Fashion

Why Meghan Markle always wears black for her official royal duties

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Kayleigh Dray
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Why Meghan Markle wears black

Royals are barred from wearing all-black ensembles – but the Duchess of Sussex has made it her go-to colour. Here, a colour psychologist explains why.

As a member of the Royal Family, Meghan Markle is expected to abide by a number of sometimes restrictively strict rules.

For example, royal women are instructed not to take their coats off in public, as it’s deemed “unladylike”. They’re unable to wear coloured nail varnish, either, and are required to wear hats during any formal events.

Royals are also barred from wearing all-black ensembles (unless they’re in mourning) and from making explicit political statements – a rule which meant that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was not allowed to wear black in support of the #TimesUp movement.

As Meghan fans will no doubt be aware, however, the Duchess of Sussex has made a point of ignoring these fashion guidelines. Indeed, other than that nude off-the-shoulder gown and zingy yellow dress, she has largely stuck to an all-black wardrobe since her star-studded wedding to Prince Harry

According to colour psychologist Karen Haller, this is likely an entirely conscious decision. Speaking to Fabulous, she explained: “Whilst black has many different traits, looking at these specific events she attended they all have one thing in common.

“The occasions when she is choosing to wear black suggest she isn’t seeking to be the centre of attention. She is OK with being in the background.”

Haller added: “Black is Meghan’s way to deflect attention off herself and onto the causes she is supporting – putting them in the spotlight.”

This clever fashion technique was most recently used on the 20 September at the launch for Together (see above), a charity cookbook which has been published to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Speaking at the event, Meghan, who has been working with campaigners on the book, said it had been a “labour of love” – and revealed that she had only recently moved to London when she came to cook with a group of women at a Muslim cultural centre in North Kensington, after the devastating fire.

“I had just recently moved to London and I felt so immediately embraced by the women in the kitchen – your warmth, your kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was,” said the duchess.

Speaking from a marquee in Perk’s Field close to Kensington Palace, Meghan added of the family chefs: “On a personal level I feel so proud to live in a city that can have so much diversity – 12 countries represented in this one group of women.”

The Royal Foundation is administering the transfer of funds from the sale of Together to the Hubb Community Kitchen and related projects, and profits will help keep the kitchen open for up to seven days a week and to widen its reach to others in the community.

You can find out more about the book – and read Meghan Markle’s foreword – here

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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