The Defining Elements Of British Quiet Luxury, According To The Royals

Country house luncheon, anyone?
Loading the player...

The quiet luxury aesthetic might have been popularised by American shows but the style originated on a different continent. 

Just look at the British royals, who have been modelling the same type of understated elegance for years before it was trending. 

And while Succession’s Shiv might be the current face of the trend, Sienna Miller’s very British wardrobe in Anatomy of A Scandal was arguably what really propelled the style into our lives. 

However, the defiantly upper class aesthetic is done a little differently across the pond. 

Below, we look at how the Brits, and more specifically, the royals do quiet luxury. 

Turn To Tweed 

Kate Middleton tweed
Kate Middleton wears a tweed jacket. (Credit: Getty)

Quiet luxury is defined by choice fabrics, and for the royals, this fabric is tweed.

The royal’s long-standing relationship with tweed began in 1848, when Prince Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in Scotland and designed the renowned Balmoral tweed. The design prompted other estate owners to make their own unique ‘estate tweeds’, which are still worn by many members of the British nobility. As for the Balmoral tweed, the wool design is still made for and worn by the castle’s staff today. 

Stick To One Tone 

Meghan and Kate
Kate, The Princess of Wales and Meghan, The Duchess Of Sussex walk model one-toned outfits. (Credit: Getty)

When royals wear a bright colour, they stick to just one. This style of dressing was most famously modelled by the late Queen Elizabeth, who had a perchance for bright, singular toned outfits. 

But the younger royals also tend to stick to the colour-blocking rule, which gives even the brightest of outfits, an element of neutrality—meaning that you won’t catch any royal in clashing colours. 

Fair Isle Knits 

Princess Diana
Princess Diana wearing her Fair Isle knit. (Credit: Getty)

You can’t call yourself a British royal unless you have your own Fair Isle knit. 

The fair isle jumper, which involves a specific type of knitting style from the Shetland islands, has been worn by the royal family since 1921, whens Edward VIII began sporting them. The knits are still worn by family, with everyone from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton and little Princess Charlotte spotted wearing the iconic print. 

Good Leisure Wear

Charles in the countryside
King Charles on a countryside walk in 1978 (Credit: Getty)

If binge watching too many episodes of The Crown and Downton Abbey taught us anything, it’s that the British aristocracy love their outdoor activities. The royals’ connection with hunting, riding and fishing means that they also have the quality clothing to look good doing it in—so much so that ‘royals in the countryside’ could be easily seen as a style aesthetic of it’s own. 

If Kate’s Le Chameau wellington boots are anything to go off, good leisure wear is still a defining element of British quiet luxury.

Related stories