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Picture:
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There are few four-year-olds as recognisable as Prince George.

The son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has become an icon of his own making, given the media attention surrounding his family. One question that may have bugged keen observer throughout this time is:

Why does he always wear shorts?

No matter the weather, he's always clad in his dapper shorts and socks combination.

Here he is on Christmas Day in a pair.

Picture:Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Christmas Day! Clearly he's not afraid of a stiff winter breeze.

The shorts were also on show when he and his parents visited New Zealand in 2014.

Picture:Picture: Getty Images

Some of you may be wondering - Why would his parents be dressing him so? Surely his legs must be cold?

William Hanson, an etiquette expert, has weighed into the debate and has revealed what he believes to be the true reason behind the shorts.

He told Harpers Bazaar:

It's a very English thing to dress a young boy in shorts.

That's news to us.

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.

Even the Duchess of Cambridge.

Even though this may come across as a pretty snobbish statement from Hanson, the Royals have maintained this tradition for many years.

Picture:Picture: Rex Features

Picture:Picture: Rex Features

If you are wondering how long it will take George to finally wear his first pair of trousers, the answer, according to Hanson, is another four years.

The usual custom is that a boy graduates to trousers around eight years old.

This is, historically, perhaps due to the practice of 'breeching', which dates back to the sixteenth century.

A newborn boy would be dressed in a gown for their first year or two (these gowns have survived as the modern Christening robe) and then he was 'breeched' and wore articles of clothing that more resembled shorts or trousers than dresses.

If you are thinking that this upper class appropriation of shorts is a bit much then don't worry.

Hanson believes that the modern Royals are probably subtle admirers of tradition rather than defiant elitists.

The modern habit of upper class families choosing to dress their boys in shorts will deliberately hark back to a bygone age.

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

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