beauty

Back off, Queen Lizzie. Back off.

By now you’ve probably heard that the Queen issued Kate Middleton with a style memo dictating that she should lower her hemlines and wear more tiaras for her upcoming visit to Australia.

According to Her Royal Highness, Kate’s fondness for wearing above the knee frocks from Zara and Topshop is letting the team down.

Excuse me your Majesty? Pardon me for saying this, and I mean this with the utmost respect I can muster for someone whose worn head-to-toe yellow on more than six occasions, but I think you should back off.

As one of the most watched women of our time, I think Kate is doing a damn fine job.

To me, it seems like she can’t win. If she wears a frock more than once, she’s seen as committing fashion recycling sin. If she wears big name designers she’s being frivolous. If she wears Zara or Topshop frocks, she’s letting the WHOLE ROYAL FAMILY DOWN.

Talk about pressure.

It’s true that no one rocked a dress coat in the Post-War era like you did (mostly because they couldn’t afford it). And it was rather savvy of you to save all those ration cards to pay for your 13-foot train wedding dress, but I think you need to cut the woman some slack.

Just sayin’

After all, she single-handedly brought back nude pantyhose, which is no mean feat I think you’ll agree. You’ve been wearing them longer than Kate Middleton has been alive but it took a new breed of Royal to make the kids on the streets take note.

While you rocked some fabulous frocks in the 40s and 50s, – and as someone who regularly wears dhoti pants and too short for my age dresses, I feel comfortable in saying this – your style evolution ended roughly 60 years ago.

There’s no denying you’ve got the head-to-toe coloured dress, coat and hat look down pat. You’ve made it a solid style statement for over 50 years now. Possibly longer, it’s hard to tell since colour photography didn’t exist before then.

You’ve had your moments in the fashion spotlight, Dolce & Gabbana paying tribute to your signature outdoorsy Edie-Beale-Grey-Gardens look for one, so isn’t it time to step aside and let a more modern aesthetic reign?

Let me catch you up to speed, as the times-are-a-changin’, it’s now perfectly acceptable to wear skirts above the knee. Shocking I know.

Look, I get where you’re coming from, I really do. Just like any good matriarch you want to look out for the younger, perhaps more vulnerable chicks in your nest. And protect them from all the creepoids on the internet just waiting for another glimpse of the Duchess’s lower thigh the next time a sudden gust of wind whips up.

But Lizzie (I can call you that right?) I have two words for you: Marilyn Monroe. I’m not saying Kate should stand over a grate while she’s here in Australia but that is one of the most iconic moments in fashion history. And you’re denying Kate of her own Marilyn-esque moment.

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Trinny and Susannah

It’s not enough that you are dishing out style advice now her mother-in-law, Camilla Parker Bowles, is in on the action.

Have you guys been watching too much What Not To Wear on the Style channel? Have you confused yourselves with Trinny and Susannah?

It’s alleged – and tell us if we’ve got it wrong – that Camilla told Kate she needs to sort out her awful hair and get it cut into a shorter style. We’re presuming in favour of the helmet hair she’s fond of?

According to a royal source, “Camilla has tried to help and advised her to go shorter and lighter.

“The royals always want to look smart and Kate is letting the side down. She has looked bedraggled recently and it’s not a good image.”

Bedraggled? BEDRAGGLED? Bloody flawless more like it. And let’s not forget she has a seven-month-old son. Leaving the house without Weetbix in your hair is an achievement in itself.

As your style dictum was put purely in place for Kate & Will’s upcoming Aussie trip that leaves me in the rather awkward position of filling you in on a style memo of our own… as a country we’re really not that fussed by long hemlines and bejewelled crowns outside of music festivals.

Sure, we can put on a good Black Tie shindig, but I’m not sure if you’ve spent enough time in Australia to realise that our uniform here is more Havianas than headpieces, and cutoffs over couture.

I know you brought out the big guns in the form of your Brazilian Aquamarine Tiara for the Heads of Government meeting here in 2011. But newsflash: no one remembers it. Ask anyone on the street what colour the crown jewels in that piece were and they’ll have no idea.

But Diana’s asymmetrical Versace frock that she wore to the Victor Change Charity Ball in Sydney in 1996? It was the most exquisite shade of blue. The breathtaking moment she stepped out of the limo and onto the red carpet is etched into our nation’s collective fashion memory.

These are the moments style history is made of. Not daggy skirts or headpieces from 1957.

Also while we’re on the subject of Diana, pretty much every other frock the late Princess stepped out in during her Australian trip in 1996 was above the knee, and you know what? We didn’t mind. Heck, I don’t even think we gave it much thought.

If we take a moment to look back at your travelling attire – and I did – when you visited Malta in 1967, you wore the equivalent of a flowery shower cap on your head. Give Kate Middleton the sartorial freedom to commit her own heinous fashion crimes. Besides haven’t you heard? Zara and Topshop are in Australia now!

Follow Nicky Champ on Twitter here: @nickychamp