But skeptics say Kate's hosed-up look has less to do with her own invention and more to do with protocol. It's an unwritten rule that royal ambassadors and guests attend events dressed to make the queen proud: closed-toed shoes, mid-length skirts and pantyhose. Lady Di’s sheer stockings (DKNY’s were her brand of choice) were such a staple of her regal look, they were incorporated into replica Franklin Mint dolls. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, a former cutting-edge catwalker, has been spotted at official events in the less-than-edgy hose. Even Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, a by-proxy royal, has been spotted in the sheer legwear.
On a recent royal visit, Tom Hank’s wife, Rita Wilson complained that she was required to wear hosiery for an event at Buckingham Palace, sparking murmurs of a palace dress code. “Women must wear closed-toed shoes – and get this: stockings! Sheer disbelief – I don’t even own a pair of sheer hose,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.