How to dress for a Diplomatic Ball at Buckingham Palace

Every year Buckingham Palace holds their Diplomatic Ball. The Dress code is very White Tie. This event is where jewels, gloves and the-less-black-the better are de rigueur.

Buckingham Palace

A Diplomatic Ball really does imply full-on, floor-skimming evening gowns, either with full skirts or with straighter lines. Those of us with fuller figures may look better in waisted gowns with full skirts, great camouflage for bigger bottoms. If you have a generous bust line and cannot deal with strapless bras, then gowns with cap-sleeves or long sleeve will enable more support from a bra with a strap. I like the French soutiengorge, which literally means “hold up under the chin”, always makes me smile.

Diplomatic reception ball at Buckingham PalaceShoulders should be covered, so strapless bustiers may not work unless they have a stole or shawl to preserve your modesty! These days gloves are no longer essential, but they often finish the look with a worthwhile, elegant flourish; you don’t need to keep them on all the time, and of course you mustn’t eat while wearing them.

Alternatively, ladies can wear formal National Dress, but as you can imagine many prefer to get beautifully gowned and coiffed. Don’t forget, unless you are attending a formal diplomatic dinner or banquet, it’s often going to be a buffet: lots of standing around, albeit in glorious surroundings, so remember that comfortable shoes are very important.

One Night Stand Advice: golden or silvery ballet pumps can work really well!

Read More: Debrett’s White Tie Dress Code guide