There has been quite a lot of tabloid attention being paid to the Spanish Royals and their level of chic.
Specifically, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, who were recently photographed on summer holiday in Mallorca with their young two daughters, Princesses Leonor and Sofia.
The foursome were pictured strolling through town, much like any other well-heeled Spanish family – the King with his grey-flecked beard and looking relaxed in a blue linen shirt, his wife sexy and summery in a short white cotton shift dress, her tanned legs in sandals and carrying a straw basket.
The girls were pretty in their simple blue-and-white striped dresses and long blonde hair, a picture perfect postcard, that says “Zara, with a few palaces”.
For her more formal duties, Queen Letizia tends to dress like any of the other European royals, in inoffensive knee-length dresses or skirts, paired with neat daytime tailored coats, hats and heels.
But she also easily embraces a more relaxed contemporary style of dress, and looks great in pants, mostly worn with a soft-sleeved blouse or sleeveless tank. For this she is a trailblazer.
There is still an old world tradition of formality and conservatism that royals tend to follow, and for good reason.
As much as the population likes to royal-watch, no taxpayer wants to see huge sums being spent on designer dresses and flashy accessories, unless it’s a wedding and the crown jewels have come out of the vault. And no one wants to see a Royal Goth.
For a royal to wear a dress more than once is considered prudent; flashy designer clothes are not. A special occasion piece by a local designer also scores approval (think of Kate Middleton and her Alexander McQueen dresses), but this must be balanced by the occasional piece thrown in from a high street store (such as Reiss).
Kate is sometimes seen in jeans and stripy t-shirts when she is off duty, but on the whole she adheres to the sensible dresses and skirt philosophy.
Her children, the adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte are magnificent examples of pish posh, old-school English dressing: George in his little short shorts, Peter Pan collared shirts, lace-up shoes and socks, and Charlotte with her smocked floral dresses, Start Rite shoes, her hair parted on the side, neatly fixed with a clip.
I imagine HRH Queen Elizabeth and her sister Margaret looked exactly like that when she was Charlotte’s age, topped with a cute little Scottish wool cardigan.
I’m a huge fan of the look – I don’t want to see Charlotte in a hot pink t-shirt and a pair of glitter leggings, and she can keep the tutus for ballet class. I hope George keeps the shorts look going until his first day at Eton.
But Kate might like to take a lead from Queen Letizia and start wearing more trousers. It’s such a modern look, yes still conservative but so much more stylish and relatable than a double-breasted frock coat.
Leave those for little George.