5. Before King George III went ‘mad’ he was one cool cat, and even invented the Windsor Uniform that royals still wear today
Known to many as ‘Mad King George’, George III actually had a long, eventful reign. While he sat on the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, his country was involved in a series of military conflicts and eventually became established as the dominant European power in both North American and India. But George III didn’t just change the world map. He also changed the way royals dress. In fact, his signature formal attire is still worn by kings and princes across the world to this day.
The Windsor Uniform was, as the name suggests, created for senior members of the Royal Family to wear while in residence at Windsor Castle, just outside of London. It consists of a dark blue jacket, complete with red facings, with scarlet collar and cuffs. King George specified that his coat was to have three buttons on each of the two fronts, as well as two at the back of the waist to draw the coat in. Other additions include decorations depicting the Garter star as well as the imperial crown. And, of course, the King’s own jacket was to be adorned with large amounts of gold braid.
Over the years, the Windsor Uniform has become somewhat more modest. In particular, the golden braid has been toned down in the modern version. But still, it’s regularly worn by senior royals when they visit Windsor. What’s more, senior members of the household court are also permitted to don Windsor Dress. If the palace is in mourning, a black waistcoat is worn underneath the blue overcoat, with a black armband also worn, while in recent years, both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have been seen sporting a dinner jacket version of their ancestor’s favorite coat.