June 17, 2024


Amazing design, nonpareil

How Kate Middleton & Prince William & Meghan Markle & Harry Tell Stories With the Colors They Wear


At risk of stating the plainly evident, both the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge are masterful at creating narratives with the clothing they wear. Case in point: whether it is Kate Middleton referencing a Princess Diana outfit while stepping out after the birth of her eldest (Prince George), or Meghan Markle wearing a piece of her late mother-in-law’s jewelry to ensure that Diana’s presence is included in a momentous occasion, the Duchesses Cambridge and Sussex, in equal measure, know how to tell a story with their ensembles. But the art of symbolic dressing extends beyond the Kate and Meghan—both the Cambridges and the Sussexes as family units hav signature colors that they wear to evoke a sense of unity.

In the case of the Cambridges (Prince William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis) their unifying color is blue. And not always royal blue either. Take this past month at the annual Easter Sunday service. Not only did the Duchess of Cambridge step out in a robin’s egg blue coat dress with a blue hat band and blue suede pumps, but Princess Charlotte wore a coordinated soft blue dress with a Peter Pan collar, sky blue tights, and a navy cardigan and Mary Janes to tie it all together. The other Cambridges in attendance, Prince George and Prince William both wore navy suits.

royal sightings in windsor easter sunday

The Cambridges en route to Easter Services in 2022.

Antony JonesGetty Images

And then you have the Cambridge holiday card in 2017, the family’s arrival on an official trip to Germany and Canada in 2016, and their appearance with Sir David Attenborough in October 2020. In each instance, they’ve chosen to present themselves as unified entity by all wearing blue.

And then, you have the Sussexes, whose color scheme is less overt but has made itself known over time. For Meghan and Harry, it’s the color green. At their 2018 nuptials, Meghan Markle’s bridesmaids were dressed in white gowns, but their accessories had predominantly green accents. And if you look at the full wedding portraits, both Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, and the Queen are wearing soft shades of green. As green symbolizes rebirth and renewal, it’s a subtle but thoughtful cue to have visually in images that capture a joyous time.

queen elizabeth ii and doria ragland are wearing soft shades of green

Queen Elizabeth II and Doria Ragland are wearing soft shades of green at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

Getty Images

The color was threaded throughout the lead up to their nuptials, too. It was a forest green sheath that the Duchess of Sussex chose for her and Harry’s engagement announcement in 2017.

Then you have one of the last appearances the Sussexes made as full-fledged working royals: Commonwealth Day 2020. Meghan attended services in vivid Kelly green Emilia Wickstead and a William Chambers hat for the occasion. And yes, Prince Harry’s suit is blue. But the lining? It matched Meghan’s dress in the same exact hue. A subtle signifier of alignment as the couple transitioned into their new roles.

commonwealth day service 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle both wore green to attend Commonwealth Day services in 2020.

Gareth CattermoleGetty Images

As is customary, the royals play things close to the chest, but if this color theory is any indication, we’ll see much more blue and green from each family respectively as time goes on.

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