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
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.