Kate Middleton’s big BAFTAs fashion statement

Kate Middleton's demure Jenny Packham gown was a surprisingly controversial choice.

Kate Middleton's demure Jenny Packham gown was a surprisingly controversial choice. Photo: Getty

Kate Middleton has been forced to sit out a women’s empowerment protest on the red carpet at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs) due to an unspoken royal rule.

The Duchess of Cambridge controversially wore green to the London awards ceremony on Monday (Australian time), while all other female attendees wore black in support of the Time’s Up campaign against workplace sexual harassment.

Kate’s bold fashion choice is a product of the royal family’s unofficial policy of abstaining from anything that could be interpreted as a political statement.

prince william princess kate baftas

Almost as controversial as Kate’s green dress? Prince William’s jaunty velvet slippers. Photo: Getty

They are not allowed to vote or speak publicly on political matters, making movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp an ideological minefield for Kate.

At seven months pregnant, Kate looked chic whilst dressing her growing bump, but her deep green Jenny Packham gown stood out against a sea of black.

Other attendees, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie and Margot Robbie, all opted to honour the protest, which began on the Golden Globes red carpet in January.

Many on the red carpet also wore Time’s Up pins to show solidarity with the initiative, which was launched in the wake of the entertainment industry’s sexual assault scandal.

But Best Supporting Actress winner Allison Janney said she was not bothered by Kate’s choice to wear green.

“I think she looked absolutely beautiful, and I’m so happy for her, and I think she’s an extraordinary woman. And I’m so happy to see she’s pregnant again,” Janney told the media.

“She can wear whatever she wants to wear.”

Not everyone was as understanding about Kate’s activism dilemma, with many on social media arguing that fighting against sexual assault was not a political act.

“Quite a bummer to see that the Duchess of Cambridge didn’t wear black to the #BAFTAs and not a #TimesUp pin on either Cambridge,” Twitter user Diane Alston wrote.

“There is nothing political about standing up to sexual assault. This should’ve been an easy choice for them to make, and they failed.”

Kate did, however, don a black sash with her green gown, which prompted many to speculate whether this was a nod to the movement. Kensington Palace refused to comment on the suggestion.

As for the rest of the red carpet, this year’s BAFTAs were one of the most stylish on record, with most actresses working within the all-black dress code but playing with texture and structure to add visual interest.

A couple of others also shunned the blackout, with best actress winner Frances McDormand and Israeli model Hofit Golan among those who chose to wear different colours.

As she picked up her prize for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDormand referenced her outfit in her speech.

She said: “Thank you British film people – as Martin said, I have a little trouble with compliance.”

After the audience cheered, she said: “But I want you to know I stand in full solidarity with my sisters tonight in black.”

The best looks from the BAFTAs

Margot Robbie in Givency. Photo: Getty

Lily James in Burberry (and a possible engagement ring from boyfriend Matt Smith). Photo: Getty

Salma Hayek in Gucci. Photo: Getty

Angelina Jolie in Ralph and Russo. Photo: Getty

Allison Janney in Bibu Mohapatra. Photo: Getty

Gemma Arterton in Alberta Ferretti. Photo: Getty

Anya Taylor-Joy in Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Getty

Lupita Nyong’o in Elie Saab. Photo: Getty

Saoirse Ronan in Chanel. Photo: Getty

Emma Roberts in Schiaparelli. Photo: Getty

Greta Gerwig in Jonathan Cohen. Photo: Getty

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. Photo: Getty

Ruth Wilson in Dior. Photo: Getty

Natalie Dormer in Alberta Ferretti. Photo: Getty

Naomie Harris in Zuhair Murad. Photo: Getty


Best film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Leading actress

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Leading actor

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Supporting actress

Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Supporting actor

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Outstanding British film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

– with AAP

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