When the Prince of Wales posed with his kids for that charming Father’s Day photo over the weekend, it drew attention from around the world – not least the decision to be united in shades of blue.
But some were not surprised. Because blue has been the color for a while, says fashion expert Rosie Harte.
The author of the recently published The Royal Wardrobe: A very fashionable history of the monarchy suggests that the color symbolizes both peace and modernity.
Intriguingly, Mrs Harte believes that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on the other hand, have favored green, whether intentionally or not, in line with their environmental interests.
United in blue: The Prince of Wales poses for Father’s Day surrounded by his children, Princess Charlotte, eight, Prince Louis, five, and Prince George, nine
William and Kate coordinate in blue to visit a school in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2019
A beaming Kate waves to spectators on tour in Belize, 2022. William matches again in blue
“Ask anyone what color they associate with the clan of the Wales family, and most likely they will say blue,” Ms Harte writes.
Starting with her Issa engagement dress and sapphire ring, Catherine has carefully crafted a link between herself and the color blue.
In her first official portrait in 2013, she wore an ink blue blouse, followed by a second in 2022, in which she wears a teal-tinted dress from The Vampire’s Wife alongside Prince William in a suit and blue tie.
For their 10th wedding anniversary photos, Catherine wore a floral dress and William wore a blue jumper, and for the 2022 Easter service at Windsor, William, Catherine, George and Charlotte were all dressed in different shades of blue…
The ‘Wales Blue’ marks the five young royals as a distinct unit within a wider family network, emphasizing their unity and suggesting a commonality of values.
Blue is a tastier alternative to the colors traditionally associated with royalty, as it is much less aggressive than red and considerably more conservative than purple.
Kate and William attend Easter morning service at St George’s Windsor, 2019
Re-coordinated, the newly created Prince and Princess of Wales visited Belfast last autumn
Blue is the color: Here’s how the Prince and Princess of Wales prepare to host a post-coronation garden party at Buckingham Palace
“It has associations with peace as well as modernity, making it a perfect representation of the Welsh quest to appeal to both traditional and progressive values in society.”
According to the TikTok influencer, who has 63,400 followers on Instagram, blue has always been one of the royals’ favorite colors. ‘Why the color blue in particular?’ she writes.
‘We know that blue has been a favorite among modern royals; it was Queen Alexandra’s favorite colour, was common in Queen Mary’s wardrobe and was undoubtedly a personal favorite of the Queen Mother.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon loved dressing herself and her two daughters in light blue, especially when they went on public outings, as it contrasted nicely with the typically muted color palette of daywear at the time.
‘It became such an integral part of their identity that their nanny, Marion Crawford, decided she should stop wearing it herself: ‘Blue with a certain misty hue was always the Duchess’s favorite colour, and it just so happened to be mine.
“When I came down to lunch, I noticed more than once that we were all wearing the same color. Then I tactfully adopted brown.”’
The Sussexes, on the other hand, seem to have adopted the color green.
‘The Sussexes certainly do not use color in the same way as William and Catherine, at least not to the same degree,’ she writes, ‘but they seem to have chosen a color that they call their own.
Green seems to be a common theme in their wardrobes and has appeared in many of the key moments in their marriage.
During their engagement photocall, Meghan opted for an emerald green dress by PAROSH, which she revealed for the interview after taking off her beige coat.
Journalists (who may have been so accustomed to seeing a set color scheme for young royals) were quick to note that in the months between engagement and wedding, Meghan gravitated to outfits that framed a single piece of green with neutral accessories.
Two of the most obvious examples of a green color scheme came with their departure from life as working royals in 2020.
For their latest Commonwealth Service engagement, Meghan opted for a vibrant green Emilia Wickstead cape dress, which Prince Harry emphasized by wearing a suit lined in the same hue.
The Duchess of Sussex is photographed after visiting the University of Chichester in 2018
Although their color choice and coordination seem less systematic than the Welsh, the Sussexes still seem to prefer green, says author Rosie Harte
Harry is pictured in Chobe National Park, Botswana in 2019
Meghan wears a striking green jacket for a Commonwealth Youth Event at Canada House in 2019
Meghan dons a vibrant Emilia Wickstead cape for her latest royal engagement, 2020’s Commonwealth Day service. Harry doesn’t appear to be color coordinating, but his suit was lined in green, says Rosie Harte
In 2021, the couple posed for a TIME magazine photo shoot in which they both wore monochromatic outfits in varying shades of green, Harry in a casual, understated suit and Meghan often in baggy pants and a chunky coat.
‘What significance does the color green have for the Sussexes? In practice, it fits very nicely with the other symbolic aspects they have associated with.
The Duke and Duchess love posing outside for official portraits: it’s far less alienating than a grand palace interior and complements their personal interests in environmental matters nicely, something both Prince Harry and Prince William take incredibly seriously.
‘The color green is very prevalent in the landscape in which the Sussexes like to appear, and wearing the color helps them to complement their environment, but also to take it with them to other environments.’
- The Royal Wardrobe: A very fashionable history of the monarchy by Rosie Harte is published by Headline Publishing Group.