The Queen Pushed for What Became Prince William’s Wedding Outfit

Left up to him, William would have worn another outfit entirely to his April 2011 nuptials.

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Typically, Prince William and grandmother Queen Elizabeth are pretty simpatico. But, in the runup to William and bride Kate Middleton’s April 29, 2011 wedding—11 years ago this month!—William and Her Majesty did clash on one wedding detail: His outfit.

William originally wanted to wear his Irish Guards frock coat, which he had worn during previous royal engagements. However, he had been appointed Colonel of the regiment two months before the wedding, and, as such, Her Majesty wanted him to wear the red tunic.

“We had a couple of discussions on this matter but, as I learnt growing up, you don’t mess with your grandmother,” the now Duke of Cambridge said, per the Mirror. (Even though, of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, all eyes were really on her outfit, it’s really hard to imagine William wearing anything other than the red tunic.)

And, though the Queen didn’t budge on William’s outfit, she was more lenient in other aspects of wedding planning. She allowed William and Kate to draft their own guest list after William was given an initial guest list—and knew no one on the list.

“Things were rapidly building up steam towards the wedding,” William said in 2012, the year after the ceremony. “I was given a list in the first meeting of 777 names, and not one of them I knew. It was a bit daunting, and it was like, that seems to be the guest list sorted—no room for friends or family.”

But, after a call from the Queen, she happily allowed her grandson and heir to the throne the chance to make sure the guest list reflected people who really mattered to he and his bride.

“I wasn’t too happy about it, so I rang [the Queen] for a bit of moral support and a bit of backup,” William said. “She said, ‘Don’t be so ridiculous. Get rid of the list and start from your friends.’”

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Weekend Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.