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Here in Singapore, it’s not uncommon to see brides sporting all sorts of nail art for their wedding. Even the most conservative of brides might opt for a simple French manicure.

Unfortunately, that is strictly off-limits for British royal brides, like Kate Middleton in 2011 and most recently, Meghan Markle.


Strict protocols decree that members of the British royal family are not allowed to wear garish nail colours out on official royal events – which excludes them from pretty much every nail polish shade out there.

However, there is one nail polish shade that exactly suits the ladies of the Firm: Essie’s Ballet Slippers.

Royal Nail Polish Kate Middleton

Source: InStyle

The shade is a soft pink, almost off-white in its lightness, and seamlessly blends into the skin tone for those who are on the fairer end of the spectrum, like most of the British royal ladies.

Ballet Slippers is one of those nail polishes that needs at least three coats to reach a significant opacity on the nails. If, as many suspect, the females of the royal family prefer to use “a light application” of the polish, it’d be difficult to distinguish the nail polish from zoomed-in shots of paparazzi photos.

Royal Nail Polish 1

Screenshot from Essie website

However, nail polish company Essie has written on their brand website that they received a letter from Queen Elizabeth II’s hairdresser in 1989 requesting for a bottle of Ballet Slippers, stating that it was the only shade of polish that Her Majesty would deign to wear.


If this was true in the late 80’s, it probably isn’t true now. The Queen of England, at 92, has never been spotted with nail polish at royal events in recent memory. She does wear gloves most of the time, so who knows what lies underneath?


Kate Middleton is also perpetually seen with neatly trimmed, elegant manicures that could very well be a thin application of Ballet Slippers, although we aren’t likely to get any actual confirmation any time soon.

Many have speculated that Ballet Slippers was also the nail polish that Kate Middleton was sporting for her royal wedding in 2011, but it’s now generally accepted that she had in fact worn a now-discontinued shade called Allure, also by Essie.


For Essie fans, we have good news. It does certainly seem like Meghan Markle is bringing the shade back, sporting what looks like Ballet Slippers during the announcement of her engagement with Prince Harry.

Royal Nail Polish Essie Ballet Slippers

Essie’s Ballet Slippers

Essie Ballet Slippers is available on Qoo10 for SGD9.50 and on That Beauty Shop for SGD12 (shipping fees apply).