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The Tribute

Seven Stylish Royals

Sartorial lessons from the kings and heirs who cut a dash

  • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in Copenhagen, March 2017. Photograph by Mr Sören Steffen/Press Association Images

Who’d be a prince? All those endless meetings with deputy regional managers of God knows what in God knows where, the thousand inane questions – “Have you come far?” – the strangers from the other side of the planet you have to put up in your spare bedroom at various intervals just because other people have voted for them to be their leader. It is enough to crack a noble heart. Sure, you’d be unlikely to be short of readies, but you would always be on duty, scrutinised in supermarkets and leered at on planes. This is why royals are so well-dressed – they have to be. So, on the eve of the royal wedding and trailing in the wake of the royal birth, we say, “Hello, sweet prince,” to the best-dressed royals in the world.

The Prince of Wales

  • The Prince of Wales in Australia, 1974. Photograph by Mr Serge Lemoine/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

They say no man is a hero to his valet. A truism, but especially on the money when it comes to the Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, employ 124 household staff and the Prince has three valets, on rotation like a merry-go-round, but with buttons. The valets attend to all the prince’s dressing needs and assist with his ablutions, including, apparently, squeezing toothpaste onto his brush. To be fair to him, he does have to wear a lot of uniforms and he does always look very well turned out, which is what you want in a Prince of Wales. Here he is in Australia in 1974 during a rain storm, not that it ruffles Prince Charles, who looks as implacable as an Easter Island statue in a mac, blue shirt and, no doubt, Guards tie. He still wears those cufflinks today. What a chap.

Get the look

  • Dunhill Cotton-Blend Gabardine Trench Coat

  • Polo Ralph Lauren Button-Down Collar Cotton-Piqué Shirt

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece

  • Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece in Cowes, June 2015. Photograph by Mr Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece might be a prince without a throne, but what he lacks in crowns he makes up for in style. Here he is with his wife, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, daughter of American billionaire Mr Robert Miller. The royal couple married in 1995 at a ceremony attended by most of the crowned heads in Europe that cost $1.5m (thank you, Mr Miller). Here they are at the bicentenary of The Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes in 2015. With his trousers cut just so and the blue blazer over the white shirt so crisp it could have come directly from a Walkers packet, he looks like he has been ordered from Central Casting.

Get the look

  • Canali Royal-Blue Slim-Fit Travel Water-Resistant Wool Blazer

  • Isaia Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Chinos

Emperor Akihito of Japan

  • Empress Michiko and Emperor Akihito of Japan at the Karuizawa tennis court, 1959. Photograph by Sankei Archive via Getty Images

Emperor Akihito of Japan is the 125th member of his dynasty to sit upon the Chrysanthemum Throne and the only one ever to have been pictured on a tennis court, it being convention that those who came before him were God and, well, gods don’t play tennis. Still, he wears his whites on the Karuizawa tennis court with a facility that implies he has some experience, as does his wife, Empress Michiko, beside him, pictured in 1959. Unusually, he last year decided to give notice that he intends to abdicate in 2019, though royal watchers insist this has nothing to do with his backhand.

Get the look

  • Officine Generale Cashmere Sweater

  • Spalwart Special Cap-Toe Linen-Canvas Sneakers

King Felipe VI of Spain

  • King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain at Oxford University, July 2017. Photograph by Mr Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

King Felipe VI of Spain is a good sort – tall, dignified, kindly and untainted by scandal, unlike so many members of his family, at least one of whom, his father, has a penchant for shooting elephants. Here he is with his wife, Queen Letizia, a former television news anchor, doing what royals do best: smiling at things. In this instance, Exeter College at the University of Oxford while on a visit to his cousin (third, once removed), Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, in 2017. His suit is exquisite – midnight blue, the hint of an enlarged lapel – and paired so nicely with the pale blue striped shirt and green tie, it brings out His Majesty’s tan so well.

Get the look

  • Prada Midnight-Blue Slim-Fit Wool-Twill Suit

  • TOM FORD 8cm Silk-Twill Tie

The Duke of Windsor

  • The Duke of Windsor in Nassau, the Bahamas, circa 1942. Photograph by Mr Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Duke of Windsor might have been a bounder, a cad and a man who deserted his duties as readily as he did his crown, but he did know how to dress impeccably, which is something. Here he is during his epic sulk in Government House in the Bahamas, having been sent there by the British government in 1940 to get him out of the way during the war. The former King Edward VIII stares mournfully at the camera, an old-school fountain pen in his hand, presumably to demonstrate industry; he looks as a governor general should do. But then you notice his clothes, which are very much not your normal GG garb. The wide lapels, the four-button cuffs and the red checked tie all scream “playboy”. A picture that sums up a life.

Get the look

  • Rubinacci Cotton-Chambray Shirt

  • Drake's 8cm Prince of Wales Checked Silk Tie

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

  • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in Copenhagen, March 2017. Photograph by Mr Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Danish royal family are known as “the cycling royals”, a nod to their informality and personal modesty. Here, though, Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, look every inch the regal part. In fact, they look like the Kennedys. It is the pill box hat, of course, and the bouclé jacket, but also the hard-set jaw of the prince and his tailored overcoat with suede placket lapel. One feels he is not the type of cyclist who would run a red light.

Get the look

  • Paul Smith Wool and Cashmere-Blend Coat

  • Johnstons of Elgin Fringed Cashmere Scarf

Mr Pierre Casiraghi

  • Mr Pierre Casiraghi and Ms Beatrice Borromeo in Monte Carlo, March 2018. Photograph by Vantage News

Oh, to be Mr Pierre Casiraghi. The grandson of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco, genetically blessed, Ms Beatrice Borromeo on his arm and the heir to a wardrobe that includes this dinner jacket, which is being worn at the Monaco Rose Ball at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club in March of this year. We’ll never know if it is Prince Rainier’s, but it is likely because princes tend not to buy dinner jackets. The aristocratic view is that it’s better to inherit one’s eveningwear and get it smartly adjusted, which is a brilliant approach as long as your forebears all went to as many balls as you do. Anyway, it is not simply Mr Casiraghi’s looks or his jacket that induce such envy. It also the fact that he is a foot-half-in royal, which is to say he is connected closely enough to the House of Grimaldi to enjoy the privileges, and presumably the money, but not so connected that he is forever in the cold pitiless eye of the spotlight. Lucky devil.

Get the look

  • SALLE PRIVÉE Black Gaspar Slim-Fit Satin-Trimmed Wool and Mohair-Blend Tuxedo

  • Ermenegildo Zegna Pre-Tied Silk-Faille Bow Tie

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