- “The only exception is Kate, where the opposite has happened. Since their departure she’s worn brighter, bolder colors and more eye-catching outfits than usual,” he said.
The royal family has remained mostly silent on the topic of “Megxit.”
The Queen admitted in a statement that she would have preferred Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to remain full-time royals, while The Sun’s royal correspondent Emily Andrews reported Prince William and Kate Middleton ignored fans who asked about it at a recent engagement.
However, according to a fashion expert, it’s easy to decipher the “mournful mood” of the monarchy by analyzing how their outfit choices have changed since the big announcement.
Anthony McGrath, a fashion expert and lecturer at the Fashion Retail Academy in London, told Insider that the change is mostly noticeable in Queen Elizabeth.
“Famously, in times of austerity, the way people dress changes and it’s been said that women’s skirts grow in length as the economy worsens,” McGrath said.
“The royal family are no different and this phenomenon has been manifesting itself in the wake of Megxit through the more conservative attire chosen by senior royals.
“Since Harry and Meghan’s announcement to leave the UK for a life in Canada, the clothing worn by the Queen, in particular, has changed to reflect their slightly mournful mood,” he added.
Her Majesty recently wore a beige coat and matching hat to a Sunday church service in Sandringham. This is especially significant considering the fact the Queen reportedly once said she wouldn’t wear the color, for fear of not standing out to her fans.
“Strong bright colors are favored by the Queen when choosing clothes, as she is always aware of her duty to be seen,” Karen Dolby wrote in her 2019 book, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Guide to Life.”
“She knows people have often traveled a long way, or waited hours just to catch a glimpse of her, and muted shades would make Her Majesty hard to spot in a crowd,” Dolby added.
“‘She needs to stand out for people to be able to say, ‘I saw the Queen,’ her daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex explained in the documentary ‘The Queen at 90.’ “
“Her Majesty herself said, ‘If I wore beige, nobody would know who I am,'” Dolby added.
“The Queen’s grey coat and black hat are a great example of this as she is usually bold and often colorful when making public appearances,” McGrath said, in reference to the outfit worn to a church service the day after Buckingham Palace announced Harry and Markle would give up their titles.
However, McGrath believes this isn’t the case for Kate Middleton.
“The only exception is Kate, where the opposite has happened. Since their departure she’s worn brighter, bolder colors and more eye-catching outfits than usual,” he said.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a sparkly red ball gown by Needle and Thread to an engagement at Buckingham Palace. It was the duchess and Prince William’s first major engagement since it was announced that Prince Harry and Markle would drop their titles.
The following day, she wore a green chevron-printed pussy-bow blouse by Tabitha Webb during a visit to Birmingham.
However, it’s worth noting that the duchess has reverted back to neutral colours at her more recent engagements this month.
For instance, she wore a grey and black suit-dress to visit a children’s hospital in London on Tuesday.
If McGrath’s argument is correct, it wouldn’t be the first time the royals have used fashion to deliver a message to the public.
Fashion expert Cécile Duclos previously told Insider how Middleton and Markle often wear affordable earrings with designer dresses to convey relatability to their fans.
“The use of popular brands cleverly demonstrates a down-to-earth personality, one of a royal who still shops in the same places than the rest of the population,” she said.
“This mix of influences is therefore carefully crafted in order to appeal to a wide socio-economical range of people and influence opinion, which is, in the royal world just like in everyday life, one of the essential aims of fashion.”
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