The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards echoed the informal dress code of the 75th Golden Globe Awards in support of the Times Up movement, which saw many women donning black on the red carpet. However, one influential figure, the Duchess of Cambridge, opted to wear a dark green dress instead, a choice that has prompted a backlash on social media.
Many of the star-studded attendees of the annual BAFTAs, including actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Margot Robbie, Angelina Jolie, and Saoirse Ronan, all wore black in support of the movement against sexual harassment and assault. Considering Kate Middleton’s status as a style icon, many were disconcerted to see her arrive at the London event wearing a green Jenny Packham gown complemented by emerald jewelry.
The Time’s Up movement has been widely publicized, which is why an uproar sparked on social media as to why Middleton would consciously choose not to stand in solidarity with the other attendees. However, those more in tune with the inner workings of the Royal Family have come to Middleton’s defence and pointed out that the Royals are forbidden from taking political stances in public.
Considering the Monarchy depends on the sovereign and heir being neutral in their political stance, it only makes sense that the likely future queen consort would be careful to abide by that. However, others believe that Middleton made a subtle nod to the movement with the colour of her gown and choice of accessories.
Some have speculated that Kate wore green as it’s one of three colours used in the colour scheme created to represent suffragettes, standing for hope. Others have noted that Middleton’s dress was as dark of a colour as it possibly could have been without breaking royal protocol. The most common belief seems to be that the Duchess’s black sash was her way to subtly support the movement.
Despite Middleton’s choice to not don black, the majority of women didn’t go unnoticed. Prince William, who has also served as the President of the BAFTAs since February 2010, wrote a foreword in the BAFTA programme that addressed the Times Up movement.
“Levelling the playing field and ensuring a safe, professional working environment for aspiring actors, filmmakers and craft practitioners – regardless of their background and circumstances – is vital to ensure film remains accessible and exciting for all,” William wrote. “As president, I am proud of the leadership BAFTA has shown on this; in a year which rocked the industry as many brave people spoke up about bullying, harassment and abuse despite the risk to their professional careers and reputations.”
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