Kate Middleton’s Coronation Fashion Sent a Clear Message

kate middleton coronation fashion

Kate Middleton’s Coronation FashionGetty Images; Design by Michael Stillwell

“Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links.”

Kate Middleton kicked off six days in a row of coronation fashion with a bright red coat Eponine. On Friday, the day before the coronation, she wore a white Jenny Packham dress, then changed into blue Self-Portrait dress for receptions at Buckingham Palace for commonwealth leaders and foreign guests, respectively. For coronation day, she opted for a white Alexander McQueen dress with a red and blue cape (complete with a bespoke floral headpiece).

On Sunday, the Princess of Wales was spotted in a blue Reiss blazer and white top for a Coronation Big Lunch in the morning, and a red McQueen suit for the Coronation Concert night. She ended the streak of coronation looks with two light blue outfits, the first a blue Really Wild blouse for volunteering (on Monday) and the second a matching Elie Saab top and skirt set for a garden party at Buckingham Palace (on Tuesday). let’s rethink this lead– if we come in with a laundry list of everything she wore, we lose readers before they even start the story.

their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla coronation day

The Princess of Wales arrives at the coronation of King Charles. WPA Pool – Getty Images

Throughout it all, the Princess of Wales was making her message clear with her outfit choices: She demonstrating, quite literally, her patriotism—embracing what many have coined “flag dressing” as she wore the colors of the Union Jack for the festivities surrounding her father-in-law’s coronation. Seven out of the eight outfits, too, were sourced from British brands (the one exception being Lebanese designer Elie Saab).

This is not the Princess of Wales’s first time sticking to a red, white, and blue color palette. “The patriotic color scheme came as no surprise to royal watchers and those who follow Kate’s style like myself. It’s something we’ve come to expect in recent years,” Carly Whitewood, who has run Kate Middleton Style Blog since 2011, told Town & Country. Indeed, Whitewood points to the Platinum Jubilee weekend last year, when the then-Duchess of Cambridge did something very similar, “paying homage to the colors of the Union Jack by sticking to a palette of mostly red, white and blue for the festivities.”

Per a color analysis of royal fashion published in Axios last week, “Kate embraces the Union Jack color palette more often than the other royals Axios studied [Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Camilla]. In fact, 67% of her outfits are in shades of blue, red or white.” (That’s a whole lot of Union Jack-themed outfits!) The analysis by Erin Davis, Jared Whalen, Eleanor Hawkins and Will Chase adds, “Kate is also a master of ‘flag dressing,’ or wearing the colors of a country’s flag during official visits. While in the U.K., she frequently dresses in Union Jack colors and is known to embrace U.K. designers.” [let’s paraphrase this / use your analysis and just cite their data not their analysis]

This “flag dressing” (also called “diplomatic dressing”) is a staple of Kate’s royal tours—opting for green in Ireland, or yellow in Jamaica (see above), for example. Whitewood notes, “Kate’s really leaned into flag dressing/diplomatic dressing in recent years by wearing bold, solid blocks of color in vibrant shades, which make a clear and powerful statement. Kate’s outfits in the Caribbean last year are the perfect demonstration.”

Knowing that her outfits will be shown together in media coverage—what Town & Country contributing editor Elizabeth Holmes has coined “dressing for the slideshow”—Kate intentionally leans into this patriotic color scheme. For example, Royal Fashion Police (@royalfashionpolice), a popular royal fashion Instagram with over 100,00 followers, did exactly that, posting Kate’s eight coronation outfits in a grid with a red, blue, and white hearts in the caption and an emoji of the Union Jack:

Commentators were quick to pick up on her flag dressing—which wasn’t hard to miss when you see the outfits together. As one wrote on Royal Fashion Police’s post, “We can see a very clear blue white and red trend which makes sense given the occasion. I think she looks great in all of them.” [commentators or commenters?]

It wasn’t just Kate that was dressing as the flag for the coronation—her three children were also the three colors of the Union Jack: her eldest Prince George, a page of honor, in bright red, her daughter Princess Charlotte in white (also Alexander McQueen, matching her mom’s outfit), and her youngest Prince Louis in navy blue (made by Dege and Skinner). this is great

their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla coronation day

The Wales kids (pictured here traveling by carriage to Buckingham Palace following the coronation service) also leaned into the patriotic theme: Charlotte in white, George in red, and Louis in blue.Samir Hussein – Getty Images

To a lesser extent, other senior royals also embraced the blue, red, and white color scheme: Queen Camilla wore white (for the coronation) and blue (for the concert) and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh was in pink, white, blue, and coral for the week’s worth of events. Princess Anne, on the other hand, completely opted out of coronation fashion, and wore her military uniform to the coronation—but a sensible striped red, blue, and white blouse to a street party the following day. Other royals, like Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie forwent the Union Jack color palette completely for the coronation—choosing instead to wear magenta and deep purple, respectively.[again, this is a laundry list]

All that’s to say: No one does flag dressing better than the Princess of Wales, and no other royals embraces “Rule Britannia!” through fashion quite like Kate.

Throughout the coronation, Kate Middleton’s fashion choices stuck to a simple color palette: those hues of the Union Jack. In red, white, and blue outfits, she proclaimed her patriotism, leaning into what many have coined “flag dressing” for the festivities surrounding her father-in-law King Charles’s coronation.

