When the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in London for the 2018 BAFTA Awards, she wore a beautiful dark green Jenny Packham gown, which she accessorised with a black sash, a black clutch, and emerald jewels. While her outfits always gather a lot of attention, this particular one got even more people talking due to the fact that it didn't follow the evening's unofficial dress code.
A few weeks before the event took place, it had been announced that female attendees would be expected to wear black in support of the Time's Up movement — and that's exactly what they did. So why did Kate decide to go against the dress code? Well, it's more complicated than you might think.
The first reason would be that the duchess didn't wish to break protocol. Members of the royal family are known to stay away from anything political — so much so, actually, that they don't even vote — so it makes sense that she chose not to wear a black dress. She did, however, wear black accessories and opted for a dark-coloured gown which didn't stand out among the other outfits.
As explained by Katie Nicholl, who wrote the book Kate: The Future Queen, it's also very likely that Kate's dress would have been chosen and preordered months ago, even before the Time's Up campaign was launched. Should she have chosen to follow the dress code and wear black, it would have meant a last-minute wardrobe change that would have been difficult to pull off due to the fact that she currently is seven months pregnant with baby number three.
Finally, members of the royal family also have to follow a certain number of fashion rules. While Meghan Markle has already broken this particular one, black outfits tend to be reserved for more sombre occasions such as funerals, mourning periods, and events such as the Remembrance Sunday Service.
While Kate's choice has been criticised on social media, a few celebrities have since taken her defence. After her win for best supporting actress in I, Tonya, Allison Janney explained in an interview that she "would never judge anyone's choice" of outfit, and that the duchess "can wear whatever she wants to wear." Olivia Munn also gave her point of view on Twitter, writing that "The Time's Up dress code suggestions should not be used to ostracize or control."
The Times Up dress code suggestions should not be used to ostracize or control. What we stand for & what we fight for matters more than the color of our dress. I have a hard time believing that the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t stand beside us just because she was wearing green.— o l i v i a (@oliviamunn) February 19, 2018
So there you have it. While we're sure that the Time's Up movement has Kate's full support, there is more than one reason as to why she couldn't have worn black to the BAFTA Awards.