Everyone has the same question about Prince Louis after he makes first ever Sandringham Christmas appearance

The answer to why Louis was wearing shorts in the cold weather is a Royal Family tradition

Prince Louis stole the show with his first Sandringham Christmas appearance
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The Royal Family put on a strong front for their first Sandringham Christmas in three years. Not only were all senior members of the family there, they were joined by the likes of Princess Beatrice's stepson and Lady Chatto, Charles’ cousin. It also marked Prince Louis’ first appearance at the Christmas service, but many people are asking why the young prince was wearing shorts on the cold, winter’s day.

Prince Louis stole the show at his first ever Christmas Day Sandringham service.

Joining the likes of his parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton, who rewore a chic khaki coat with a jaunty feathered hat, Louis was all smiles and waves as he greeted the Christmassy crowd.

Louis was even lucky enough to be given a Christmas toy from someone.

Prince Louis was given a festive toy by the Sandringham crowd

(Image credit: UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)

Despite his winning appearance, many have been asking the same thing – just why is the young royal in a pair of shorts in the dead of winter?

The answer, like most things to do with the Royal Family, dates back centuries.

Like his brother, Prince George, and even Princes William and Harry when they were younger, Louis follows a custom of the British aristocracy and upper classes.

Back in 2016, after the Royal Tour in Canada where people asked the same question about George’s shorts, royal expert William Hanson told Harper’s Bazaar that tradition dictates boys of the upper classes wear shorts year-round until they are about eight years old.

Prince Louis won hearts with his appearance, but people are asking why he was in shorts on such a cold day

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

“Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent class markers that we have in England,” he told the magazine. “Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class — quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban.”

The tradition, William suggests, likely comes from the centuries-old practice of “breeching.” Until the 1920s, boys in Western Europe were expected to wear dresses exclusively for the first years of their lives, according to the V&A Museum of Childhood.

Thus, the boy was “breeched” when he was given his first pair of short trousers (also known as breeches), usually in a formal ceremony marking his journey “from babyhood to boyhood.”

“Young boys would not have felt conspicuous,” the museum explains, “as at the time wearing a dress was considered normal, although they would have undoubtedly looked forward to getting their first trousers and being thought of as more grown-up.”

All the royal boys wear shorts until they are around 8 years old

(Image credit: Getty)

For Louis’ older brother, his first moment wearing trousers was a monumental one. George first wore a pair of long trousers at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Savile Row tailors Dege Skinner custom-made a frockcoat and trousers for George which resembled the Blues and Royals for William.

Since Louis is only four years old, he might have a few more winters wearing shorts ahead of him.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.