Scottish Highland Royal Court Dress Code

Scottish Highland Royal Court Dress Code

Scottish Highland Royal Court Dress Code - We have had various discussions over the years about the history of civilian court dress ( not court uniform or military dress uniform ). Recently the subject came up again in a Facebook post of ours, so we thought maybe the time was right to publish a blog post on the subject.

Court uniform and dress were required to be worn by those in attendance at the royal Court in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Court dress, is a stylized form of clothing deriving from fashionable eighteenth-century wear, which was directed to be worn at Court by those not entitled to a court uniform.

In 1898, a special dress with sword and dirk was allowed for Chiefs and petty Chiefs as a military uniform at court. By 1908, this was extended to Highland gentlemen, and comprised: kilt, sporran, doublet of cloth or velvet, Highland belts, claymore, dirk, long plaid.

Scottish Royal Court Dress Code 1912 changes, the qualification was absent and the description was more detailed. It was to comprise:

  • black silk velvet full dress doublet
  • set of silver Celtic or crested buttons
  • superfine tartan full dress kilt
  • short trews (if desired)
  • full dress tartan hose
  • full dress-length shoulder plaid
  • full dress white hair sporran, silver-mounted and tassels
  • dirk with knife and fork
  • sgian dubh (sock knife)
  • patent leather shoulder belt, silver-mounted
  • waist belt with silver clasp
  • silver mounted shoulder brooch
  • silver kilt pin
  • lace jabot
  • one pair buckles for instep of shoes
  • one pair small ankle buckles for shoes
  • full dress brogues
  • Highland claymore.
  • Glengarry or Balmoral, crest or ornament
  • Cross belt of leather (or metal mounted) for carrying the sword worn over the right shoulder.

By 1937, the shoulder plaid became shoulder plaid or belted plaid. Dress sporran could be hair, fur, or skin, any pattern. Footwear was dress shoes and brogues. Highland Bonnet, feather or feathers if entitled. Highland pistols and powder horn may be worn.

Dress Doublet- of velvet, cloth or tartan. Waistcoat ( if doublet is intended to be worn unbuttoned) - velvet, cloth, tartan; dress kilt; dress hose; plaid either shoulder or belted; shoulder brooch for plaid; dress sporran and strap or chain (sealskin, silver furnished top)- can be hair, fur, skin; Highland basket-hilt sword, black leather or metal mounted scabbard; sgian dubh (sock knife); dirk; kilt pin; jabot, lace (lace, silk, satin or lawn stock); cuffs, lace; Ghillie Brogue shoes (leather uppers, soles and tassels) or Dress shoes (with buckle); Highland Bonnet; belt and buckle ( leather and lined ); flashes; Highland pistols and powder horn may be worn; gloves are not worn.

One question that also came up is was there a Lowland version of court dress ( i.e trews etc ) The answer there is no. Lowland gentlemen dress like any other gentleman at Court. Highland gentlemen have that option too.

Queen Elizabeth's 1953 Coronation was the last time it was worn by people in significant numbers.

Scottish Royal Court Dress Code
Eben William Robertson in Scottish Highland Royal court dress
Lord Keith-Falconer 9th Earl of Kintore Antique Scottish Dirk
Lord Keith-Falconer 9th Earl of Kintore Antique Scottish Silver Dirk