Why does the Princess of Wales wear so much red?
The Princess of Wales has an enviable wardrobe with outfits covering all weathers and social occasions, but there is one hue she is particularly fond of: red.
In fact, you’ll find that many of Kate's iconic fashion moments involve her wearing the vibrant scarlet colour.
As recently as this Thursday, the Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall stepped out wearing red coat dress by Eponine, as her and Prince William rode the Elizabeth Line and visited a Soho pub ahead of coronation celebrations on Saturday.
Kate, 40, has featured the colour red on her roster of public-facing outfits for years, following in the footsteps of a long line of members of the Royal Family who have done so.
The Queen herself wore red on a number of occasions in her lifetime, often to public appearances with a particular significance. She wore a red coat dress in a moving tribute to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Princess Diana would often opt for the scarlet hue for public appearances, and many of her most iconic outfits are in fact the vibrant red shade.
Perhaps taking inspiration from the Queen herself, who reportedly liked to wear vibrant shades so that she could be seen from the crowd, Diana chose red time and time again, from before she entered into the Royal Family, even until after her divorce from Prince Charles was finalised.
And it looks like the new Princess of Wales has followed in the long line of royals opting for the eye-catching colour over the years, carving out her own personal style in the process.
"While opting for red aligns behaviourally with royal standards, Kate uses the colour to express character in a way not dissimilar to how Princess Diana used fashion in an iconic way," says colour psychologist Lee Chambers.
Though it is certainly a look she rocks well, red isn't necessarily the easiest of colours to pull off, so why has it become such a wardrobe staple for the royal?
Wearing red can have a large amount of significance, says Chambers. As a colour, red is highly charged and very warm, while at the same time drawing the eye more than any other colour, with the exception of yellow.
"It gives an intense energy and promotes social behaviour, while giving an internal feeling of power, health and courage," he adds.
From pillar-box red winter coats and matching hats, to chic, crimson-coloured evening gowns and smart, fire-engine red blazers, here's why Kate can't help but wear red pieces from her royal clothes rail.
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Four reasons why red is the Duchess of Cambridge's go-to colour
It is steeped in regal history
There are many historical ties between the colour red and royalty. According to The Secret History of the Color Red, the colour featured heavily in Chinese royal ceremonies, with many Chinese Emperors wearing red robes, symbolising their royal power.
"Whilst Kings, Popes and people in authority have always used red as a symbol of power and distinction, British royal, Kate Middleton also has a penchant for dresses and coats in a vibrant, 'Riding Hood' red," Potro explains.
It's a way of literal dressing
The mother-of-three is well-known for her diplomatic dressing, and regularly tries to connect her outfit to the event she’s attending, subtly paying tribute to whatever country, or institution, she's visiting with her clothes.
The colour red has a specific significance in Wales, for example. Not only appearing as the central red dragon on the country's flag, the bright scarlet hue shows up in Welsh fabrics throughout history and forms part of the national Welsh dress, making the red hue subtle tribute from Kate to the host nation on a number of occasions.
It makes her stand out
The Queen's brightly coloured wardrobe was always deliberately chosen, so her royal fans could easily spot her in a crowd, and the Princess of Wales opting for stand-out red could be an attempt to follow suit
"She certainly catches the eye with her liberal use of red," explains Chambers. "But with her demeanour and approach, it doesn't shout 'look at me' but rather whispers 'take notice'.
Personal brand and colour stylist Melanie Potro agrees that red is a powerful colour that people can't help but be drawn to.
"One thing is clear: if you choose to wear the colour red, even in little doses - for lipstick, a hairband, or shoes - you know you will stand out," she explains.
She knows the colour suits her
While it seems that there could be a deeper meaning to Kate regularly turning to a crimson hue, Potro believes that one of the reasons she so regularly turns to the colour, is that it looks good on her.
"She just loves the colour red and enjoys the attention that comes with it," she explains. "It goes well with her complexion and brown hair and paired with brown accessories, it’s warm and welcoming.
"Just think of the red dress with the white lace Peter Pan collar she wore after the birth of Prince Louis, adds Potro. "She stepped out, looking proud and healthy with her newborn."