This is why the Queen always wears gloves

(Image credit: 2018 Samir Hussein)

It's a well known fact that Princess Diana stopped wearing gloves during public engagements, even though they were the done thing. Why? Because she felt they were too impersonal.

‘She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact,' Eleri Lynn, curator of the exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story, told People.

Of course, this caused a little controversy at the time, as did anything that broke with tradition, though it's now become the norm for younger members of the royal family, such as Duchess Catherine and Duchess Meghan.

However, gloves are still favourite by Queen Elizabeth, and the reason is actually much more practical than you'd think (and wait 'til you know why she wears bright colours and carries clutch bags).

Firstly, they finish off an outfit nicely, but more importantly, it's to protect the Queen from germs. If she is shaking hands all day, she might get her hands dirty or pick up someone's cold, and of course it wouldn't be handy at all for the Queen to be ill when she has so many commitments.

Apparently, she is also specific about the length of them, as when she waves she doesn't want her skin to show under the sleeve, so they go up above the wrist to avoid that. She is also said to order a dozen pairs at a time to avoid having to buy them regularly, and has them mended so as not to throw them away.

When she does take them off, according to, there is a specific way to do it too: 'You have to take them off when you’re eating (even if it’s just a quick canapé or nosh), and they’re forbidden at the dinner table. To take them off, you have to pull them finger by finger, and then rest them on your lap underneath your napkin.'

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.