Queen Camilla wears a lot of blue—but so do the Prince and Princess of Wales. In fact, William and Kate often dress their entire family in the hue, with an immediate case in point being the Father’s Day photos released in honor of William this past Sunday. Is there a reason for this? Fashion expert Rosie Harte tells The Daily Mail that the color symbolizes peace and modernity: “Ask anyone what color they associate with the Wales family clan, and most likely they’ll say blue,” she says. “Starting with her Issa engagement dress and sapphire ring, Catherine has carefully cultivated a link between herself and the color blue. Her first official portrait in 2013 featured her in an inky-blue blouse, followed by a second in 2022 in which [she] wears a teal-tinged dress by The Vampire’s Wife beside Prince William in suit and blue tie. For their 10-year wedding anniversary photos, Catherine wore a floral dress and William a blue jumper, and for the 2022 Easter service at Windsor, William, Catherine, George, and Charlotte were all dressed in various shades of blue.”
But why blue specifically? “The ‘Wales blue’ marks the five young royals out as a distinct unit within a wider familial network, emphasizing their unity and suggesting a commonality of values,” Harte says. “Blue is a more palatable alternative to the colors traditionally associated with royalty, being far less aggressive than red and significantly more conservative than purple. It has associations with peace and also modernity, making it a perfect representation of the Waleses’ quest to appeal to both traditional and progressive values in society.”
As for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, they in turn have adopted the color green as their own, Harte says. “The Sussexes certainly don’t use color in the same way that William and Catherine do, at least not to the same extent,” she says. “But they seem to have picked a color to call their own, nonetheless. Green seems to be a common theme in their wardrobes and has made appearances at many of the key moments in their marriage. At their engagement photo call, Meghan opted for an emerald green dress by P.A.R.O.S.H, which she revealed for the interview after removing her coat. Journalists who were perhaps so used to seeing a set color scheme emerge for young royals were quick to note that in the months between the engagement and wedding, Meghan gravitated towards outfits that framed a single green article of clothing with neutral accompaniments.”
Two of the most obvious instances of the green color scheme came as Harry and Meghan left as working members of the royal family in early 2020, Harte says. “For their final engagement at the Commonwealth Service, Meghan opted for a vibrant green Emilia Wickstead cape dress, which Prince Harry emphasized by wearing a suit lined with the same shade,” she says. “In 2021, the couple posed for a Time magazine photoshoot in which they both wore monochromatic outfits of varying shades of green, Harry in a casual, pared-back suit and Meghan often in wide trousers and a sturdy coat.”
So what does the color green mean to the Sussexes? “Practically, it fits very nicely with the other symbolic aspects they’ve chosen to align themselves with,” Harte says. “The Duke and Duchess like to pose for official portraits outside. It’s far less alienating than a grand palace interior might be and neatly complements their personal interests in environmental causes, something that both Prince Harry and Prince William take incredibly seriously. The color green features heavily in the scenery that the Sussexes enjoy appearing in, and wearing the shade helps them to complement their surroundings but also to bring it with them into other environments.”
Who would have thought that the color dress both Kate and Meghan chose for their engagement photo calls would become their signature color? Mind a little blown.
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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