Over the course of her 65-year reign, Queen Elizabeth has become known for her vibrant wardrobe, and her penchant for wearing shades like lime green or electric yellow. Robert Hardman, the Queen's biographer, once quoted her as saying, "I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am."
But now that she's joined the royal family, Meghan Markle doesn't appear to taking style cues from her grandmother-in-law. In fact, the newly named Duchess of Sussex seems to be quite the fan of the pale neutral.
In the month following the royal wedding, Meghan has only worn blush, white, or off-white to her public appearances. (Yes, she did wear a blue dress to Harry's cousin Celia McCorquodale's wedding, but that was a private event.)
The restricted color palette is particularly noteworthy because Meghan didn't wear much light pink before she married Harry. While she was a fan of neutrals like bright whites and camel-colored browns, she also she favored navy blues and rich greens as opposed to pastels.
Here's the question: Is her restricted color palette significant or is it simply an indication that Meghan's fashion sensibility is changing? Has she become more conservative and traditionally feminine now that she's a member of the royal family?
One possible explanation is that at each of her post-wedding engagements (Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot, the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's Young Leaders Awards, and Meghan's away day with the Queen in Cheshire), Meghan was not the most senior royal in the room. She may have chosen a decidedly muted color palette so as to not draw focus from Charles, Camilla, and the Queen.
According to royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, the answer may be even simpler than that.
"The reason Meghan has mostly been seen in blush and neutral tones really comes down to one reason and one reason only-personal preference. Color choices have nothing to do with how senior a member of the royal family one might be," Arbiter tells Town & Country.
"If you look back at her fashion choices prior to becoming a member of the royal family, it's clearly a palette she's most comfortable in," she continued.
"When in the presence of the Queen, royal ladies are careful not to dress in a way that might draw focus or indeed upstage her, but in Meghan's case, I think it's simply that she likes the more muted tones. If that makes her feel strong and confident in her role, then long may the neutrals continue."
Renée Kuo, the managing director of Debrett's, the authority on British peerage and etiquette, agrees. "Some have speculated that her latest outings in blush and neutral colors are a sign of respect to The Queen, so as not to upstage or outshine the monarch," she tells Town & Country via email.
"At Debrett’s, we believe that understatement, a quality highly valued by the British, is frequently synonymous with good manners. But it may be because neutral colors and pastels are perfect for summer, or because the duchess knows she looks darn good in them."
We'd have to agree.
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