With the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, passing away last Friday at the age of 99, the royal family are already commencing the royal mourning traditions. There are certain protocols and rules that members of the royal family must follow, such as a dress code-expecting them to wear black or dark colours for a sustained period of mourning.
After the initial eight days taken by the Queen, with an additional 30 days to be added to the royal mourning period. The rules put in place for tragedies like this are taken very seriously by the whole royal family, curator at Historic Royal Palaces Matthew Storey says.
He told The Telegraph: “Mourning dress has been part of European royal culture for centuries, but it reached its peak in the 19th century with the influence of Queen Victoria, who set a standard for the rest of society to follow.”
“Widows were required to wear black, then either white or mauve, for at least three years before being able to return to richly coloured clothing.”
After the death of Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, the Queen returned as soon as possible to Britain from her visit to Kenya, with a black dress being delivered to her plane as soon as she landed for her to change into. Reportedly, after that incident now every royal travels with a black outfit in their luggage.
The Queen Mother passed away on March 30th 2002, with her funeral ceremony taking place on April 9th. The royal family wore black for almost three weeks after her death, until around April 19th.
It will be a huge difference now with the Queen wearing black during this mourning period, compared to her usual colourful outfits that she wears during her appearances and engagements.
Bethan Holt, Fashion news and features director at The Telegraph and author of The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Royal Modern Style, talked with HELLO! magazine, giving them insight into what the fashion protocol is for the royal ladies that will be in attendance at Prince Philip’s funeral.
The journalist explained: “There is a long history of protocol when it comes to royal mourning dress and Queen Victoria famously remained in the black for 40 years after her husband Prince Albert died.”
“If the royal ladies were to abide by the strictest mourning dress guidance, then they would wear black tights and outfits with little decoration but it’s more likely that they’ll wear black in the elevated way we often see on Remembrance Sunday, perhaps with military touches to pay tribute to Philip’s naval career.”
The current plan is that the funeral ceremony will be taking place this Saturday on April 17th, with only 30 members of the royal family being expected to attend due to the protocols still in place for the virus crisis.