Duchess Kate won’t wear black to the BAFTAs because of ‘royal protocol’

CBS Television Studios' 2017 Summer TCA Tour - Arrivals

These stories about the Duchess of Cambridge and “royal protocol” are getting increasingly stupid. It’s not really Kate’s fault, to be fair – the stories are part of the overzealous nature of the royalist press outlets to explain and excuse every single thing Kate does. They wave “royal protocol” around like it’s a magic wand explaining everything. I took issue when “royal sources” claimed Kate couldn’t take her coat off indoors because that’s against royal protocol – when she’s taken off her coat dozens of times indoors, as have plenty of other royal women. Kate just LIKES to keep her coat on when she’s only staying at an event for a few minutes (long enough for the coat-wearing indoor photo-op). Well, here’s another royal-protocol excuse: Kate won’t be able to wear all-black to the BAFTAs because of TWO royal protocols.

The Duchess of Cambridge could be facing a fashion dilemma ahead of the BAFTA Awards as the red carpet prepares to turn political. The pregnant royal is due to attend the glittering awards ceremony on Sunday, where many of the female attendees are set to wear black in support of the Time’s Up campaign founded by leading Hollywood actresses, as they did at the Golden Globes.

But Kate, 36, faces a difficult choice as royal protocol dictates that she should remain unbiased and avoid making a public political statements. However, if she chooses to wear a colour other than black she could risk widespread criticism for not supporting the movement set up at the start of the year in response to a wave of sexual harassment allegations in the industry, particularly in relation to mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is due to give birth to her third child with Prince William in April, has used her role in the royal family to speak up about mental health, launching a charity with Princes William and Harry, so it’s not unheard of for her to lend her support to a serious cause. While the British monarchy are supposed to remain neutral and unbiased about making any kind of political statements, the Time’s Up movement is not aligned with any party so the Duchess could face backlash if she chose not to wear black.

But Kate, who wore a black Alexander McQueen gown with white flowers at the ceremony in 2017, faces a further problem as royal style etiquette means not wearing all-black.

[From The Daily Mail]

One, she’s worn all-black to events before and few people said anything about protocol. Two, no one said she had to wear ALL black – she could easily wear a black gown with some kind of color in the details (similar to what she wore last year). Three, Time’s Up is not a political organization in the sense that she would be “taking sides” or “being political.” Can’t we all agree, as a society, that sexual harassment and assault are bad things no matter your party affiliation? And four, certainly someone so keen on mental health advocacy work should be all about Time’s Up, since harassment, assault and abuse are mental health issues too.

All that being said, I really couldn’t care less if she wears all-black. Do it or don’t do it, it truly won’t make a difference.

PS… The quickest way to get Kate into a black frock is to tell her that Meghan Markle would have worn all-black if she was attending the show.

2017 BAFTA Awards - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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65 Responses to “Duchess Kate won’t wear black to the BAFTAs because of ‘royal protocol’”

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  1. Becks says:

    These “royal protocol” stories are kind of hilarious. I don’t think if she wears all black people are going to think she’s going to a funeral (like someone on here suggested the other day) and I don’t think its going to be taken as SUPER POLITICAL. The Times Up movement is kind of “political” but its nowhere near the same as Brexit or anything.

    • Dixiebells says:

      I always thought black was kind of the standard for evening wear glamour anyway (nothing funeral about it). I’ve frequently worn it to evening black tie weddings. She has a beautiful black velvet dress that I remember from early in her marriage. It might not fit during pregnancy but nothing about it is somber. I remember she wore it with William and Harry at some event and had a bunch of blingy jewelry. And it looked really nice. Plus she could easily wear a subtle print like last year. I don’t buy most of the Royal protocol stories either. I think they just have a pretty high standard of etiquette even in private but other than that it’s mostly don’t be a moron when representing the family.

    • LAK says:

      Let’s be clear, Timesup is not political. It’s ridiculous of the media to claim it is. It’s not political to demand humans be treated with respect and not abused.

      Calling it political is the best way to undermine it and dismiss it and even abuse it. The same way women’s bodies have been declared a political issue and legislation put in place.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Yes. In light of Heads Together, it would be easy for Kate to wear black.

