Why the Duchess of Cambridge wears so much red

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(Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge often turns to the colour red when on royal duty. (Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge has an enviable wardrobe with outfits covering all weathers and social occasions, but there is one hue she is particularly fond of turning to - red. 

In fact, you’ll find that many an iconic fashion moment involves the duchess wearing the vibrant colour.

As recently as this week the duchess stepped out in an all red outfit which included a scarlet-coloured pleated Christopher Kane skirt with a matching fitted polo-neck, to attend a function at the Forward Trust to launch the charity's Taking Action on Addiction campaign. 

Watch: Kate surprised by Ant and Dec at addiction awareness event

Pictured in October 2021 (Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge wore an all-red ensemble earlier this week at a charity event. (Getty Images)

Back in June she reached for a bright red, Zara blazer to attend the Euros 2020 match between England and Germany, showing show her support for her national team in the patriotic colour. 

And in May this year she donned a post-box red coat on a visit to the National Portrait Gallery to celebrate the launch of her Hold Still photography book. 

Read more: The Queen just turned down an award – because she doesn't feel old enough

The Duchess opted for a red Zara blazer to watch England against Germany earlier this year. (Getty Images)
The Duchess opted for a red Zara blazer to watch England against Germany earlier this year. (Getty Images)

That’s of course not counting the years of red carpet and royal events, in which she has been spotted sporting various shades of the vibrant hue. 

From pillar-box red winter coats and matching hats, to chic, crimson coloured evening gowns and smart, fire-engine red blazers, it seems Kate Middleton is a big fan of rolling out the red pieces from her royal clothes rail. 

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? 

Read more: Richard Madeley criticised for commenting on Duchess of Cambridge's figure: 'Tiny, tiny waist'

Pictured at a reception at Buckingham Palace in January 2020. (Getty Images)
Pictured at a reception at Buckingham Palace in January 2020. (Getty Images)

According to colour psychologist Lee Chambers, wearing red can have a large amount of significance. As a colour, Chambers says 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. 

Pictured at the Queen's Birthday Party at the British Ambassadorial Residence in Berlin, in July 2017. (Getty Images)
Pictured at the Queen's Birthday Party at the British Ambassadorial Residence in Berlin, in July 2017. (Getty Images)

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. "Why? Because it’s impossible to ignore the colour red. It’s intrinsically linked to our brain, evoking emotions from to passion and anger. It can symbolise love, yet the devil (when not wearing Prada) is always in red.

"We all know when we see a red light that it means Stop! because the colour signifies a warning. We associate it with danger because it is the colour of fire and blood," she adds. 

Pictured at a reception at Government House in Canada on September 27, 2016. (Getty Images)
Pictured at a reception at Government House in Canada on September 27, 2016. (Getty Images)

Chambers says that when worn by a figure who is seen as calm and collected, such as the Duchess of Cambridge, the hue doesn't convey the anger and danger in the same way as those who are known for taking risks.

"By taking this extreme away, it opens up a vibrant and adventurous image of more serene people when worn," he explains. 

Pictured at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11, 2019. (Getty Images)
Pictured at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11, 2019. (Getty Images)

Four reasons red is the Duchess of Cambridge's go-to colour

It's a nod to the regal

There are many historical ties between the colour red and royalty. According to artsandculture.google.com the colour red 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. 

Chambers believes that the royal's intentional use of shades from scarlet to crimson portray a signature colour that really helps her to convey an individual royal persona.

"While opting for red aligns behaviourally with royal standards the Duchess uses the colour to express character in a way not dissimilar to how Princess Diana used fashion in an iconic way," he adds.

Equally as its a colour the Queen rarely wears, it is a hue that to a certain extent the Duchess can 'own'. 

Pictured with other members of the royal family at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace in December 2016. (Getty Images)
Pictured with other members of the royal family at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace in December 2016. (Getty Images)

It's a way of literal dressing

The duchess 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.

As this week's all red number has highlighted the Duchess also often cleverly uses her clothes to give a nod to the seasons, regularly opting to wear the hue when Autumn is in flow and during Christmas festivities.  

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The Duchess of Cambridge wore a seasonal red puffer jacket on a visit Peterley Manor Farm in December 2019. (Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a seasonal red puffer jacket on a visit Peterley Manor Farm in December 2019. (Getty Images)

Last December, the Duchess joined families and children who are supported by the charity Family Action at Peterley Manor Farm in a very festive red puffer jacket and green jumper.

And back in January to celebrate Burns Night, the Duchess appeared via video wearing a red, tartan dress from Emilia Wickstead.

"She is using the colour while engaging in everyday activities and to milestone major events," Chambers explains. 

It makes her stand out from the crowd

The Queen's brightly coloured wardrobe is deliberately chosen, so her royal fans can easily spot her in a crowd, and the Duchess 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'.

"In Kate's position, her use of red signifies a royal settled in her place, able to express herself through colour and emboldened in her approach to what can be a highly charged position in society."

Potro says that having developed into a poised, mature woman, the Duchess shows, by wearing strong shades of red, that she is in charge.

"And of course, by being noticed in the public eye, she can also raise more awareness for causes that are very close to her heart," she adds. 

Pictured at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020. (Getty Images)
Pictured in a red coat and matching hat at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020. (Getty Images)

She just loves the colour red

While it seems that there could be a deeper meaning to the Duchess 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.

Leaving the Lindo Wing with her newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018. (Getty Images)
Leaving the Lindo Wing with her newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018. (Getty Images)

"Just think of the red dress with the white lace Peter Pan collar she wore after the birth of Prince Louis. She stepped out, looking proud and healthy with her newborn."

Chambers agrees that the colour perfectly compliments the Duchess' 'English rose' complexion while signifying that she is a more fiery character than we are led to believe.

Watch: Duchess of Cambridge warns no one is immune to addiction. 

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