Prince Harry and the traditions of royal tour style
While all eyes have been firmly trained on the Duchess of Sussex and her emerging baby bump, you may have noticed that that fellow beside her has been busy too. On the Duke and Duchess’s first official tour, spanning Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, his wife’s outfits may garner the most attention – particularly if you happen to leave the label on – but it took an eagle-eyed Instagram user to note one remarkable point about Harry’s look. The post, which swiftly went viral, highlighted the astonishing similarity between the Duke in his Tropical Dress of the Blues & Royals regiment, and his grandfather Prince Philip from 1957 on the cover ofParis Match magazine in that same uniform, their ginger beards and grins almost identical. Will he one day inherit the Duke of Edinburgh’s sense of style? The patriarch of The Firm has always looked appropriate and pin sharp, but never at the expense of the main attraction, the Queen. His wardrobe – still polished as he approaches 100 – melds handsome Savile Row tailoring with sportsman vigour. It’s a lesson that Harry might look to; like the Duke of Cambridge’s total tour of India in 2016, Harry unerringly plays it safe in the style stakes. Which is entirely the point; as a royal on a taxpayer-funded tour of duty, he can’t well break out the camp collar shirts and micro shorts as if he’s posturing for Instagram in #Positano. His easy “nothing to see here” style – navy chinos, linen shirts, desert boots – are all well and good (actually, the desert boots are a little bit too rustic to wear with smart tailoring, but let’s revisit) but perhaps his wife’s stylish has led to a few style adjustments along the way. Firstly, the introduction of workwear in to his wardrobe, by way of a chambray, button-down shirt. British men in hot climates can find themselves cast adrift style wise, particularly if they spend much of their time in office attire, but a utilitarian chambray shirt is a halfway point between casual and smart. And it seems Harry’s taken some tips from BFF Barack Obama, with smart tailoring in a light dove grey shade to suit the tropical climes. And in Fiji this week, he donned a jolly blue shirt. He perhaps has a way to go until he grows into his style legacy and follows in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh. The desert boots are best for summer BBQs, not meetings with Heads of State, the Hawaiian shirt with smart trousers is a curious mishmash and he’d do well to crop his beard short and trim his hair to disguise his thinning patch – but the Duke’s wardrobe while on tour is a welcome respite from the restraints of the (albeit beautifully cut) blue navy suit he’s so fond of usually. And as we eye up winter breaks in the sun, the workwear, jaunty shirting (worn with casual chinos, not formal trousers) and lightweight, pale tailoring isn’t a bad formula to work from. Just opt for some deck shoes next time, Your Highness.