        Also Diana wore black. Is this a new royal protocol against black?

      • LAK says:

        The all black rule is protocol, but the current Queen appears to have relaxed some protocols including this one since her mother died. No way any of them would have got away with black whilst the QM was still alive. That said, only Kate has tested the theory.

        Diana wore black during her engagement period and was told off. She never wore it during the marriage except at funerals. She started wearing it after the separation was announced in 1992.

      • INeedANap says:

        Totally agree with you about Time’s Up not being political. It gives others an excuse to not care or to not get involved. This feels a lot like how feminism became an “f-word”, too charged to go near.

      • Megan says:

        She should recycle one of her many black dresses. That way she can wear black without making it look too deliberate.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Diana wore all black several times. The most famous is probably when she danced with John Travolta in an all-black full-length gown.
        Edited: I just looked it up, and the Travolta dance dress was in 1985, during the middle of her marriage.

      • LAK says:

        MrsKrabapple: that Travolta dress photographed black, but was actually blue. ‘Midnight blue’ per designer’s description. And if you go to KP to the exhibition of her dresses, you can see that it is a very darker-than-navy blue. Not black.



        During the marriage, she wore black to funerals and to the annual cenotaph service in November. That is all protocol.

        She wore black dress during the engagement period and was told off by the QM and didn’t do it again until her separation was announced in 1992. From then onwards, she started wearing black dresses, sky high heels, red nail polish and other non-protocol things.

    • r-r says:

      where was the “protocol” concern these 12 times she wore all black dresses and gowns???
      If she does not want to wear black that is her choice but the protocol excuse is just stupid.

  2. Citresse says:

    I don’t care about the colour, I just can’t tolerate it if she decides to combine dust ruffles with lace. I fear that’s next on her agenda ;-)

  3. Erinn says:

    Just wear black with a print. Or a dress with a colorful top and black skirt or what have you.

    She’s kind of in a lose-lose situation in some ways, so whatever. I think at the very least it’d be nice if she had the pin.

  4. Natalie S says:

    Kate and William will fight all day long when it comes to their own interests. They even got a charity evicted so they could have Apt 1A, but when it comes to making a statement about sexual harrasement and assault? Apparently they’re too constrained.

    The BAFTAS are just a fancy party to them and an excuse to wear a new dress. They are not two thirty-something adults, they are spoiled children.

  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    I am beyond bored of how the media and stan’s infantilise her – she is NOT a child, so please stop treating her like one.

    ITA that for someone who is ever so KEEN on mental health that she is ignoring this – they only way to get her interested in this is for Megs to show an interest in it.

    • Beluga says:

      How dare you! Kate must be treated with the utmost delicacy. You must never, ever place any expectations on her whatsoever and must fall at her feet and sing her praises whenever she graces us scum with 10 minutes of her becoated time. Do you want another Diana?!?!

      • Sansa says:

        Well , excellent point, and no heaven forbid, this women while she can have some anxiety and doesn’t always project 100 percent princess perfect, has enough of her mothers backbone ice to be queen. And she will do that well. I should think the Royals are thrilled with her. She’s like Dianna and Queen Mother rolled into one beautiful doll Hilliary Mantel called this years ago.

  6. Beluga says:

    They do like falling back on woolly royal protocol, don’t they.

    So now we get to speculate about what she actually will wear. Will she choose navy so that she doesn’t stand out in photographs or bright pink so that she does? ;)

  7. SoulSPA says:

    Many thanks @Kaiser for mentioning the link between sexual violence and mental health. V. g. post. Thanks again.

  8. Maria F. says:

    I think it is a difference if they support their own causes and organization then just to wear a pin or a colour for a different movement. I can totally understand if the Palace would frown upon that.

    As another poster says, she is in a no win situation here.

  9. Nicole says:

    She’s in a lose-lose but again past the GGs I’m okay with everyone wearing whatever they want. The clothes are not doing anything

  10. Michelle Connolly says:

    Umm, what about Diana’s famous all-black off the shoulder dress she was wore to dance with John Travolta? https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=diana+and+john+travolta&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCjNWmzKXZAhVGKVAKHc6LDqkQ_AUICigB&biw=1722&bih=844

    • Kitty says:

      It wasn’t black but blue velvet

    • LAK says:

      It’s actually a deep navy blue, described by it’s maker Victor Edelstein as ‘midnight blue’.


