The Best Royal Fashion Statements With Hidden Meanings

If there is one group of people who are known for their fashion choices, it's the British royal family. Though this modern crop of members are style icons, the path was forged by the family members who came before them. Think of the late Princess Diana and the choices she made that spoke volumes — she wore a black strapless gown on one of her first outings as a royal. She repurposed a royal necklace into a very in-vogue choker, and the revenge dress — well, that spoke for itself.

As for Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan Markle, the two have channeled their respective husbands' mother in more ways than one — from incorporating parts of her jewelry to replicating some of Diana's ensembles. To say that those moments have had meaning would be a bit of an understatement.

As it turns out, a number of royals have conveyed hidden meanings through their wardrobe choices. Queen Elizabeth II, who was known for wearing bright colors and donning a classic black handbag, intertwined symbolism into her wardrobe on many occasions, often letting her outfits speak when she couldn't. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have also had royal fashion moments that have evoked a bigger message — all you have to do is look for the details. These are the best royal fashion statements with hidden meanings.

Meghan Markle's symbolic ring spoke volumes

We could spend years detailing what's gone down between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family, but we'll to assume you're all caught up. Meghan has not shied away from speaking her truth, and her wardrobe has gotten a fair amount of attention from the onset of her royal life.

Meghan's sleek silhouettes, pantsuits, Hollywood glamor, and attention to detail have arguably set the stage for a new era of royal wear (have you noticed that Princess Catherine has started wearing pantsuits? Just saying) and the gorgeous gown she wore to the Ripple of Hope Award Gala in New York was no exception. But it was her jewelry choice, specifically, that had some keen royal watchers talking.

As noted by People, Meghan and Harry were in town to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award. Meghan, of course, stunned in her off-shoulder white column gown, and on her finger sat Diana Spencer's aquamarine ring. Often referred to as Diana's "freedom ring," the late princess bought the piece in 1996 to replace her diamond and sapphire engagement ring that now sits on Catherine's hand. The sparkler — and its hidden meaning — certainly spoke as Harry and Meghan continued to forge their own path away from the royals.

Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress was full of hidden symbols

We're going all the way back to 1947 for this one! Queen Elizabeth II was still a princess when she and Philip Mountbatten tied the knot, and in peak Elizabeth style, her wedding dress was full of hidden meaning. The context of the event, as well, is incredibly important. As noted by Southern Living, Great Britain was still recovering from the destruction of World War II when Elizabeth and Philip got married. Due to the financial strife ravaging the country, Elizabeth ended up paying for her dress using government ration coupons for clothing, bringing the future queen down to an incredibly relatable level. Not only was Elizabeth's payment a hidden meaning in and of itself, but the dress was full of intricate detail work that evoked the nation as a whole.

The dress — a beautiful silk satin gown in ivory — was adorned with 10,000 pearls and delicately embossed with orange blossom and star lily embroidery. It took seven weeks to make and cost about $37,000 at the time, but it was the aforementioned embroidered details that spoke louder than words. Orange blossoms and lilies were, as noted by the Royal Collection Trust, Elizabeth's way of representing the awakened spirit of Britain after World War II, symbolizing a new beginning not only for her and Philip but for the country as well.

Princess Beatrice's handbag communicated a clear message

Prince William and Princess Catherine's wedding was one of the first events that put Princess Beatrice on the fashion map — and she didn't get the kind of attention that most of us seek. The public absolutely dragged her and her sister Princess Eugenie for their outfits, but it was Beatrice who had the best clap back.

Beatrice had what can only be described as a fashion renaissance, and her style evolved from young princess playing dress up to leading lady. After hitting the 2018 Met Gala in a stunning royal purple number, Beatrice returned to England and attended the Chelsea Flower Show shortly thereafter. 

Wearing a beautiful tulle dress with floral detailing for the occassion, Beatrice completed her ensemble with a pair of comfortable loafers and a white blazer that she casually tossed over her shoulder. However, as noted by Good Housekeeping, it was her handbag that had eagle-eyed royal watchers talking. Carrying the Leather Box Bag from designer Pop & Suki that can be personalized with a name embossed into the leather, Beatrice instead opted to have the phrase "Be Cool Be Nice" embossed. This was a subtle tribute to the anti-cyberbullying campaign of the same name. 

Princess Catherine's postpartum ensembles were subtle nods to Princess Diana

Just as royal weddings are a big deal, the welcoming of a royal baby is celebrated among the public. When Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles welcomed Princes William and Harry, Great Britain rejoiced as though the entire country had welcomed two new additions to their own families. Catherine, Princess of Wales, was keenly aware of this legacy when welcoming her own babies, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, and she made a point of choosing meaningful wardrobe pieces when stepping out of the Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital for the first time with her new bundle of joy.

