How This British Children’s Shoe Brand Became a Favorite Among the Royals

It’s no secret that the British royals are loyal to their own when it comes to wearing designers. In what has become a long-standing tradition, Princess Diana, Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie and Kate Middleton all had their gowns custom-made by English couturiers — and that mentality has trickled down to the royal toddlers. At Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding last week in London, children’s shoe brand Papouelli found its way onto the feet of Princess Charlotte along with her fellow itsy-bitsy bridesmaids (they wore the Sienna shoe in white).

Papouelli, formerly known as Papillon, is a London-based brand that aims to create “shoes that are beautiful, classically timeless but with a contemporary edge, not forgetting that children are children,” according to its website. Founded in 2003 and run by friends Nicole Robinson and Maggie Snouck, the “practical” shoes have increasingly gained the spotlight on account of Prince George’s and Princess Charlotte’s outfits featuring the footwear. While Friday’s royal nuptials marked the label’s most recent shining moment, the family has been a fan of the shoes for several years.

Princess Charlotte and Maud Windsor, The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Carriage Procession, Windsor, Berkshire, UK - 12 Oct 2018
Princess Charlotte (L) and Maud Windsor at the wedding of Princess Eugenie in Papouelli shoes.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

On an outing with his parents in Toronto in 2016, a 3-year-old Prince George sported Papouelli’s Barney leather loafers, which were smartly styled with knee-high socks. A few months later, the tot revisited the navy blue shoes for a festive outing in Bucklebury, England, at the young sibling duo’s first Christmas communion service.

Charlotte is no novice herself, having worn Papouelli on more occasions than just Eugenie’s wedding. When Pippa Middleton wed James Matthews in May 2017, the then-2-year-old wore pink Mary Janes from the brand.

Prince George socks
Prince George wears long socks and Papouelli’s Barney loafers.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Prior to Prince Louis joining the family — Middleton and Prince William’s third child — FN spoke to the designers behind Papouelli about style tips for the new royal baby.

“We love the Duchess of Cambridge’s elegant style and how that follows through in her children’s outfits,” Robinson said. “The Mallory [Mary Janes] and Little Bea [style for girls] are also divine in pink and silver, [sporting] soles for first walkers. These will take [kids] from the park to the smartest parties.”

Papouelli’s full assortment of kid’s footwear includes casual play styles like boots, ballet flats, sneakers and moccasins, as well as dressier party shoes and special-occasion wares. Sizes across boys’ and girls’ range from baby to tween. In addition to its e-commerce site, customers can shop the collection at its three London boutiques and select retailers and department stores.

And now, on the heels of Meghan Markle’s pregnancy announcement, there’s a good chance we’ll see Papouelli styles grace the feet of the soon-to-be baby royal.

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