Prince Charles thrills and confuses fans by wearing a kilt alongside mysterious accessory

Prince Charles' kilt outfit on his recent trip to Scotland has had a strong reaction from fans

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales gestures during a visit to the DS McGregor and Partners Veterinary Surgery in Thurso, Caithness on July 29, 2021, as part of a two-day visit to Scotland. (Photo by Paul Campbell / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL CAMPBELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: (Photo by Paul Campbell / POOL / AFP) (Photo by PAUL CAMPBELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images))

Prince Charles has driven royal fans wild with his latest style choice—a tartan kilt and knee-high socks. 

The Prince of Wales ditched his signature suit for a slightly breezier look on his recent trip to Thurso in Scotland, the northernmost town on Britain's mainland, and royal fans were more than excited. 

Charles, who goes by the title the Duke of Rothesay on Scottish soil, arrived at Scrabster Beach on Thursday to help the Caithness Beach Clean Group pick up litter from the rural bay—and show off his patriotic outfit to the public, of course. 

The Prince wore traditional Highland attire for the eco event, stepping out in a red tartan kilt, green knee-high socks, a leather pouch called a sporran, and classic black dress shoes. He paired the look with a matching grey jacket and waistcoat, crisp white shirt, and a reddish-brown tie. The bold wardrobe choice was mostly applauded by his followers, many of whom were delighted to see a variation on his go-to suit. 

"The Prince always looks more comfortable and at home in his kilt," one fan commented. 

"Looking swell in a kilt," another wrote. 

There was one outfit feature, however, that left some folks a little perplexed. Eagle-eyed fans were quick to spot a mysterious dark object peeking out of his woolen knee-high sock—and it didn't take long before questions were being asked. 

"Just curious, what is sticking out of his sock? I only see it on one side," one curious fan wrote. 

The item was, in fact, a dirk—or in layman's terms, a long knife. While it may not seem very royal to carry around weapons, the dagger is a staple accessory in the Scottish Highland dress. It was historically used to prepare food and defend in battle but is now simply worn as a decorative detail. 

While it's not every day he steps out in the plaid look, Charles is no rookie when it comes to kilts. He often wears the pleated skirt when staying at his royal residence of Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as a mark of respect for the Caledonian culture. The Prince doesn't just don any old tartan, however. 

BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16: Prince Charles With Prince William And Prince Harry Visit Glen Muick On The Balmoral Castle Estate (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Prince Charles wears a green kilt with Prince William and Prince Harry in Glen Muick at Balmoral Castle 

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Royal Family often wears tartan designed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert—a tradition dating back to 1957. The exclusive pattern can only be worn by members of the British monarchy and must be approved by the Queen beforehand. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.