The most inappropriate royal outfits

While many of us have to follow a policy of appropriate dress in the workplace, the royal dress code establishes a whole new meaning to the word "appropriate." From young Prince George who is always required to wear shorts — no matter the weather — to the royal ladies having to don hats during formal occasions, there's no shortage of rules that must be followed. Of course, the thing about rules is they're made to be broken, right? Well, the royals might not think that way. Nevertheless, they have been known to choose some inappropriate outfits from time to time.

While some of their fashion gaffes wouldn't cause us commoners to do much more than bat an eyelash, they've still managed to cause quite a lot of controversy. From eyebrow-raising costumes to clothing we probably all have in our own closets, here are some of the most inappropriate outfits ever worn by the British royal family. 

Kate Middleton's island mix-up

About a year and a half after Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, they visited the Solomon Islands, a group of islands not far from Papua New Guinea. While there, the duke and duchess attended a party — and that's when it happened. Middleton accidentally wore the wrong dress. Gasp!

Was it a super short mini or a strapless maxi? No, it was a simple sundress from the Cook Islands, some 3,000 miles away from where she was partying in the South Pacific. If you're scratching your head and wondering what the big deal is, here's the situation: The couple was supposed to wear a handmade shirt and traditional Solomon Islands dress, but the wrong outfits were laid out by a member of the welcoming committee, according to The Telegraph. So, imagine wearing a costume to what you think is a costume party only to find out it's formal — that's essentially how it went. Only, it was worse because they ended up dressing pretty disrespectfully.

Although Clarence House says all was well, reported The Telegraph, officials of the islands were frustrated to see a member of their welcoming committee proverbially thrown under the bus. Eek!

Prince Harry's Nazi — yes, Nazi — snafu

Prince Harry wasn't always the debonair prince we see before us today. In the early aughties, he was quite the royal rebel. That's all fine and good, but he made a fashion blunder in 2005 that went far beyond just testing the boundaries.

At 20 years old, Harry was third in line to the throne. Needless to say, everyone was keeping a watchful eye on this guy. According to The Telegraph, he had already developed quite a reputation in his late teens for his vices: pot-smoking and excessive-drinking. Of course, nothing excused what happened at a friend's birthday party.

Soon after the event, a picture of Prince Harry surfaced on the cover of the British tabloid The Sun. He was wearing a khaki-colored shirt that more than resembled a German uniform. He even had a red, white, and black swastika armband. Seriously, Harry?  

Apparently, his costume was supposed to represent the Afrika Korps, but, as The Telegraph explained, that's a bit off for a birthday party with a "colonial" theme. Harry later apologized in a statement (via The Guardian) calling the costume a "poor choice." Surely a poor choice for anyone, but especially for a British prince.

Kate Middleton or Marilyn Monroe?

When you're a member of the royal family, photographers are pretty much everywhere waiting to capture your every move. Unfortunately for Middleton, that has meant having pictures taken of her various wardrobe malfunctions.

When visiting Australia with William in 2014, a gust of wind blew up Middleton's modest-lengthed skirt creating an unintentional Marilyn Monroe moment. Although things like this probably happen to tons of women everywhere, we don't have cameras focused on us to capture stills of our embarrassing moments. 

According to an Australian news agency, British magazines and newspapers refused to publish them, which is great. What's not so great, however, is that the photos were then sent overseas after "a frantic bidding war" and sold for an unspecified amount. Ugh. 

Although Middleton's appropriate outfit transformed into an inappropriate outfit by way of wind, the same has never happened to the Queen. How come? According to Express, Queen Elizabeth II has her skirts hemmed below the knee and small lead curtain weights are added to avoid experiencing a Monroe — or Middleton — moment. Perhaps it's time to add this tip to the royal dress code.

Meghan Markle's ripped jeans

While you may never see the Queen wearing a pair of jeans — though, that would be pretty amazing — you will occasionally see members of the royal family sporting denim. Although the royals are much more a khaki-wearing family, jeans are sometimes appropriate. 

"Many places will not allow jeans as they are still seen as very casual wear," Diana Mather, a senior tutor for The English Manner etiquette consultancy, explained to BBC, "so it is better to play safe for both sexes." Now, what about ripped jeans? Although there's no addendum to the royal denim rule citing ripped jeans are out, if plain old denim is considered "very casual," you can only imagine how they view the torn variety.

When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their first public appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto, many had opinions on Meghan's outfit. One Twitter user commented, "I'm thinking that you shouldn't be wearing ripped jeans while out walking in public with a Prince." While it may sound harsh, them's the breaks.

