While the Royal family are subject to all kinds of rules including what to wear, how to behave and the special occasions they are permitted to wear a tiara, it seems that tattoos are a little less taboo than one might expect.
It seems strange, for a group of people so rooted in tradition to be fairly relaxed when it comes to body ink, but the debut of several members tattoos implies that they may be a little more modern than we’d believe. That being said, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Kate Middleton or Prince Harry sporting a sleeve at some point, but still, there are no shortage of royals who have gone under the needle for body art.
As it currently stands, there are only two known British royals who have been spotted with tattoos, while the remaining five hail from European nations. But, tattoos are a longstanding tradition when it comes to the blue-bloods, dating as far back as 1862 when Prince Albert Edward visited Jerusalem on royal tour and stopped by the Razzouk tattoo parlour and for a tattoo of five crucifixes and three crowns in honor of the trip.
Intrigued as to who the current lineup might be? Below, 7 royals who bucked tradition and inked themselves.
Princess Eugenie, daughter to the Duke and Duchess of York, debuted her behind-the-ear tattoo at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee of all places. While it’s difficult to get a close look given its placement, the appears to be a small circle and is reportedly a tribute to her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Perhaps, because circles are a symbol of eternity and the world was celebrating the long-reigning monarch? Either way, the dainty nature of the tattoo and its relatively subtle placement means it’s not likely to offend anyone.
Lady Amelia Windsor
This young royal certainly isn’t afraid to showcase her personal style, especially when it comes to body ink. Working as a model, studying at university and landing herself the title of an indisputable ‘it-girl’, she is passionate about environmental and social issues, which might explain the large tiger tattoo on her back.
Along with the tiger, she also has a rib cage tattoo and three bear cubs on her right forearm, which are said to represent her brother and sister. Speaking to ELLE, she explained:
“We saw three cubs in Canada when we were really little and thought they were us on the beach. It was a really magical moment.”
As one of the Queen Elizabeth’s duke cousins, Lady Amelia is slightly further removed from the core royal family circle, meaning it’s easier for her to get away with bending royal rules.
Princess Sofia of Sweden
Known for her reputation as a former wild child, Princess Sofia has a few tattoos, one of which was on full display for her 2015 wedding to Prince Carl Gustav. A sunburst tattoo at the base of her neck was clearly visible during her nuptials, though her butterfly ribcage tattoo and small ankle ink was kept hidden.
She’s rumoured to have previously owned a small motif on her arm, but it doesn’t appear to be visible now, suggesting she might have had it removed.
Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
As the youngest daughter of American actress Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, Princess Stéphanie was also lovingly dubbed a ‘wild child’ by her mother, growing up. Tragically, her mother died in a car accident while Stéphanie was in the car with her, after that, it appeared that the fragility of life took on a whole new meaning, which may have prompted her to go under the needle for several tattoos.
Stéphanie has a floral design wrapping around her wrist, a dragon on her spine and two jumping dolphins on her foot.
“I realised how lucky I was to have life,” she confessed in an interview. “I had my arms open to the future and I said to myself, ‘This could be all over tomorrow.’ Nobody has really tried to understand me or my behaviour, which just reflected my decision to enjoy life to the full.”
Pauline is the daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and 14th in line to the Monegasque throne. Much like her mother, she also shares a love of tattoos and has been spotted with a daisy design on her arm with a cursive word placed nearby.
Charlotte is the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco and is 11th in line for the throne. Again, given her relative distance, she’s likely allowed to bend royal rules and has been seen with a constellation of stars inked on her abdomen.
Prince Frederick of Denmark
While Prince Frederick actually has several tattoos, his most famous one is unquestionably the shark on his leg which has been spotted several times (most often while on beach holidays). He also has a tattoo on his arm that means ‘pingu’, with both ink designs rumoured to represent his ancestors time served in the Danish Navy.