Kate Middleton: Will She or Won’t She Show Her Silent Support for #Metoo
Princess's role at BAFTA awards poses a political dilemma
The royal family is well known for publicly staying out of political matters, but The Duchess of Cambridge has found herself in quite a pickle.
The British Academy Film and Television Awards held on February 18 will bea vehicle for showing silent support for the #Metoo and Times Up movements. It has been revealed that a memo was sent on behalf of a collective of U.K.-based female film and television industry leaders to its attendees; nominees and guests alike encouraging them to wear black to show further support for the Times Up initiative and present a strong unifying statement to the world.
Where the Duchess comes in is that she will attend the BAFTAs with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, who is of course the president of the association. This puts the Royals in just the position that they try to avoid at all costs; a public show of allegiance to a politically motivated cause.
Royal guidelines state the family should remain strictly neutral on political matters but this is one occasion where Kate will be damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. The heavily pregnant Duchess has a clear choice to make, either she opts to wear black (my best guess) and shows her silent support or chooses to wear colour in a clear statement that she will not take part in displays of partisanship. Of course she could sit on the fence and opt for an outfit similar to last year; a black and floral Alexander McQueen gown,
but as the saying goes “sit on the fence too long and you’ll get splinters in your bum”. Personally I’d like to see the always proper Kate choose a side, whichever side that may be — but is the much loved Duchess beyond reproach if she fails to join the protest?
Not only would Kate technically be violating the political neutrality rule by wearing all black, but also the little known royal fashion rule that Royal Family members are not encouraged to wear all back unless in at funerals or Remembrance Day services.
It is silly to believe that a person's values can be judged based solely on the frock they choose to wear for an awards ceremony. Can we really claim to know how Kate Middleton feels on a personal level about said issue based on her style choices? She is one of the worlds most prominent advocates for mental health awareness, so we know she is not afraid to speak out on delicate subjects.
This red carpet season will go down in history for the major political stances the stars have taken, but it’s not without its critics. Some have even pointed out that it would make far more of an impact if nominees simply decided to boycott the ceremonies.
Actresses at the Golden Globes argued that wearing black was not to make a fashion statement but to make a stand — but nonetheless it was seen by some as a gimmick that didn’t fully reflect the significance of Times Up as a whole. No matter what the positive intent, saying that a red carpet is not a fashion moment is a hollow gesture when you’re also dressed in (albeit black) couture. The outcome of Kate’s dilemma remains to be seen but we can be sure all lenses will be fixed firmly on the Golden couple come February 18. In the meantime we can all speculate what the Oscars dress code will entail. I vote for no makeup, jeans, and a T-shirt because ‘less is always more’.