Dress Regulations for Ladies Attending Their Majesties' Courts

I was at the library yesterday and pillaged the GT section, so there will be more gems such as this to come:

Ladies attending Their Majesties' Courts will appear in Full Dress, with TRAINS and PLUMES. For Half Mourning Black and White, White, Mauve, or Grey should be worn.

FEATHERS should be worn so that they can be clearly seen on approaching the Presence, with White veils or lappets. Coloured feathers are inadmissible, but in deep mourning Black feathers may be worn.

WHITE GLOVES only are to be worn, excepting in the case of mourning, when Black or Grey gloves are admissible.

HIGH COURT DRESS.–The King has been pleased to permit that a High Court Dress, according to the following description, may be worn in future at Their Majesties' Courts, and on other State occasions, by Ladies, to whom, from illness, infirmity, or advancing age, the present low Court Dress is inappropriate, viz., Bodices in front, cut square or heart shape, which may be filled in with white only, either transparent or lined; at the back, high, or cut down three-quarter height. Sleeves to elbow, either thick or transparent. Trains, gloves, and feathers as usual.

It is necessary for Ladies who wish to appear in "HIGH COURT DRESS," to have obtained permission through the Lord Chamberlain, unless they have already received it.

Which is quite a long-winded way of saying "no shirt no shoes no service," huh?

This is from Dress Worn At His Majesty's Court, edited by Herbert A. P. Trendell. Issued with the authority of the Lord Chamberlain. 1908. The endpapers are covered with ads for military tailors and cigarettes, and the part above is one of only two pages with instructions for women. The rest is about appropriate dress (mostly uniforms) for men at court.

If you want to see what this looked like, try this link: Mrs. George McLaughlin in Court Dress for Presentation at Buckingham Palace.

0 thoughts on “Dress Regulations for Ladies Attending Their Majesties' Courts

  1. Lydia, sensible ladies had pockets sewn into their trains. I’ve read of some who kept sandwiches tucked in their pockets, as one could look forward to hours and hours and hours of Standing Around.


  2. Yep! And the only excuses for not wearing something low-cut were age, illness, or infirmity. Weird. I wonder if the Chancellor needed a doctor’s note?


  3. Another interesting anecdote that I heard as a young Girl Scout visiting Juliette Gordon Lows’s house: She got so tired of holding her bouquet while waiting in line to be presented to the Queen, that she put it on the bustle of the woman in front of her, and the woman never noticed. Hee hee.-Elizabeth CS


  4. I NEED that book. Sob.I seem to recall that at Edward VIII’s coronation, some of the peers stored their sandwiches in their coronets. There was also a long, long line for the ladies’ room because one Marchioness dropped her tiara into the toilet and it had to be fished out with tongs.


  5. Just for persnicketiness’s sake, the flip-flops at the White House were actually leather thong sandals that run about $50 msrp, if I recall.Besides, why worry? The President never noticed her footgear. The President is a guy. Decolletage at Court, however–hey, when you curtsy, the King gets to check out your cleavage. That, he’ll notice.


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