On Monday, the royal family arrived en masse (although minus the Queen and Prince Philip) at St. James’s Palace’s Chapel Royal, ready for the christening of the tiniest - and so far most elusive - of the Cambridge offspring, Prince Louis Arthur Charles. For forty or so minutes, William managed to refrain from enthusiastically live-tweeting the football, Prince Louis slept like, well, a baby, and Princess Charlotte, ever the consummate networker, politely introduced herself to some senior C of E clergy. But, charming as they undoubtedly were, let's shift our attention from the Cambridge clan for a moment, and focus on an issue that's altogether more puzzling: the case of Meghan Markle (that's the Duchess of Sussex to you) and her very unseasonal gloves.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why these gloves are bothering me so much. After all, it’s not as if said gloves were a wild colour or pattern, or an outlandish shape or length: in fact, Meghan’s ensemble (worn, as many have pointed out, to her first royal christening) was impeccably colour coordinated, the khaki hue of her boat-necked Ralph Lauren shift dress echoed not just in her hat (Stephen Jones) but also in her clutch bag (designer TBC), her shoes (suede Manolo Blahniks) and yes, those inexplicable gloves. And it seems that some don't share my confusion. One news outlet has even gone so far as to call it ‘her first royal glove moment’ (not strictly true – she wore a leather pair to the Christmas service at Sandringham, which made a little more sense, it being the bleak midwinter rather than the middle of a heatwave).
My puzzlement goes something like this. It’s practically 30 degrees, so why gloves? And if Meghan’s heart was set on gloves (perhaps, much like the skin-coloured tights she debuted at a garden party shortly after her wedding, it’s another strange royal sartorial quirk that she’s felt compelled to add to her wardrobe), why not proudly wear them? And if she was just worried about an eventuality where she might want to wear them (maybe she was over-optimistic about the air-con facilities in this presumably ancient British chapel?), then why not hide them in the clutch bag, rather than just… clutching them? Did she put them on once the ceremony was over, when she’d headed to the exclusive afternoon tea at Clarence House (the same tea of which Princess Charlotte spoke when she told the gathered photographers, ‘You’re not coming!’)? When she ate a slice of William and Kate’s seven year old wedding cake? Will the gloves make an appearance in the official christening photo shoot?
Maybe the heat wave has addled my brain to the point where I simply can’t comprehend that a fellow human would deliberately wear an unnecessary extra layer of clothing, even to a royal ceremony. Maybe it's a reference to the Queen, who's rarely seen without gloves. Or maybe it's a subtle tribute to England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, another famous English glove wearer (maybe football _is_ coming home?). Maybe this is all wild speculation - but isn't that what the royals are for?
See more pictures from the royal christening in the gallery below...
The Cambridges arrive at the Chapel Royal
Kate carried a sleeping Louis into the Chapel
The Prince wore a replica of the traditional Honiton christening robe
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wore a khaki ensemble featuring a Ralph Lauren shift dress and a hat by Stephen Jones