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Kate Middleton is always prepared.

While most of us would struggle to pack for an overseas trip without the added pressure of international diplomacy, the Princess of Wales has an extra consideration to make when it comes to visiting Boston this week — what to wear in the event of an unexpected death.

“Members of the British royal family are required to travel with a black ensemble in the case of the monarch or another senior royal passing while they are traveling,” royal history expert Jessica Storoschuk of An Historian About Town told Page Six Style.

The custom started after Queen Elizabeth II made a rare royal fashion snafu — she traveled to Kenya in 1952 without mourning dress and her father, King George VI, died while she was on the tour.

“After her father’s unexpected death, she was forced to wait on the plane on the tarmac until an appropriate black outfit could be brought for her to change into,” Storoschuk said of the new queen’s arrival in England, adding, “it is much easier to simply keep it in your travel wardrobe than wait.”

Since then, it’s been a must for members of the family to include a black outfit in their luggage, just in case.


The princess wore a black Catherine Walker coat for this year’s Remembrance Sunday service.

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The Waleses looked somber as they viewed floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth back in September.

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The Queen Consort also must pack a black outfit when she travels.

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The princess wore a black mourning veil to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on September 19.

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The new king also must pack a black outfit in case of a royal death while he’s away.

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