Kate Middleton Stood Firm and Broke a 350-Year-Old Royal Wedding Tradition on Her Wedding Day

“They ended up compromising.”

Catherine Middleton arrives to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England
(Image credit: Getty/Pascal Le Segretain)

In many ways, the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William on April 29, 2011, was steeped in tradition—but in one decision, Kate eschewed a 350-year-old wedding tradition, despite being advised otherwise, The Daily Express reports.

Kate Middleton, wedding dress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal expert Ashley Pearson said that Kate was advised to wear her hair in a sleek updo, but instead asked to have her hair down and flowing.

“Royal sources tell me that the royals indicated very strongly to Kate that they would prefer her to wear her hair up for this very special occasion,” Pearson said. “However, Kate had her heart set on wearing her hair down with long, flowing curls, which is her favorite way to wear it, and actually William’s favorite, as well.”

The bride ultimately won out, as “They ended up compromising on her look,” Pearson said.

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This wasn’t the only tradition broken in the run-up to their wedding—and William broke a standard tradition of his own, foregoing asking the bride’s father for her hand in marriage, he revealed in their 2010 engagement interview.

Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony

(Image credit: Getty/Peter Macdiarmid)

“Well, I was torn between asking Kate’s dad first and then the realization that he might actually say ‘no’ dawned upon me,” William said. “So I thought, if I ask Kate first, then he can’t really say no. So I did it that way ‘round. I managed to speak to Mike soon after it happened, really, and then it sort of happened from there,” referring to Kate’s father, Michael Middleton.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.