      It photographed black.

    • Michelle Connolly says:

      Oh right! My bad. I’ve always known it as her black dress. Consider me enlightened!

      So… Kate could wear a midnight blue dress that photographs black then…

    • Tonya says:

      Diana wore a black low cut gown on her first official evening outing with Charles (pre-wedding). It caused a sensation not because of its colour but the cut …If you have time you can google it…Grace Kelly, I’m told comforted her in the lavatory & they formed a bond. Eighteen months later Grace died in a car accident…Royals have worn black gowns…

      • LAK says:

        The QM told her off about that black gown. She never wore black again during the marriage except at funerals.

        As soon as the separation was announced, she started wearing black again.

        Only Kate has broken that rule so far. She’s worn all black on a number of occasions.

        However, when the QM died, the Queen relaxed many rigidly held rules, and the fact she hasn’t reined in Kate on that point indicates that it’s one she’s relaxed.

  11. Bee says:

    If all this pesky protocol makes things soooo difficult, just stay home. Better still, blow a few minds and borrow Meghan’s engagement dress, it’s black. Hehehe.

  12. aquarius64 says:

    No black at an event? That dog don’t hunt now that Meghan wears black for events, and that is suppose to be only for mourning.

  13. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    Meghan Markle wore all black to Edinburgh yesterday (no the coat doesn’t count)! And the pants (it’s my right to call them that) had giant buttons on them! Kate must have had an aneurysm.

    • LAK says:

      MM is not yet royal so she can wear whatever she wants in any colour she chooses. It will become tricky after May 19.

  14. BaronSamedi says:

    Honestly, if she shows up in anything but a black dress I will be severely disappointed. Either go and wear black or don’t show up.

    There should not even be a question about this. This is like the easiest positive PR for the Royals to earn ever aside from maybe kissing babies? Put Kate in a black dress and she won’t even have to SAY anything. Just show up and be seen supporting a no-brainer of a cause.

    Royal Protocol my a**.

    • Hazel says:

      I completely agree.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Even a dress that is black with some color. Something. It is stupid not to do it in some way. If not then just don’t lie and blame it on protocol.

      • Missy says:

        Are you skillfully suggesting that Kate should play with protocol and black dress? Like wearing a partly black and partly colourfull dress? Or a colourfull dress with some black shawl. etc. That is a good idea but I don’t think that Waity Katie who obeyed William’s every whim and wish has the wish to do so.

  15. spidee!! says:

    I know one thing is for sure – whatever she wears she will be slated for it.

  16. Lainey says:

    These protocol stories are bullshit. Clarence House denied yesterday that royals couldn’t hug people after the media started saying Meghan broke protocol by doing so. I’d take the rest of them with a grain a salt

  17. marianne says:

    I dont think its specifically that wearing black is problem for royals, it has more to do that this specific colour was chosen as a movement. That being said, it seems kind of silly. I mean royals do have charities and causes they support so why cant this be one of them? Plus, she could wear black and just say it was a style choice and not political. Or wear something mostly black with colourful details. Its not like all of the women at the Golden Globes had totally black outfits.

  18. Lorelai says:

    She has worn all black SO MANY TIMES.

    This article is total BS. She wore a black velvet evening gown to a movie premiere, two black dresses while in NYC, a sleeveless black dress in Paris, a long black lace DVF dress…just google “Kate Middleton black dress” and there are literally hundreds of results.

    It is insulting to our intelligence to break out this nonsense ‘protocol” story. Do they think we’re idiots?

  19. savu says:

    Meghan Mare WOULD do it… maybe that’ll motivate Kate.

  20. reverie says:

    Wait. What? So now you HAVE TO wear black otherwise you’re all for sexual predation? Sometimes I feel like the point is getting derailed.

    • Missy says:

      Yep, apparently women are pressed to wear black because they are protesting the oppression of women … yep, I am a bit confused about that.

  21. koko says:

    She could wear black, we won’t see it anyhow if she keeps the coat on.

