Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Just Busted a Royal Protocol Myth on Her Recent Trip to NYC

It’s often been proclaimed that one of the main beauty rules the royals have to adhere to is neutral nail polish. But did Sophie, Countess of Wessex (and wife of Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest son) just debunk that idea?

On a 4-day visit to New York City this week, Sophie was spotted dressed to the nines as she planted a rosebush at the Queen Elizabeth garden in lower Manhattan, attended a Commonwealth Day reception and delivered the keynote address at a United Nations event upholding women’s rights in Afghanistan. But as part of all her engagements, there was another eye-catching detail I couldn’t help but notice: the elegant pop of burgundy on her nails. (Look closely in the pics and you’ll see it.)

In the past, it’s been reported that the royals, ranging from Kate Middleton to Meghan Markle, were required to opt for manicure and pedicure color palettes that were neutral or sheer. But that choice is likely just based on personal preference. In a 2018 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, royal expert and author of Finding Freedom Omid Scobie set the record straight: “There’s no actual protocol about dark nail polish. It’s simply about being appropriate.”

Back to Sophie and her trip to NYC—I’d say she chose the ideal moment to add a pop of color. (After all, it matched perfectly with the leather dress she wore to kick off the tour.) The hue she chose is also totally on-trend. (It looks strikingly similar to the velvety red we recommend as the perfect transitional color to take you from winter to spring.)

On this week’s episode of the Royally Obsessed podcast (you can listen to it here), my co-host Roberta Fiorito and I discuss Sophie’s NYC visit, in particular how thrilled we were to see yet another royal pop up stateside. (#TBT to Princess Eugenie at the Superbowl, a total surprise.)

As for Sophie’s beauty habits, I’ll continue to keep tabs. As you’ll recall, I’ve already dubbed her a total style icon. In New York or across the pond, I can’t wait to see what she wears next.

For more from our interview with Omid Scobie, listen to the Royally Obsessed podcast with co-hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. Subscribe now or follow us on Instagram @royallyobsessedpodcast.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...