Hairstyles The Royals Are Forbidden From Having

If you're wondering why the royals have such strict rules when it comes to physical appearance, the answers are fairly straightforward: It's to send a particular message or to avoid embarrassing fashion faux pas and the resulting media attention. For instance, you might have noticed from photographs that Queen Elizabeth II almost always wears bright colors in public. The reason for this? So she can more easily be spotted in the crowd by members of the public (via Mental Floss). 


Of course, the rules and protocols get even more complicated, and they extend beyond just how a royal dresses. Everything from the top of the head to the bottom of the shoe is subject to scrutiny, and there are plenty of styles that are completely off-limits for royals (don't let the Queen catch you wearing wedges, for instance — she hates them, according to Marie Claire). Perhaps the most regulated area is the hair, however, which must always be kept neat and natural. Here are some hairstyles that are totally off-limits to the British royal family, per Vogue Australia.

Royal hair must be neat and natural

There's a reason Kate Middleton's hairstyles are so classic; unlike other celebrities, she isn't allowed to experiment much with color, cut, or texture thanks to the neat and natural rule. This means, sadly, that you're not going to see Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, rocking a bright or unnatural hair color (though she does reportedly get it dyed regularly to cover any grays), dramatic ombre, side shave, or even temporary, throwback crimped locks (via Bright Side).


If you thought that was tough, keep in mind that this "neat" stipulation applies constantly, not just to formal events. In other words, even buns and ponytails on weekend mornings need to be tidy and natural. If you'd like proof, google "Kate Middleton ponytail" and you'll see that even in the most casual settings, the ponytail of a duchess usually has a section of hair wrapped around the hair tie is smooth and sleek all the way from roots to ends. So, sadly, you can royal-wave goodbye to your favorite quick, messy hairstyle if you're going to be following these rules.

Royal hairstyles must suit hats and tiaras

While this rule used to be more common than it is now, it still applies at formal events: Hats are mandatory until 6 p.m., when married royal women must then trade them in for a tiara or crown (okay, we could live with that!). You'll still see this rule in full effect at royal weddings, where all royal women are wearing hats, and only the bride is wearing a tiara. This is because only brides and married royals are allowed to wear these particular bejeweled accessories (via Vogue Australia).


Luckily, in this instance at least, the royal rules have been stretched a bit over time. Before the 1950's, royal and upper-class women weren't allowed to show their hair at all in public (possibly because it was more difficult to have perfectly neat and natural hair at all times back then), so wearing hats at formal occasions is a way of updating that tradition (via Insider).