Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Meet royalty's original 'Mob Wives': Princess Anne's beehive, Duchess Sophie's leather, and more leading TikTok's latest style trend

The royal ladies prove it's not fictional gangster dolls leading TikTok's latest aesthetic trend

Princess Charlene, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Kate MIddleton, Duchess Sophie
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownSenior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
Share this:

We've lived through Barbiecore and dipped our ballet flats into the ultra-feminine Coquette aesthetic, but there's a new fashion craze on the scene: the 'Mob Wife'.

"I hear the 'mob wife aesthetic' is making a comeback…" director Francis Ford Coppola penned in an Instagram post last week. Yes, even The Godfather director weighed in on TikTok's latest viral trend, which is seeing everything from leopard print to faux fur making a garish comeback.

Rewind to the ‘80s and ‘90s when gangster dolls, like Carmella Soprano and Lorraine Bracco, were the unsung heroes of mafia-run family businesses, communities and groups. AKA, the original mob wife.

Adriana La Cerva from The Sopranos is the queen of mob wife style© HBO
Adriana La Cerva from The Sopranos is the queen of mob wife style

In short, the playful style trend lends itself to elegant, edgy and eccentric styling opportunities. Think heavy gold jewellery and even heavier eyeliner, outlandish fur coats, oversized sunglasses and leather, leather, more leather. 

Ever since this trend started dominating my TikTok feed, I immediately turned to the style icons I've been writing about on a daily basis for the last three years… the royals. 

From the Duchess of Edinburgh's penchant for patent leather, to Princess Margaret's unapologetic love of pearls and fur, forget the leading ladies of "The Sopranos," let me convince you how the royals were the original femme fatales.

Princess Margaret's gangster doll lifestyle

Princess Margaret holding a cigarette at the Desert Island Discs 50th birthday party at the Reform Club.© John Stillwell - PA Images

The original mob wives were born in the 1980s when smoking cigarettes was still considered the epitome of glamour. Princess Margaret's rock 'n' roll lifestyle, most recently revived in Netflix's The Crown, is undeniably mob wife coded.

Princess Margaret wearing silk and gold at an event circa 1980 in London© Anwar Hussein

Princess Margaret was often seen pairing a silk headscarf with oversized sunglasses, the ultimate combination of accessories to ooze mob wife glamour. The bolder the frame, the bigger the mob wife energy.

Duchess Sophie's vampy leather heels

Duchess Sophie went hell for leather in a triple leather ensemble for her outing in Surrey© Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Heels are the only acceptable footwear for a mob wife, and bonus points if they're leather and go over-the-knee. 

Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, was serving serious mobster vibes in her vampy all-leather look worn in Surrey last year.

MORE: 7 times Duchess Sophie wore the most amazing leather outfits

Princess Kate's heavy eyeliner

Kate Middleton wears a cream jacket© Shutterstock

Princess Kate always boasts a glowing complexion, highlighted by her go-to beauty combination of a dewy foundation, rosy blush and softly defined cheek and brow bones. 

Up until the late 2010s, however, Kate leaned into far heavier makeup trends, often stepping out with a deep pink, layered blush and several lashings of mascara and eyeliner - the exact, audacious, messy glamour that suits the mob wife aesthetic. 

Princess Kate's mob wife leopard print

The Princess of Wales wears leopard print to attend a ceremony to officially name Princess Cruises's new ship 'Royal Princess' in Southampton© AFP

Leopard print - the mob wife's unofficial uniform - never looked better on the Princess of Wales, who took a walk on the wild side in this garish animal-print shift dress during her first pregnancy with Prince George. 

Princess Anne's bouffant 'do

Princess Anne seen using her mobile© Max Mumby/Indigo

The bigger the better when it comes to mob wife hairstyles. From bouffant blowouts to flirty up-dos, a gangster's doll needs a seriously glamorous 'do. 

Princess Anne, with her 50-year loyalty to her beloved bee-hive chignon hairstyle, has long been a mob wife matriarch.

THROWBACK: Rare photo of Princess Anne's waist-length hair will make you double take

Princess Charlene's 'Geddoudahere!’ sunglasses

Princess Charlene of Monaco attends the final of the 2016 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 17, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. © Jean Catuffe

Nothing says 'mob wife' quite like cherry red lipstick and a pair of obnoxiously large sunglasses - Princess Charlene of Monaco's signature look that screams New York 'old money', in mobster world, of course.  

Crown Princess Mary's loud leopard print

Crown Princess victoria sequin leopard print dress © Dirk Zengel/dana press/Shutterstock

Crown Princess Mary of Sweden's glittering By Malina leopard print maxi dress wouldn't look out of place in downtown New York.

The Queen's fabulous faux fur coats

The Queen wears a real fur coat in Moscow in 1984© Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library

Faux fur is having a major revival thanks to TikTok's latest style trend. But who was the original trendsetter to shun the use of real fur? Queen Elizabeth II

In 2019, Her Late Majesty officially declared she would no longer be wearing or purchasing garments that used real animal fur. How mob wife of her to go faux.

More Royal Style

See more