Prince William's yoga pants

When speaking with BBC, etiquette expert Diana Mather even gave an example of times when jeans are considered appropriate for the royal family. "Outside walking the dogs for example, then jeans are fine." Hmm. So, what about when doing yoga? It's probably not the best choice. If you're thinking this fashion flop was attempted by either the duchess or duchess-to-be, you'd be mistaken. William — Prince William — took to the park in jeans to do some public yoga. Not only did he opt for denim, but he chose white jeans.

Perhaps the Duke of Cambridge thought them more appropriate than sweatpants. He did pair them with a collared shirt, after all. Still, his outfit can be classed as inappropriate in a couple of ways. For one, they're not even appropriate for the actual activity. Have you ever tried to exercise in jeans? Eek. And two, you could argue that he should only be wearing them around his house, when attending an event like a rodeo, or, as Mather said, taking the dogs for a walk.

Kate Middleton's fur pas

It's no secret that wearing fur these days is controversial. If you're a public figure, the controversy only intensifies. PETA was less than happy when they saw what Middleton was wearing on a family ski trip. When photos of the trip surfaced, the duchess appeared to be wearing a pair of possum fur-lined Restelli Guanti gloves. Uh-oh.

"If the gloves are indeed made of real fur, we'll be contacting Kate," Mimi Bekhechi, director of PETA U.K. said in a statement to E! News. She further explained, "Since so many humane, warm and fashionable fabrics are readily available, there's no need to wear fur possum or otherwise."

Middleton is not the first one in the royal family to wear fur, but she may very well be the last given the controversy. As it so happens, no one in the royal family is actually even allowed to wear it. According to Express, way, way back in 1137, Edward III banned the royal family and "men of the Church" from wearing fur. It's doubtful Middleton will make the same gaffe again.

Meghan Markle bares all?

When Harry and Meghan announced their engagement to the world, many people were looking forward to getting a glimpse of her amazing rock. Nevertheless, some people had a hard time looking past her legs. Yes, her legs. 

When Meghan stepped outside with Harry and began waving to well-wishers and cameras, it became apparent that she wasn't wearing tights or pantyhose. The horror! You may not even be able to remember the last time you put on a pair of pantyhose under one of your dresses or skirts, but they're basically a requirement for the royal ladies. 

Jo Bryant, an etiquette adviser, explained the crime of fashion to Women's Wear Daily, saying, "One should wear tights for formal occasions; bare legs are often too casual, especially with smart outfits." Meghan may not have known the — let's be honest — totally odd royal rule at the time. Nevertheless, she probably has some regrets.

Princess Eugenie's boots were made for walking ... away

The Queen is not a fan of inappropriate — or what she considers to be inappropriate — outfits. Ahead of the Royal Ascot in 2008, The Telegraph reported that any visitors who bared their midriff, wore off-the-shoulder blouses, halter necks, or dresses with short hemlines would be "ejected on the orders of the Queen's representative, the Duke of Devonshire." She wasn't messing around. 

But what happens when a member of the royal family steps out in a shorter than knee-length skirt? Princess Eugenie did just that when attending the Commonwealth Youth Forum in April 2018. According to Harper's Bazaar, never wearing skirts that are too short is "practically a no-brainer" for the royal family. 

Whether Prince William's cousin simply missed the memo or just felt like taking a fashion risk that day, she attended the event wearing a long-sleeve short floral dress with knee-high black suede boots. The Queen may not be pleased but Eugenie still looked great.

Hide those shoulders, Megs!

Princess Eugenie wasn't the only member of the royal family turning heads for her fashion choices at the Commonwealth Youth Forum. Meghan, who was also in attendance, made an "inappropriate" style decision as well. 

While mingling with people outside, Meghan was spotted wearing a black Camilla and Marc blazer over a black-and-white sleeveless pinstriped dress by Altuzzarra, AOL reported. Once she stepped inside, however, Markle decided to take off the blazer, which exposed her — wait for it — shoulders! The royal family is apparently not a big fan of showing off their shoulders. "They don't usually wear sleeveless dresses," English Manner Chief Executive Alexandra Messervy explained to InStyle.

Even if Meghan hadn't chosen to forgo sleeves, it's possible she still would've done something inappropriate, as far as the royal family is concerned. According to Harper's Bazaar, Meghan's soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, never takes her coat off in public — even when she transitions indoors. Taking off a coat is supposedly considered an "unladylike" action and one that would "disrupt her outfit choice." Hmm, okay then!