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The very British reason why Prince George always wears shorts

An etiquette expert explains why Prince George always wears shorts in public.
/ Source: TODAY

When you see photos of Prince George, you probably focus on the 4-year-old’s sweet smile and cute cheeks.

But there’s something else that people have noticed recently about the young royal: He’s always wearing shorts!

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte
The royal family arrives at a children's party in British Columbia, Canada on Sept. 29, 2017.CHRIS WATTIE / Reuters

Rain or shine, when the little prince steps out in public, he sports a pair of adorable shorts, often paired with knee socks, a preppy striped belt and a tucked-in polo (yes, at age 4, young George is already more put together than most of us will ever be.)

2016 Royal Tour To Canada Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge - Victoria, British Columbia
Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive in Victoria, Canada.Pool / Getty Images

Why is Prince George never spotted in jeans or other long pants? Harper’s Bazaar UK did some investigating, and they found that dressing young boys in shorts is a long-standing tradition among the British royalty and aristocracy.

From the steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London to posing with his little sister Charlotte, take a look at the royal baby's adventures.

“It’s a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts,” British etiquette expert William Hanson told Bazaar. “Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent class markers that we have in England. Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class–quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban.”

Most boys graduate to full-length trousers at about 8 years old, Hanson explained. He said the shorts-only tradition may stem from the antiquated custom of “breeching,” which dates back centuries in the U.K.

Traditionally, he said, young British boys were dressed in gowns for the first few years of their lives, until being “breeched” and graduating to short trousers.

Prince George
Prince George balances on a wooden swing at the family's Norfolk home in July 2016.MATT PORTEOUS / PA

Prince George is following in his father’s footsteps in the shorts department. The Duke of Cambridge sported a very similar look in his younger years:

Princess Diana taking Prince William to kindergarten
Princess Diana taking Prince William for his first day of nursery school in September 1985.Princess Diana Archive / Getty Images

“The British upper set are always keen to hold on to tradition, and this one also silently marks them out from 'the rest,” Hanson told Bazaar.

However, though the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may be following royal tradition when it comes to George’s shorts, they certainly aren’t elitist when it comes to where they buy clothes for their kids.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George
Duchess Kate and Prince George visit the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 8, 2016.Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Kate and William are known for dressing Prince George and Princess Charlotte in affordable, down-to-earth brands. Take these cute red corduroy shorts that George wore during the royal family’s trip to Canada in the fall:

Prince George in shorts
Prince George waves as he leaves from Victoria Harbour to board a sea-plane on the final day of their t our of Canada on Oct. 1, 2016.Getty Images

They’re from London-based childrenswear brand Pepa & Co., and they cost the equivalent of about $20.

Prince George red Dona Carmen shorts

Keep rocking the shorts, Prince George — they couldn’t be any cuter!

This story was originally published on Oct. 7, 2017.