Skip to main contentSkip to footer

How long will the Queen wear black following Prince Philip's death?

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on Friday

queen in black
Grace Lindsay
Fashion & Ecommerce Writer
April 15, 2021
Share this:

The traditions of royal mourning have been underway since the Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99 last Friday. There is a strict protocol when it comes to what the royal family must wear, with family members expected to dress in black or dark colours for a sustained period of mourning.

Following the immediate eight days taken by the Queen, there is expected to be an additional royal mourning period of 30 days.

RELATED: Princess Eugenie pays tribute to late grandfather Prince Philip

These rules are taken very seriously by the whole of the royal family, according to Matthew Storey, curator at Historic Royal Palaces.

WATCH: The Queen and Prince Philip's enduring love story

He told The Telegraph: "Mourning dress has been part of European royal culture for centuries, but it reached its peak in the 19th century with the influence of Queen Victoria, who set a standard for the rest of society to follow."

“Widows were required to wear black, then either white or mauve, for at least three years before being able to return to richly coloured clothing."

MORE: The Queen comforted by new puppies following Prince Philip's death

After the death of Queen Elizabeth's father, George VI, the Queen rushed back from Britain from her visit to Kenya, and when the plane landed, a black dress had to be taken on board for her to change into. Because of this incident, now every royal reportedly travels with a black outfit in their luggage.  

queen and prince philip© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen was married to Prince Philip for 73 years

The Queen Mother died on March 30, 2002 and her funeral took place on April 9. The royal family wore black for nearly three weeks, up until April 19th.

The Queen is known for wearing an array of brightly coloured outfits, so it will be a big change to see her in royal mourning dress for a long period of time.

HELLO! spoke to Bethan Holt, Fashion news and features director at The Telegraph and author of The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Royal Modern Style, who gave us an insight into what the fashion protocol is for the royal ladies in attendance of Prince Philip's funeral. 

queen bright outfit© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen is known for her brightly coloured outfits

The journalist explained: "There is a long history of protocol when it comes to royal mourning dress and Queen Victoria famously remained in black for 40 years after her husband Prince Albert died."

"If the royal ladies were to abide by the strictest mourning dress guidance, then they would wear black tights and outfits with little decoration but it's more likely that they'll wear black in the elevated way we often see on Remembrance Sunday, perhaps with military touches to pay tribute to Philip's naval career."

DISCOVER: Why royal ladies will wear hats to attend Prince Philip's funeral

Prince Philip's funeral is set to take place on Saturday 17 April, and 30 close members of the royal family are expected to attend. 

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Royal Style

See more