7 times the Royal Family made political statements with their fashion choices
Making political statements isn’t on the job description for the Royal Family. Being a royal might look easy, but there are a number of unwritten guidelines to live by if you want to be a welcome member of The Firm. One of the more important traditions is to remain politically neutral.
As Queen Elizabeth is Head of State, she cannot vote or stand for election, but does have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to government proceedings and other members of the Royal Family are also told to steer clear of any political statements.
However, it seems that members of the Royal Family have found a subtle way to get around the rules: by letting their clothes do the talking instead.
Here are seven times the royamade rare political sartorial statements.
Duchess of Cambridge's stand of solidarity with Ukraine
The Duchess of Cambridge made a rare political statement amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Holland Park.
Not only was the duchess seen wearing a blue Alexander McQueen cashmere jumper, in a shade similar to that of the Ukrainian flag, but her and Prince William also both wore a pin badge bearing the Ukrainian flag with a white heart through the centre.
Watch: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Ukrainian Culture Centre in London
Meghan Markle’s Suffragette White
Meghan Markle, along with many other celebrities, encouraged the American public to go out and vote for the US elections in 2020.
As part of her public appearances leading up to the vote, the Duchess of Sussex met with Gloria Steinem in her back garden for Makers to discuss the importance of voting. So important, in fact, that Meghan wore an all-white outfit in tribute to those who fought and died for women to get the right to vote as part of the Suffrage movement.
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The top-to-toe white outfit also featured pieces from all female designers, including Anine Bing striped trousers, Stella McCartney sandals, and a Janessa Leoné sun hat.
Queen Elizabeth's blue and yellow hat
Not to be facetious but the Queen's hat looks like the European Union flag pic.twitter.com/1nDJ3sWDTd
— Federica Cocco (@federicacocco) June 21, 2017
Many viewers commented on the exceptional resemblance of Queen Elizabeth's hat to the EU flag when she opened parliament 2017.
The monarch wore a forget-me-not-blue coat over a yellow and blue floral dress, but it was her blue hat with yellow flowers that had commentators thinking it resembled the golden stars on the blue EU flag.
Duchess of Cambridge subtle nod to the Time’s Up movement at the BAFTAs
Whilst some fans were disappointed that the Duchess of Cambridge forewent the all-black dress code that other attendees opted for in honour of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements in 2018, within her olive green Jenny Packham dress was a subtle nod to the cause.
Kate’s empire-waist gown was paired with black velvet sash that many thought was a nod to the black dress code encouraged for attendees as a sign of solidarity.
Queen Elizabeth’s Burmese Ruby Tiara
For a state dinner welcoming Donald Trump to Buckingham Palace in 2019, Queen Elizabeth wore a Burmese Ruby Tiara from her royal collection. The 96-ruby strong tiara is actually a recreation of the Nizam of Hyderabad Tiara, which was gifted to her on her wedding day in 1947 by the people of Burma (also known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar).
Read More: Trump was 'awestruck' by the Queen
In Burmese culture, rubies are considered to ward off “illness” and “evil”, and the supposed slight didn’t go unnoticed by the people of Twitter when Queen Elizabeth wore it to her meeting with Trump.
Meghan Markle's RGB T-shirt
Very much in line with Meghan’s outreach and views on women’s rights, the Duchess of Sussex paid a sartorial tribute to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her passing in 2020.
In a picture taken after her and Prince Harry appeared on the Teenager Therapy podcast the same year, Meghan is seen wearing a grey RGB T-shirt with her jeans and striped jumper, but the tribute didn’t end there.
Read More: 12 of Meghan Markle's most inspiring feminist quotes
The duchess also wore a mask emblazoned with the words “when there are nine” in reference to Bader Ginsburg’s famous quote from 2015. When asked when there would be “enough” women on the Supreme Court, she replied: “when there are nine”.
Queen Elizabeth’s elaborate brooches
It seems that the people of social media think that Queen Elizabeth was harbouring ill feelings towards Donald Trump during his visits to the UK. When she met with the 45th President of the United States during a state visit fans became convinced that the monarch was snubbing him with her choice of brooches.
Although she didn’t actually meet with Trump on the first day of the visit, Queen Elizabeth wore a brooch given to her as a personal gift by former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama, purchased with their own money.
On the second day, Her Majesty switched out the gift for another brooch that was originally handed down to her by her mother, who famously wore it to her father's state funeral. Wearing a funeral brooch to her meeting with Trump is, as Twitter put it, a mood.
Lastly, but by no means least, the Queen chose another brooch given to her as a personal gift from a head of state. This time the brooch, worn for meeting with the King and Queen of Belgium, was a gift from the people of Canada, which, whilst not a huge snub, still weren’t the biggest fans of Trump when he came into power in 2017.