The Duchess of Cambridge avoided the all-black dress code at the BAFTAs on Sunday night, leading some viewers at home to question her decision. Female attendees of the glittering ceremony had been sent a letter beforehand, encouraging them to wear black as a stand against sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the entertainment industry. While virtually all female A-listers turned out in black, Kate bucked the trend, opting to dress her baby bump in a very dark green number.
The reason was simple. The Duchess, like other members of the royal family, are supposed to remain strictly neutral with respect to any political campaign or movement, and are under pressure not to make political statements. Royal family members are also encouraged not to wear black unless they are attending a funeral or Remembrance Day.
Kate wore a dark green dress by Jenny Packham
Kate, who is expecting her third child with Prince William, may have chosen the dark green colour in honour of the Suffragettes, who used the colour to represent hope. She also paired her flowing Jenny Packham gown with a black belt – perhaps a subtle nod to the empowering Time's Up campaign. However, Kensington Palace refused to comment on the meaning of the belt's colour.
The dress code at this year's awards ceremonies has been slightly different. It was first introduced in January at the Golden Globe awards, when actors and actresses were urged to wear black in honour of the Time's Up movement. The stars graced the red carpet in black, and the same can be expected for the upcoming Oscars ceremony in March.
The Duchess is expecting her third child in April
Kate was joining her husband Prince William at the glittering awards on Sunday night. William, who is president of BAFTA, was given the honour of presenting the Fellowship Award to Sir Ridley Scott. The royals had the best seats at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and were welcomed by BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry. This is the second time Kate has attended the TV awards; the first was last year, when she wore a black floral, off-the-shoulder gown.