The Princess of Wales often embraces this form of diplomatic dressing, particularly when she’s on royal tours. When she’s abroad, she often wears the colors of her host nation’s flag, and at home in the United Kingdom, she often sticks to shades of blue, red, and white. Indeed, a study published by Axios last week found 67% of Kate’s outfits are in those three colors. During the coronation, then, “the patriotic color scheme came as no surprise to royal watchers and those who follow Kate’s style like myself. It’s something we’ve come to expect in recent years,” Carly Whitewood, who has run Kate Middleton Style Blog since 2011, told Town & Country.

Knowing that her outfits will be shown together in media coverage—what T&C contributing editor Elizabeth Holmes has coined “dressing for the slideshow”—Kate intentionally leans into this color scheme so that her looks, when presented together, will clearly evoke the flag. For the coronation, it wasn’t just Kate that was dressing as the flag—her three children were also the three colors of the Union Jack: her eldest Prince George, a page of honour, in bright red, her daughter Princess Charlotte in white (also Alexander McQueen, matching her mom’s outfit), and her youngest Prince Louis in navy blue (made by Dege and Skinner).

Here, a rundown of Kate’s coronation fashion, in chronological order:

Thursday, May 4, 2023

To kick off coronation week, Kate visited a pub in Soho with Prince William. She chose an outfit entirely of repeats: a bright red Eponine coat, a white Suzannah dress, and Jimmy Choo pumps, finishing her outfit with “Cha Cha” earrings by Maria Black Jewellery.

Read more on her outfit

the prince and princess of wales visit soho

Chris Jackson – Getty Images

Friday, May 5, 2023

For both a reception with Commonwealth leaders, and to greet members of the public who camped out on the Mall, Kate wore a white Jenny Packham dress and black Aquazzura Bow Tie pumps. Fun fact: Her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, owns the same shoes.

king charles greets wellwishers on the mall ahead of coronation day

WPA Pool – Getty Images

For a reception for foreign guests at Buckingham Palace, the Princess of Wales chose a new royal blue dress from Self-Portrait, which she paired with Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Earrings.

Taken together, her first three outfits of the coronation are the three colors of the Union Jack: red, white, and blue.

Read more on Kate’s reception outfit

britain royals coronation

JACOB KING – Getty Images

Saturday, May 6, 2023

For her highly anticipated coronation day outfit, Kate was in—you guessed it!—red, white, and blue. She wore formal red and blue robes of the Royal Victorian Order, and underneath, an ivory Alexander McQueen gown embroidered with the rose, thistle, daffodil, and shamrock motifs representing the four countries of the United Kingdom. She completed the look with a custom headpiece designed by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen.

Read more about Kate’s coronation outfit

their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla coronation day

WPA Pool – Getty Images

Though not visible during the service, in the official coronation portraits, you can see that the Princess of Wales also wore the George VI Festoon Necklace, made in 1950 at the request of King George VI for his daughter, the then-Princess Elizabeth.

london, england may 08 these photographs shall not be used after 0001hrs january 1, 2024, without prior, written permission from royal communications after that date further licensing terms will be available the portrait should be used only in the context of their majesties coronation the photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply and that you will pass these on to any organisation to whom you supply it there shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photograph including by way of example only any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non news editorial use the photograph must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form in this handout image released by buckingham palace, king charles iii and queen camilla are pictured with members of the working royal family l r prince edward, duke of kent, birgitte, duchess of gloucester, prince richard, duke of gloucester, vice admiral sir tim laurence, anne, princess royal, king charles iii, queen camilla, the prince of wales, catherine, princess of wales, sophie, duchess of edinburgh, princess alexandra, the honourable lady ogilvy and prince edward, duke of edinburgh on may 8, 2023 in london, england photo by hugo burnandbuckingham palace via getty images

Hugo Burnand/Buckingham Palace via Getty Images

Sunday, May 7, 2023

The second half of Kate’s coronation outfits leaned more blue, one of her favorite colors to wear and demonstrate family unity. At a Coronation Big Lunch at Windsor, Kate kept it causal in a blue Reiss blazer and one of her beloved pairs of Veja sneakers. Though she’s in a lighter blue than the flag, Kate is still very much dressing on theme.

Read more on her Big Lunch outfit here

the coronation of their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla prince and princess of wales walkabout

WPA Pool – Getty Images

In the evening for the Coronation Concert, the Princess of Wales rewore a vibrant red Alexander McQueen suit with a Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra necklace—her second monochrome red look of coronation weekend.

Read more about her Coronation Concert look

the coronation of their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla windsor castle concert

Leon Neal – Getty Images

Monday, May 8, 2023

For a day volunteering with her family and the Scouts, she once again stuck to her blue color palette, wearing a light blue blouse.

Read more on her ‘Big Help Out’ outfit

the coronation of their majesties king charles iii and queen camilla the big help out

WPA Pool – Getty Images

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

And finally, for the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, Kate opted for a sheer Elie Saab skirt and matching top that she previously wore to the Royal Ascot in 2019, along with the same Philip Treacy hat.

Read more on her Garden Party look

king charles iii hosts coronation garden party at buckingham palace

WPA Pool – Getty Images

You Might Also Like

Originally published

Related Posts