In this age of frantic Twitter updates every time the Duchess of Cambridge leaves the house in a new coat, or an old coat, or frankly, anything, it’s easy to assume that this fixation with every aspect of Royal wardrobing is part of our flimsy, low-fi current culture of mindless entertainment. Not so.
Royal style has long been seized upon – far before Princess Diana sat front row at Gianni Versace’s fashion shows, or the Duchess featured on the cover of British Vogue. And the keenest member of that family to be heralded as a style rule breaker worth emulation was Princess Margaret.
In a 1951 feature in this newspaper, the young princess was held up as a fashion setter for daring to attend a party sans chapeau; “the princess makes her own rules” ran the line.