  22. KatieBo says:

    Not the comments, the actual writers of the site.

  23. lilac says:

    Bull*&^%. “They” (whoever is making the decisions here, together with Kate) are just very invested in maintaining the appearance that she is apolitical.

    Maybe that’s a smart call, given her role.

    On this issue, however, I admit I’d like to see a little leadership/fire from her. It’s appropriate.

    I guess I’m a bit disappointed in her choice. To be fair, though, she isn’t the person to look to for leadership on this issue. (This is “Waity Katie” after all).
    Team Meghan.

    • Nick2 says:

      Why does it have one or the other?

    • Missy says:

      It is a smart call considering how this “wear black” movement happens to happen. I would interpret Kate’s hiding behind the royal skirts of protocol in this way: Kate / the Royal Family don’t believe that this movement will achieve anything nor has this movement the support of the broad public. If the movement had the support of everyone then the Royal Family would bend and Kate would wear black. But they don’t think the movement will succeed …

  24. whatever says:

    I’ve said this before but this whole “everyone HAS to wear black” is just so hypocritical. The colour code takes away a women’s freedom of choice to wear whatever she wants just like those who were sexually abused had their choice of who was allowed in their personal space taken away from them.

    Many women will feel forced to wear black out of fear of being heavily criticised and the implications that will have on their reputations. It’s also worth pointing out that the fear tactic and the power to ruin reputations is what Harvey Weinstein used to get what he wanted. It’s completely and utterly ridiculous!

    Royalty or not, every woman should have the CHOICE to wear whatever colour she wants. If anyone wishes to support the cause publically they can wear a pin (optional, not mandatory). Alternatively, they could donate to the fund.

    Rant over!

    • Missy says:

      It is the case that public opinion [makers] and [their] public harassement force women to wear black even if they don’t want to. And this is supposed to be a movement that fight the oppression of women. Hmmm….

      • Ravine says:

        I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s totally reasonable if it’s just for the 2017-18 awards season. If all the women at these high profile events wear black for a whole year, it will bring visibility to the cause and show commitment/solidarity. Then in 2018-19 the “blackout” can end but the message can still be maintained in other ways.

        It’s a very small price to pay, temporarily, to lend momentum to a global cause. Are we such an individualistic society that we can’t sacrifice such a tiny bit of choice for the greater good?

  25. Lyla says:

    That’s such bs. She’s worn all black so many times and now it’s suddenly against protocol? And why is sexual harassment considered political? Ugh. 🙄

  26. Flan says:

    Lots of you called this.

  27. Missy says:

    amusingly some people still think the royal family would support the good and the brave. They don’t. They are in for it because they get paid with money and status and because they can cream off a lot more.

  28. Scarlett says:

    This is total BS. Kate DGAF about protocol as evidenced by her multiple arse flashing performances while on royal duties. That said ,I’m sure whatever she wears will be hideous as she has zero style.

  29. Anitas says:

    Well, she’s not a feminist and she likes to remind us of that.

  30. Amanda says:

    I disagree that it won’t make a difference either way. A show of support from one of the most famous woman in the world will only benefit.

  31. Gwendolyn says:

    Hello Forum,
    I stumbled on this site by random musing and am happy I did. I made a comment on the thread about Meghan’s outfit in Scotland yesterday. Please read and comment. Bye!
    P.S. Btw, what ever happened “the little black dress” Audrey Hepburn made popular, i.e., that number Diana wore the night Charles dunked their marriage? The Revenge Dress!

  32. KicktheSticks says:

    She should wear whatever she wants. One, the black dress/Times Up movement was started by CAA people–the same agency who basically acted as Harvey’s pimps for girls. Anyone see a connection there? Two, wearing black means NOTHING and does NOTHING to help victims. It’s a dress. That’s it. Three, NO WOMAN should be pressured into wearing a black dress. Isn’t this whole ‘movement’ about women NOT being pressured into sex and fighting oppression? So yeah, all you pitchfork people screaming about her HAVING to wear black should SIT DOWN and consider what hypocrites you sound like.

  33. Wendy says:

    If you honestly think that being against sexual violence, harassment, and domestic abuse is a “political statement”, you’re probably a psychopath. The end.