from the cameras.

Duchess Catherine, with Prince William, wearing a Dolce & Gabbana coat in Oslo.
Duchess Catherine, with Prince William, wearing a Dolce & Gabbana coat in Oslo.

This is just one of the royal style rules that Kate, as a senior member of the House of Windsor, must follow while carrying out public engagements. The Duchess typically eschews a colourful manicure in favour of pale pink nails in the Queen's go-to Essie shade, Ballet Slippers, and opts for either a smart blow dry or carefully groomed up do (a contrast to the laid-back bun recently sported by Meghan Markle for a handful of royal events).

Want to see more of The Duchess' finest maternity moments? Click, scroll and screenshot our gallery of Catherine's best maternity moments yet in the gallery below!

This article originally appeared on Grazia