Kate Middleton is well schooled in the art of sartorial diplomacy. But at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards on Feb. 18 in London, she’ll have to decide if she wants to follow the trend and send a message with her clothing choice.
Similar to the Golden Globes in January, attendees of this year’s BAFTA Awards (the British equivalent of the Oscars) are being encouraged to wear black in support of the Time’s Up initiative, which stands against harassment, assault and mistreatment of women. The initiative also started a legal defense fund to provide monetary support to those who wish to take legal action.
Kate and Prince William, who is the president of BAFTA, are set to attend the organization’s annual awards ceremony in London for the second year in a row. But with this year’s unofficial dress code, Kate has a bit of a dilemma on her hands: Engage in a demonstration that could be viewed as political, or risk being the only person in vivid color at the ceremony.
The royal family tends to stay away from anything political — they don’t even vote. Although Time’s Up fight to end the harassment, assault and mistreatment of women in the workplace is not aligned with any political party, it’s still more of a public stand than the royals typically take on hot-button issues.
Of course, royals don’t always stay silent when it comes to issues in the news: Kate’s father-in-law, Prince Charles, is an outspoken advocate for taking action on climate change, and has been for decades.
At last year’s dress code-free BAFTAs, Kate wore a black patterned off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown that would have fit perfectly with this year’s dress code. As for this year, we’ll just have to wait and see what she chooses for the big night itself.