If you've found yourself wondering why the ever-adorable Prince George is only seen wearing shorts in public, you're certainly not alone.
The question came up yet again during the royal family's recent tour of Poland and Germany, and the folks over at Daily Mail were kind enough to provide an answer. Is it ventilation? The peculiar taste of a little boy? It's neither of those, according to British etiquette expert William Hanson, who explained that the prince's affinity for shorts is a very deliberate sartorial statement. Shorts, it turns out, are a subtle marker of nobility dating back to the 16th century.
"Not only does The Duchess of Cambridge have to worry about what she is wearing in public, but she has to dress her own children and find a balance between royal tradition and heritage and more proletariat customs, such as the 'suburban' habit of making young boys wear trousers," Hanson told Daily Mail, addressing the pressure on George's mom, Kate Middleton, to follow royal protocol.
"Shorts on young boys is one of those silent British class markers that deliberately harks back to a bygone age," Hanson continued. "British upper classes—and particularly royals—are especially keen to hold on to tradition so this sartorial one will silently mark them out from 'the rest.'"
Hanson went on to explain that George can be expected to move onto trousers on his eighth birthday, a historical tradition known as "breeching."
Four more years of shorts? We'll take it!
This article originally appeared on InStyle U.S.