In 2018, many of the British royal family’s traditions are loosely enforced, but Queen Elizabeth II has one hard-and-fast rule: royal women are prohibited from showing bare legs and must wear pantyhose. Which brings us to this question: How do they keep their stockings from slipping out of their shoes?
The answer lies in Kate Middleton. According to The Sun, the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t use just any ol’ stockings. She specifically uses stockings from John Lewis, a UK brand that specializes in pantyhose with built-in sticky pads. As you might expect, the pads adhere to the inside of the shoe, keeping Middleton from slipping and sliding. Brilliant!
The duchess was first seen with the pads in 2011 when she visited the Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, Canada, where she was photographed in snakeskin-like heels with clear, rubber-like soles peeking out from the bottoms of her feet. Turns out, those strips of rubber were the savior pads that kept Middleton from losing her shoes.
Though not all of the royal women follow the Queen’s pantyhose rule (Meghan Markle is known to show her bare legs from time to time, including at her engagement announcement), Middleton isn’t usually a rule-breaker and is almost never seen without her signature stockings. After years of playing by the book, Middleton was bound to come up with a cool hack to make her royal-approved stockings more comfortable, and she sure did.