fashion

Kate Middleton's BAFTAs dress has sparked controversy. But she's sending a subtle message.

Before she walked the red carpet of the British Academy Film Awards, the Duchess of Cambridge faced a bit of a fashion dilemma: what on earth would she wear?

The situation was a little more complex than picking which designer gown to represent on one of the world’s biggest stages. You see, many of Britain’s biggest stars had declared that, just like the Golden Globes earlier this year, they would be wearing black on the red carpet in support of the Time’s Up movement.

But there was speculation that Kate, 36, would not be allowed to join in. The royal family has traditionally taken an apolitical stance, which means they must refrain from making any type of political commentary and remain neutral on political issues.

Usually royals also only wear black during funerals, so it’s unlikely Kate Middleton would don the shade in any circumstance, regardless of the protest.

Watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive on the BAFTA Awards red carpet in the video below.

Video by BBC

Royal watchers and fashion fans were eagerly awaiting to see what Kate – pregnant with her third child – would wear.

The Duchess chose an olive-green Jenny Packham dress, arguably the closest shade to black she could get away with. She also wore a black ribbon around her waist and a black clutch, in what many are taking as a nod to the movement and the red carpet protest.

Kate Middleton BAFTAs 2018
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the EE British Academy Film Awards. Image via Getty.

In another reference to the Time's Up movement, Kate accessorised with an emerald necklace and earrings. Emeralds were the jewel of choice for many actresses - including Debra Messing and Catherine Zeta-Jones - during the Golden Globes protest.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to W Magazine, the stone typically signifies "hope, renewal and growth" and was also worn by Suffragettes during marches and campaigns a century ago.

Despite Kate's subtle nods to the support, and the royal reasonings behind her fashion choice, some were still confused as to why she stood out in green in a sea of black on the red carpet:

ADVERTISEMENT

Others defended her choice of attire:

ADVERTISEMENT

Before the awards ceremony, Harry Potter star Emma Watson made a GBP1 million ($A2.0 million) donation to a new fund, similar to the Time's Up fund, that will help set up a framework and provide support for those affected by sexual harassment.

Tom Hiddleston and Keira Knightley are among the names listed on the official GoFundMe page as having each donated GBP10,000.

The donations follow the publication of an open letter backed by more than 200 leading female stars in the entertainment industry.

Click through the BAFTAs red carpet gallery below.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

The letter, one of two published in The Observer newspaper ahead of this year's BAFTA Awards, demands the eradication of sexual harassment from across all industries.

"This movement is bigger than just a change in our industry alone," the letter states.

"This movement is intersectional, with conversations across race, class, community, ability and work environment, to talk about the imbalance of power."

You can catch up on the BAFTA Awards tonight from 8.30pm on Foxtel's UKTV Australia.

LISTEN: Ever noticed The Duchess of Cambridge does a lot of kneeling? There's a reason why.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???