Some Thoughts on the Royals’ Underwear

I read, when Princess Diana was still alive, that the Royals threw away their underwear after one wearing. I was thinking of that this morning as I replaced the worn-out elastic in the waist of a skirt I bought in 1992. A skirt so old, the company that sold it, J. Crew, folded, at some point. Tossed off the stock exchange like yesterday’s panties. (Though I see someone has resurrected the brand now.)

Are the Royals’ nether regions so yucky that dropping their underpants in a bin is the only thing to do? Maybe the Royals are too shy to present their streaky underthings to the Royal laundress. Or is it, as I suspect, simple excess? Could it be the whole underwear thing is at the root of the recently-departed Queen’s disdain for Diana, and her testiness at times with Kate and especially, Meghan? Something tells me the Queen was a game enough girl to make it through World War II with a stiff upper lip and her underwear on rotation. Princesses these days!

As I thread a piece of elastic through my old skirt’s waistband, I think about all the places this skirt – size Medium, 100% Rayon, made in Singapore, dry clean only – and I have been together. It is one of those classic pieces that still, to my eye, seems to be in style. Though you could argue that at 66, I ought to be wearing something longer and less swishy. But no matter. I still love it.

I bought it when I was the communications manager for Oregon’s Economic Development Department. It’s chief charm then was that it didn’t wrinkle, and I could throw it in a suitcase with a blazer and flats to wear to a museum dedication or a medium density fiber board plant tour, or to a governor’s speech. I wore it with a gray cashmere twin set and brown boots to the police cadet academy graduation for my daughter, who is now my son. Banquet chairs, train seats, bar stools, bus benches. It’s been everywhere. Worth repairing. Rayon has the half-life of plutonium.

Now that my skirt’s waistband is no longer sagging like an old lawn chair, I can wear it out to dinner tonight. I’ll be pairing it with sandals and my husband’s favorite black blouse, which I bought at Ross’ Dress for Less eight years ago for $17. I think the Queen would have liked me.