As noted by Town & Country, Catherine chose a short-sleeved blue dress with subtle polka dots by designer Jenny Packham when she emerged from the hospital with little George. Not only did she glow with the sense of new motherhood, but Catherine's dress was a nod to Diana, who also wore a polka-dotted dress when leaving the hospital with William. When Catherine was back at St. Mary's with Louis, she once again left the hospital in front of fans and cameras, this time in a red dress with a prominent white collar. This was incredibly indicative of Diana's dress she wore when leaving the wing with Harry. Clearly, Catherine had her heart set on involving the late princess in the process.

Sarah Ferguson's fashion statement at Princess Eugenie's wedding was incredibly touching

The 1980s was a big decade for the royals. Princess Diana and King Charles III, then Prince Charles, tied the knot in 1981, and they were followed by the nuptials of Prince Andrew and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson in 1986. It truly felt as though the royal family had been injected with a new sense of youth and vitality, as both Diana and Fergie were the newcomers who had the press and public intrigued. Though Diana and Charles' wedding was the ceremony of the century — given that he was the direct heir to the throne at the time — Fergie and Andrew's wedding was also celebrated. The crowds came out in full force to celebrate the couple on their big day, and both Andrew and Fergie's families joined each other to witness the union — though short-lived, as we all know.

On the day in question, Susan Barrantes, Fergie's mom, looked lovely and pulled out all the designer stops for her daughter's wedding. As noted by the royal family's official website, Barrantes carried a Manolo Blahnik bag with her when Fergie and Andrew wed, and it clearly stayed in the family. When Andrew and Fergie's daughter, Princess Eugenie, tied the knot with Jack Brooksbank in 2018, Fergie, the proud mother of the bride, carried her own mother's Manolo Blahnik bag, a sweet nod to her new role as a mother-in-law that Barrantes started back in 1986.

Queen Elizabeth II's outfit for Prince Harry's wedding was full of hidden meaning

As many of us know from our own traditions, religions, and folklore, colors each have significant meanings hidden beneath their hue. Queen Elizabeth II was well known for her vibrant attire, and the outfit choice she opted for on the day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding spoke volumes. As noted by Good Housekeeping, the late monarch wore a lime green dress and coat by designer Stuart Parvin. She paired it with purple and gray hues and looked the picture of royal elegance — but the colors Elizabeth chose were reportedly indicative of her true feelings on the union.

June McLeod, an author for Color Psychology Today, told Good Housekeeping that the monarch's color choice for Harry and Meghan's big day was packed with hidden meaning — the choice of green and purple indicated that the queen was hopeful that the marriage would usher in a new era for the royal family.

"Green is the color of growth and rebirth. A person who wears green is the regulator and open-hearted," McLeod detailed. "Green is a highly significant color worn as a sign of respect and intention for the future." As for the pops of purple, McLeod noted, "Purple is a proud color. It also symbolizes cleansing and indicates a passion for creativity." 

Sarah Ferguson's wedding dress was an ode to her relationship with Prince Andrew

When we think about royal wedding dresses, a number of designs instantly come to mind. Princess Diana's opulent dress, of course, was the 1980s fashioned into a wedding gown, and Princess Catherine's design was the picture of royal elegance. Sarah Fergsuson's wedding gown, meanwhile, has slipped a little under the public's radar, and we think that this is a cardinal mistake. The dress was lovely, and Fergie looked stunning on the day in question. As it turns out, her gown was full of intentional details that all held hidden meanings, making her dress truly one of a kind.

As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Fergie's dress was designed by Lindka Cierach and featured a number of intricate beadwork designs. First up was Fergie's family's coat of arms, with the symbols of both bees and thistles embroidered into the gown. To honor Prince Andrew and his military career, Fergie had waves and anchors embroidered on her train, and she had a large "A" thrown in for good measure. On the bodice of the dress were four "S" letters for — you guessed it — Sarah. The subtle work allowed these hidden motifs to exist without coming across as cheesy or obvious. Fergie also wore a flower crown during the ceremony, only to reveal the York Diamond Tiara — commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II — after the wedding.

Meghan Markle's wedding accessories veiled a special message

In what could only be described as the wedding that the entire world was watching, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in 2018. The British prince and the dazzling American actor — it was a union that no one really saw coming, but the globe reveled in the marriage between two worlds. In order to honor the family and tradition she was marrying into, Meghan had specific requests for her wedding dress and veil — though simple and elegant in design, hidden messages existed in the details, and they certainly should not be overlooked.

