While Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton are known for wearing a rainbow of bright colors on public engagements, Meghan Markle consistently opts for black, navy and other dark shades – but why?
The Duchess of Sussex, 37, pointed out in a 2015 interview for InStyle that her character on Suits, Rachel Zane, changed the color of her wardrobe based on her moods.
“You’ll notice that in season two when she’s falling in love with Mike, I wear more blush tones. And season one when she’s really all about business, I wear more charcoal grays and blacks,” Meghan told InStyle. “I think our clothes are such a reflection of how we’re feeling.”
Meghan’s affinity for dark hues could also be sending a message about her own emotions.
“If you’re in love, you’re probably going to wear things that make you feel like more romantic when you put them on,” she told InStyle. “Or when you’re going through a stressful time, the same can be said for wearing things that are more monochrome or darker in tone.”
Meghan could also be power dressing in grays, blacks and dark blues to keep the focus – both hers and the public’s – on her royal duties.
The idea that Meghan is trying to keep the spotlight away from her by dressing in non-flashy colors has been floated around by fans. The royal wore a black suit while meeting sick children at the WellChild Awards in September, then chose a navy dress to visit the Macarthur Girls High in Sydney, Australia – perhaps examples of Meghan wanting to keep attention on the children during these outings.
Princess Diana also paid attention to how her clothing affected her interactions, especially with kids. In addition to abandoning the protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to have direct contact with shaking hands, Diana stopped wearing hats because she said, “You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.”
Or the answer could simply be that the Duchess of Sussex, 37, feels most comfortable in black. In her interview InStyle, she recommended having a “power piece” that makes you feel good and instantly perks up any mood.
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“If it’s the one dress that makes you feel so badass, or the one crisp button-down — whatever it is so that when you wake up on those days where you’re not really feeling going into work, you put that piece on and it’s almost like your own anthem,” she explained. “It can really shift the energy of your whole day.”
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Queen Elizabeth’s colorful wardrobe, ranging from lime greens and bright blues to bold magentas and lovely lilacs, is very deliberate. The 92-year-old monarch typically wears bright clothes so her royal fans can easily spot her in a crowd.
In the documentary, The Queen at 90, the Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said: “She needs to stand out for people to be able to say, ‘I saw the Queen.’ Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen’s hat as she went past.”
Future queen Kate, whose husband Prince William will be king someday, has also adapted the practice.
• With Reporting by SAMANTHA SIMON