Prince Louis granted special privilege by Prince William and Kate as he follows in Prince George’s footsteps

Prince Louis received this special privilege from the Prince and Princess of Wales last year and he's not the only one to have it

Prince Louis of Wales attends the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25 2023
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Prince Louis was granted a special privilege by Prince William and Kate and it means he’s following in Prince George’s footsteps.

Last year was a major year for the Prince and Princess of Wales’s youngest child as whilst Prince Louis still doesn’t accompany his siblings to every major event, he made several high-profile appearances in 2023. This included his grandfather King Charles’s coronation and his debut in one of his best winter coats at Kate’s Together at Christmas carol service. However, it was at another family occasion that five-year-old Prince Louis was granted a special privilege. 

Stepping out alongside the rest of the Royal Family on Christmas Day, Prince Louis might well have astonished some onlookers with his checked trousers. It was a moment that couldn’t have been a greater contrast to 2022 when he made his debut walking to church on Christmas Day in shorts. 

Prince Louis of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend the Christmas Day service

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
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Shorts are a traditional choice for royal boys and getting to wear trousers instead is very new for Prince Louis - even in colder weather. According to etiquette expert William Hanson, royal boys traditionally wear shorts as this is apparently one of the “silent class markers” in England. Back in 2018, he claimed to Harper’s Bazaar that it’s a “very English thing” to do and that “trousers are for older boys and men”.

William went on to express his belief that a young boy wearing trousers is “is considered quite middle class – quite suburban” and in his opinion, “no self-respecting aristo or royal” would “want to be considered suburban”. It's also been suggested that boys traditionally start wearing trousers like we saw Prince Louis wear at Christmas when they're several years older than he is.

Prince Louis of Wales attends the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25, 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Editor-in-Chief of Majesty magazine, Ingrid Seward, claimed in the past to People that, “It is shorts until you’re 8 and then ‘woo, you’re in long trousers. They suddenly feel very grown up.”

It seems that Prince William and Kate have now relaxed this supposed royal rule for five-year-old Prince Louis. This is something that he might appreciate in the colder months especially and Prince Louis being granted this privilege means he’s also following in his big brother Prince George’s footsteps.

Prince George was five when he was first seen wearing trousers instead of shorts for the Prince and Princess of Wales’s highly-anticipated 2018 Christmas card photo. This was taken by photographer Matt Porteous outside, seemingly in autumn, and so wearing trousers makes complete practical sense, even if it breaks with tradition.

He then went on to wear trousers for his first ever Christmas Day walk to church - something Prince Louis didn’t get to do. The decision for Prince Louis to be allowed to swap shorts for trousers more freely in 2023, though, indicates that Prince William and Kate are now happy for both their sons to do so in the winter at least.

Just a few weeks earlier Prince Louis attended his mother’s carol service for the first time and also wore trousers that chilly December evening. Known for his mischievous antics at royal occasions, Prince Louis displayed a lot of confidence there too, but according to author and body language expert Judi James, he now limits his playfulness at events a bit more.

Princess Charlotte of Wales has her candle blown out by Prince Louis of Wales at the "Together At Christmas" Carol Service" at Westminster Abbey in London on December 8, 2023

(Image credit: Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"Louis is still hugely playful, even blowing out his sister’s candle, but the expression on Charlotte’s face is one of shared fun and total indulgence here," she previously told womanandhome. "Charlotte will happily step in to check her two brother’s behaviour at formal events and the fact that she was smiling suggests Louis has gone past his super-playful stage and now keeps his fun within limits."

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!