Kate Middleton's Earthshot Prize Gown Had a Subtle Environmental Message

Attendees were asked to "consider the environment" in their outfit choices.

london, united kingdom october 17 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge attend the earthshot prize 2021 at alexandra palace on october 17, 2021 in london, england the earthshot prize, created by prince william, duke of cambridge and the royal foundation, is an environmental prize awarded to the most inspiring and innovative solutions to environmental challenges facing the planet photo by max mumbyindigogetty images
(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

The inaugural Earthshot Prize on Sunday night presented a huge opportunity for Prince William and Kate Middleton to not only fund an important cause, but to navigate the future direction for the next generation of royals. So of course, the royal pair looked amazing when they showed up to the ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London.

The Earthshot Prize, which Prince William launched this year, will select five award-winners from a group of finalists who have all contributed important work to the fight against climate change. Each winner will receive one million pounds (nearly $1.4 million USD) to go toward their work, with a new class of winners each year through 2030. It’s a way to show the commitment by Prince William and the rest of the royal family to environmentalism. Earlier this week, in an interview, William said that he would consider it a “disaster” if Prince George, a budding environmentalist himself, had to worry about climate change as an adult because his parents’ generation didn’t do enough.

london, england october 17 prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge attend the earthshot prize 2021 at alexandra palace on october 17, 2021 in london, england photo by neil mockfordfilmmagic

Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Earthshot Prize ceremony on October 17.

(Image credit: Neil Mockford)

According to Express, organizers had asked guests to “consider the environment when choosing” an outfit to wear to the ceremony—which might explain the bold, nature-green velvet suit that William showed up to the awards wearing.

But the message of Kate’s outfit selection, a gorgeous pleated McQueen gown, is more subtle. The gown is actually one she’s worn before—to the 2011 BAFTA awards:

los angeles, ca july 9 prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge arrive at the bafta brits to watch event held at the belasco theatre on july 9, 2011 in los angeles, california photo by matt baron poolgetty images

Kate Middleton at the 2011 BAFTA Awards wearing the same McQueen gown.

(Image credit: Pool)

The point she was likely trying to make, and which is heard loud and clear, is that one need not buy entirely new outfits for every single event in order to make a splash. Overconsumption is an environmental problem, and to see even the most fashionable royal taking that message to heart is really inspiring.

The Earthshot Prize will be given out Sunday at 8pm BST. For more information on the finalists and winners, visit the official website.