Kate Middleton casually broke royal fashion protocol on her latest outing

Nathalie Owen

From Cosmopolitan

As the end of the year draws near, there are only a handful of royal engagements left on the calendar.

Most recently, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (AKA Kate Middleton) was out in full force in Norfolk to open the £10 million-pound Nook children’s hospice as part of her role as patron of the East Anglia's Children’s Hospices.

Kate opted for a royal magenta skirt suit by Oscar de la Renta for the engagement, paired with her favourite black suede Gianvito Rossi heels and an Aspinal of London clutch.

But there was one item the Duchess wore which may have broken royal protocol.

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Showing off her new blonde highlights with a wavy blow-dry Kate put a twist on her signature makeup with a smoky style cat eye.

Keeping things simple on the jewellery front, the 37-year-old mother of three chose an elegant pair of feather gold hoops by Catherine Zoraida which complemented her famous sapphire diamond engagement ring.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

As the temperate drops, Kate chose a pair of black opaque tights to keep warm, but the sartorial choice has divided royal watchers, with the suggestion that her tights might've broken the royal style rules.

A fan of recycling outfits, Kate first wore the £2,700 peplum style suit at a mental health conference in 2017, and again at Royal Opera House in January, where she also opted for opaque tights:

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

The decision for royal women to wear hosiery is a much-debated issue.

While there is no official rulebook, it is widely known that royal women are expected to wear skin-coloured pantyhose on royal engagements, a precedent set by the Queen. Who can forget the backlash when Meghan opted not to wear tights in her engagement photos with Prince Harry?

Conversely, Kate is rarely seen without her trusty tights, but the decision to wear black hosiery on official outings is another question all together.

CNN Royal Commentator, Victoria Arbiter told Insider, “You never see a royal without their nude stockings. I would say that's really the only hard, steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires.”

So, while Kate still wore tights, it looks like the colour of the hosiery is also quite notable, with the Queen never wearing statement tights herself.

Kate has long been a fan of the darker wardrobe staple, from sheer styles to opaque, it has become something of a signature of the Duchess' in the colder months.

This means that Kate's either repeatedly breaking the style convention, or she's potentially found a loophole in the tradition. Either way, we're totally here for it.

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