As detailed on the royal family's official website, Meghan's veil was designed by Waight Keller, who incorporated the local flowers of each Commonwealth country — of which there are 53 — into the design. Lining the edges of the veil, the intricate appliqué work is a clear representation of Meghan's nod to Great Britain and beyond. Shortly before the wedding, Harry was made an ambassador of Commonwealth Youth, and Meghan's incorporation on their big day was also a nod to her new husband's charity initiatives.

As detailed by the royal family on Twitter, the veil was secured with Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Meghan by the queen for the big day. The tiara itself was made in 1932, but its centerpiece dates all the way back to 1893.

Queen Elizabeth II's gloves conveyed multiple hidden meanings

When thinking about the royals, there are really two ways of dividing them up — those who wear gloves, and those who don't. We know it sounds a little strange, but the formality that gloves dictate was very much a focal point of Queen Elizabeth II's work, keeping a warm but distant relationship with her subjects. Compare that, notably, to Princess Diana, who intentionally didn't wear gloves so that she could further connect with people through touch — there's a reason she's still known as the people's princess.

As it turns out, though, there are two hidden reasons why the late monarch wore gloves on a regular basis. As noted by Express, the primary meaning had everything to do with germs. Concerned about her health, the queen wore white gloves while out and about, allowing her a layer of protection while shaking hands and greeting people. With such a busy schedule, it made sense that protecting the queen from any kind of avoidable illness was a priority.

Secondly, gloves represented continuity for Elizabeth. She started wearing pairs from glove designer Cornelia James all the way back in 1947, and never stopped. As Express further detailed, the queen's gloves became an extension of her, just as her iconic black handbag and colorful outfits did. Each piece had a role in presenting the monarch as the balanced, approachable, yet regal ruler we all came to know over time.

Princess Catherine dressed symbolically on the 20th anniversary of Diana's death

Given the many times she's evoked Princess Diana through her outfit choices, it is a little odd to think that Princess Catherine never got to meet her late mother-in-law. The two seem inexplicably linked in both public role and title — both the Princess of Wales, Diana and Catherine have merged in the public eye in a way that few would have predicted.

With this in mind, Catherine's dress choice when honoring Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death was subtly meaningful. As noted by InStyle, Catherine joined Prince William and Prince Harry as they went to the memorial garden to pay tribute to their beloved mother. The then-Duchess of Cambridge wore a beautiful tea-length dress from Prada that featured long sleeves and a high neckline in addition to its intricate floral pattern.

It was in that pattern that the hidden message to Diana existed. InStyle noted that poppies, which were a focal flower of the design, are utilized in Great Britain to honor those that have passed. The design of the dress was also brought together with a pussy bow, which was a favorite design style of Diana's. Though Catherine has gone as far as replicating some of Diana's looks, it's this kind of hidden tribute that often speaks louder than words.

Princess Eugenie's wedding dress featured a meaningful nod to her health journey

To say that royal watchers were floored by Princess Eugenie's wedding dress is a bit of an understatement. Relatively known for fashion faux pas in the past, Eugenie simply stunned on her big day.

As noted by the royal family's official website, Eugenie's dress was designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos of British designer label Peter Pilotto. Her dress featured a gorgeous fitted corset top with an off-the-shoulder neckline, and the back of the dress scooped into a low back V-shape. The bodice elegantly flowed into a full skirt with pleated detail, and Eugenie looked, well, like a princess. However, it was the low back detail that really said it all.

As a child, Eugenie suffered from scoliosis and underwent corrective surgery at just 12 years old. For her wedding day to Jack Brooksbank, Eugenie specifically chose a gown that wouldn't cover her scar. "I had always wanted a low back, part of it was showing my scar, " she said (via "I believe scars tell a story about your past and your future and it's a way of getting rid of a taboo." The bride was the picture of elegance and resilience on her big day and we're so here for it.

Queen Elizabeth II let her brooches do the talking during Trump's visit

As any royal watcher will tell you, the monarch of the British royal family is to remain politically neutral. The late Queen Elizabeth II was known for her balanced approach when it came to most things, but especially politics. However, on one particular visit, she allowed her accessories to do the talking.

As noted by The Guardian, former president Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump visited the queen during their time in the White House. Upon their first day in the United Kingdom, the Trumps met with the late monarch, who wore a green brooch. Many wouldn't think much of it, but as it happens, the brooch was given to her by former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama to honor their friendship — strike one.

On day two of Trump's visit, Elizabeth donned a brooch gifted to her by Commonwealth country Canada. At the time, the then-president was quarreling with the neighboring country, and the monarch's choice did not go unnoticed — strike two. On day three — the final day — of the then-president's visit, the queen wore a very somber piece of jewelry, a brooch that her mother, The Queen Mother, wore when attending King George VI's funeral — strike three. The queen certainly seemed to allow her jewelry to speak when it would've been out of the question to comment on a political visit.