While the Queen has loyally painted her nails in Essie’s Ballet Slippers for decades, Middleton has only been photographed with a manicure once: on her wedding day, when she wore Essie’s pale pink Allure.
She even eschewed nail polish to announce her engagement to Prince William in 2010, a time when almost every woman ensures they have a fresh mani to complement their shiny new diamond (or sapphire, in this case).
But why? According to our friends on the ground in London, the team at marie claire UK, the royal dress code dictates that bright nail colours are strictly forbidden and only natural-looking colours can be worn to official events.
Not one to risk breaking the rules, the Duchess of Cambridge prefers to err on the side of caution by wearing completely bare nails only.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire