Caitlin Gallagher
August 01, 2017 4:18 pm

It’s not news to report that Kate Middleton has amazing fashion sense. But the reason that the British Royal Family packs an extra outfit when they travel has nothing to do with style. Instead, as Marie Claire notes, it has to do with the fact that the Royal Family must always be prepared to look presentable — and that includes in the face of tragedy.

The British paper The Sun was the first to report the story about what the royals pack when they travel abroad. The Sun wrote:

The royals likely have to pack a lot of items on international trips. Prince William’s family in particular probably has some serious baggage, since they not only need all of the items in Kate’s fantastic wardrobe — the hats alone must take up so much space — but they need to bring clothes for their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

After all, there’s no way that George doesn’t require his absurdly adorable pajama and robe set from his meet-and-greet with the Obamas when he travels.

Obama White House / www.flickr.com

However, this required clothing is a depressing reminder of how important they are as British public figures.

The Sun referenced how when Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, died while she was in Kenya in 1952, she didn’t have the appropriate mourning attire. A black dress had to be delivered to the plane she was on, and she had to change into it before she could emerge in London.

Queen Elizabeth II of England gets off plane in 1952
AFP/Getty Images

This moment was recreated for Netflix’s The Crown.

Netflix

So while this rule makes sense when it comes to having the Royal Family prepared to act as representatives of their nation, it’s a morbid reminder of how much life can change in an instant.

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