The £7.99 nail polish with the royal seal of approval

This time last year, the world was introduced to Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite nail polish, one she’s been loyal to for over 30 years and still wears to this day.

The product in question? Essie’s ‘Ballet Slippers’ nail lacquer, a pale pink shade priced at just £7.99.

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The high street gem is said to have become Her Majesty’s go-to back in 1989, when her hairdresser penned a letter its  founder, Essie Weingarten, to request a bottle of the bestselling polish.

She’s reportedly been wearing it ever since – and now, Meghan Markle might be sporting the elegant shade for her upcoming wedding to Prince Harry later this month.


Harper’s Bazaar reports that as a rule of thumb, the royals are expected to wear their nails neat and nude; hence the reason you’ll never catch the Duchess of Cambridge or Meghan in anything other than a natural manicure or flesh-like nail polish shade, unless it’s a suitably demure Essie pink, of course.

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So naturally, it’s likely that Meghan will be honouring this on her big day by sticking to the strict colour palette of nude or sheer pink – just like she did when unveiling her engagement ring last year. But will she opt for Essie as a tribute to the Queen, or start her own tradition with an entirely different brand?

When Meghan’s future sister-in-law Kate Middleton announced her engagement to Prince William back in 2010, she ditched nail polish altogether and instead just had her nails shaped and groomed. However, on the wedding day itself, Kate wore Essie’s ‘Allure’ nail lacquer – another endorsement for the family’s favourite nail brand.

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Rumour has it that Meghan is a big fan of a particular high end salon in London’s Mayfair called Nails & Brows, where manicures aren’t quite as purse-friendly as the £7.99 bottle of Essie (prices start at £30). Perhaps she’ll recruit them for her wedding instead?

We’ll have to wait and see – but all eyes will definitely be on her hands when the big day arrives on 19 May…