This is the bizarre reason why Meghan Markle can't wear dark nail polish anymore
Many girls grow up wanting to be princesses - it's a veritable right of passage, right there next to Barbie dolls and all other effluvia that comes hand-in-hand with being a little girl. However, once we mature, we inevitably swap out dreams of the crown jewels for other, more practical aspirations. While tiaras are dazzling, and the whole notion of being a princess endlessly beguiling, it's apparent that being a royal isn't just a big game of dress up - it's a job, just like any other.
Certainly, although Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton may be privy to the very finest things in life now, they still have to adhere to royal protocol. The duchesses are rarely seen bare-legged, and the Queen's disdain for pantsuits means that their wardrobes are mostly comprised of dresses and skirts.
The erstwhile actress, however, has been known to skirt royal tradition. Meghan didn't wear pantyhose to her official engagement photo-call, and just last month, she stepped out in a fitted Altuzarra pantsuit, despite Her Royal Highness's aversion to the style. In fact, People magazine reports that the Duchess of Sussex "has found certain rules in the royal household difficult to understand, like the fact that the Queen prefers women in dresses or skirts rather than trouser suits, and is often asking Harry why things have to be done in a certain way."
"I think she finds it a little frustrating at times, but this is her new life, and she has to deal with it," the insider continued.
Now, it's been reported that royal protocol even dictates what colour nail polish the Duchess of Sussex can wear on her finger nails. Meghan has had to say goodbye to any vampy shades as dark nails are a royal no-no - and this is, of course, in addition to being unable to engage in any late-night partying or PDA.
According to insiders who spoke to OK! magazine last year, wearing any non-nude shade on the nails is considered "inappropriate" for royal women. Both Her Royal Highness and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, only wear light pink or nude nail polishes, if they opt to wear it at all.
And clearly, Meghan was briefed on this rather bizarre rule while she was dating her now-husband, as when they made their first public appearance at the Invictus Games in 2017, her nails were painted a nude colour.
In fact, the 37-year-old wore the Queen's favourite nail polish - Essie's Ballet Slippers - when she married Prince Harry in May at St. George's Chapel in Windsor. It's believed that the monarch has been wearing the sheer pink nail polish since 1989.
The Duchess of Cambridge also wore Ballet Slippers when she wed Prince William back in 2011.
Thanks to the royal family's allegiance to the shade, Ballet Slippers is Essie's best-selling nail polish. Indeed, the Queen's hairdresser once wrote a letter to the company, saying that the shade is "the only colour Her Majesty would wear".
Tradition certainly runs strong in Kensington Palace.