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Princess Kate and her children's royal dress code for swimming at Buckingham Palace

Anyone who takes a dip in Buckingham Palace's much-loved pool must abide by a dress code


Princess Kate and Prince William with their children© JONATHAN BRADY
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
May 30, 2023
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Buckingham Palace's swimming pool has been in the news this week following King Charles' decision to lower the temperature of the water, for environmental reasons.

According to The Sunday Times, the King's staff have revealed that the thermostat has been lowered and the temperature of the water has dropped.

Charles' change is no surprise and goes hand in hand with other eco changes he has made at official residences, such as Clarence House, where he has installed solar panels on the roof.

Buckingham Palace aerial shot© Getty
King Charles has turned down the heat at Buckingham Palace's swimming pool, circled

All of the talk of the palace's swimming pool uncovered other facts about the facility – including what royals can and can't wear for a dip in the blue waters.

Palace rules state that there is no strict clothing code for the pool, but due to the natural decorum of Palace residents, no overly revealing swimming attire is expected, meaning anyone taking to the water is likely to be wearing a swimsuit or modest swimming shorts as opposed to Speedos or bikinis.

COMING UP: Royal Ascot's strict dress code: Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie, Sophie Wessex & more royal style lessons 

The Buckingham Palace pool is a favourite feature of the residence for the royals, with many learning to swim in the water. Back in 2014, it was revealed that Princess Kate was taking her one-year-old son Prince George for weekly swimming lessons in the private pool.

The Princess of Wales was spotted back there again in 2015, just weeks before welcoming Princess Charlotte, and according to royal author Brian Hoey, Prince Philip used to swim regularly until he retired from official duties. It is also thought that William and Kate's youngest children, Charlotte and Louis, have also used the pool in the past.

Are the royal family good swimmers?

Behind closed doors, King Charles III's mother Queen Elizabeth II was an excellent swimmer, taking to the waters from just 10 years old.

the queen swimming lesson
Queen Elizabeth II (second from left) was a keen swimmer

According to Swimming World Magazine, the Queen started by swimming breaststroke and backstroke and quickly earned her first medal for swimming.

The young royal reportedly earned several lifesaving certificates over the years, and she received a badge recognising proficiency and grace in every stroke and in diving.

Princess Elizabeth wins a life-saving award at the Children's Challenge Shield Competition, held at the Royal Bath Club in London, 28th June 1939© Getty
Queen Elizabeth II won a life-saving award in 1939.

Ever the high achiever, Queen Elizabeth II was given an award for being the best female swimmer (for girls 14 years and younger).

Upon her rise to the throne, Her Majesty was a patron of the Amateur Swimming Association (known as British Swimming today), reportedly because she saw swimming not just as a competitive sport, but as an activity that benefits wellbeing.

Queen Elizabeth II passed on her talent to her son, King Charles III, who was often photographed frolicking in the sea during his younger years. Her granddaughter, Zara Tindall, is also a keen swimmer

King Charles' son Prince William is also a talented swimmer, and captain of the water polo team during his time at the University of St Andrews, frequently travelling around the country to play other student teams. 

Prince William at the 2004 Annual Celtic Nations Water Polo Tournament© Getty Images
Prince William played water polo competitively

SEE: 17 of Prince William's fittest moments that prove he's the king of sports 

He even shared in 2017 that the royals were a "family of swimmers," telling Eileen Fenton, who received an MBE for voluntary services to swimming all the details of their prowess.

Prince William at the 2004 Annual Celtic Nations Water Polo Tournament© Getty Images
Prince William played water polo in his younger years

Eileen told the Press Association: "He said that he and his wife make sure the children can swim and they all go and they swim quite well."

We're pleased to hear that the pool at Buckingham Palace is likely used often, though Princess Kate recently revealed she prefers outdoor cold water swimming, and the ocean is Queen Camilla's favouite spot for a swim

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