I’m going to open very bluntly here and say that I think she played this one wrong. As you may have heard — and you’ll see tomorrow and Tuesday when we get into more coverage — everyone wore black at the BAFTAs for #TimesUp and #MeToo, as happened stateside at the Globes. Wills and Kate attended, as they usually do because he’s President of BAFTA. Kate, as you see, did not adhere to the all-black dress code — although she did wear emeralds, which we learned at the Globes signify “positive change and growth,” and which were favored by the suffragettes, who also often wore green. The sartorial crew at Kensington Palace puts a lot of thought into what Kate wears at events such as this, and I’m sure the dusky almost-black-but-still-green shade of her dress, the emeralds, and the black sash at her waist were not an accident. I think she’s trying to split the difference, trying to be next-door to supportive of the movement without going full-bore into what some people might argue is the political statement of wearing black. I have sympathy for the fact that she would want to delicately toe that line. But here’s my thought: Since when is saying, “sexual assault is bad, please don’t harass people at work” a partisan political statement? If people got angry that Kate was being too political by wearing black, Kensington Palace could easily issue a statement noting that the Duke and Duchess believe that women should be able to move through the world without fearing sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, or elsewhere, and the Duchess’s wardrobe reflected that. And then if people got peevish about that, let them.
Obviously, I don’t know what — if any — edict came down from on high about this, but wearing black on this occasion seems imminently low risk to me, and trying to please everyone by ALMOST but not quite joining the statement ends up making you look weak. As you guys know, I carry great fondness for La Middleton in my heart, and taken in a vacuum, she looks lovely — although I actually think the emeralds, though gorgeous, clash with this dress; another reason to just wear the black — but none of us live in a vacuum. Not even her.