Amidst rumors of staff members quitting and royal feuds, the buzz of British newspapers and social media is that Duchess Meghan is for the second time this week without tights (stockings or hosiery in the United States). This seems to be shocking to many who have commented that it is against royal protocol to go out in public with bare legs no matter the time of the year.
The Daily Mail‘s headline reads “Ripping Up The Royal Style Rule Book!,” adding that Markle has “dared to bare” for the second time this week. For two daytime official events this week, Duchess Meghan, now six months pregnant, has chosen to go sans stockings, which is scandalous enough to warrant a headline.
“It marks the second time in a week the royal has gone bare legged at an official appearance, even though royal convention suggests women should wear hosiery in public.”
Though there is not an actual rule book, it is considered respectful of the queen to always wear sheer stockings. The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Countess of Wessex are never seen without stockings or with open-toed shoes in public, and reportedly even the York Princesses, Beatrice and Eugenie, generally follow the rules to avoid the look of “vulgarity.”
— Fashionista Philly (@Fashionistaphil) January 16, 2019
While many bloggers have called out Kate Middleton for going without stockings, the Duchess of Cambridge prefers to wear translucent tights, which have a “telltale sheen.”
Stylist Rochelle White says that Markle’s decision is a statement of her personal style and a small act of rebellion.
“‘I think it’s her trying to stay true to who she is and her personal style,’ Rochelle said. ‘Some people – whether they are in the public eye or not – just might not like tights and that’s okay.'”
She adds that the Duchess of Sussex has beautiful skin and always looks polished despite eschewing hosiery.
“She has amazing skin, which I think helps when wearing the no tight look. I think this helps with her overall look and with legs and skin as good at that, who needs tights.”
But there is a core group of people pushing back at those who are on pantyhose watch to say who cares? PopSugar wrote an article to make that very statement, writing “Meghan Markle’s Tights Are Her Own Prerogative, Thankyouverymuch.”
It seems that there is a generation of women who are pushing back to ask why it’s anyone’s business what sort of legwear a grown woman wears. If it’s sincerely a concern that she’s cold, realize that stockings don’t add much warmth, and if she’s cold, she’ll change her clothing.