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The Duchess in Dark Green Jenny Packham for BAFTA Awards

The Duchess wore a new gown for tonight’s BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards ceremony.

The glittering gala was at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall.

Kate’s dress was a Jenny Packham design.

This is the second time the Duke and Duchess have attended the Awards.

Below, the couple is welcomed by the Academy’s Chief Executive, Amanda Berry.

Kate and William being greeted inside Royal Albert Hall.

Also attending this evening’s ceremony, Helena Bonham-Carter, winner of the BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in recognition of her work in The King’s Speech. She will play the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, in Season 3 of The Crown. (On Twitter someone wondered if her handbag was a whimsical nod to that role.)

Others at the awards included Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lawrence, and Emma Roberts.

The duo on the way to their seats.

In this picture, you see Kate’s private secretary, Catherine Quinn, standing on the left. 

Prince William has been President of the Academy since 2010.  In his foreword to tonight’s program, he referenced the ongoing turmoil within the industry regarding sexual harassment and assault: 

“As President, I am proud of the leadership BAFTA has shown; in a year which rocked the industry as many brave people spoke up about bullying, harassment and abuse despite the risk to their professional careers and reputations.”

Tonight he presented Sir Ridley Scott with the Academy’s Fellowship; more from BAFTA:  

Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television. Fellows previously honoured for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker, Helen Mirren and Sidney Poitier.

Here you see Kate with Sir Ridley after the awards.  

For last year’s Awards, Kate was in an Alexander McQueen piece that turned out to be a reader favorite, taking first place in our poll on your favorite 2017 evening gowns.

At the 2011 BAFTA Brits to Watch celebration in Los Angeles Kate wore another Alexander McQueen dress.

Now to what Kate wore for this year’s awards ceremony.

She was in an off-the-shoulder Jenny Packham dress with an empire waistline and deep vee neckline on the front, with a full, flowing skirt.

The draped neckline on the back has a shallow scoop; there is a hidden zipper closure with a hook & eye. Kate also wore a black velvet band that is tied into a bow at the center back. 

In this photo you can see how the frock floats, I think the fabric is most likely a silk chiffon; you can also see the small train a few have mentioned in their comments.  

Michelle of Perth’s Fashion discovered some Jenny Packham styles with design elements similar to those used for Kate’s gown. From left to right we show the Velvet Trimmed Ruffled Silk Chiffon gown at in kingfisher blue at Net-a-Porter; a Spring 2015 bridal design; a dress from the 2017 Pre-fall collection, and a wedding gown from the Jenny Packham Wonder Collection at David’s Bridal, the Hand Beaded Cap-Sleeve Sheath.    

The dress color selected by Kate this evening was a topic of much discussion ahead of the event. From a People story

Similar to the Golden Globes in January, attendees of this year’s BAFTA Awards were encouraged to wear black in support of the Time’s Up initiative, which stands against harassment, assault and mistreatment of women. 

More from a Daily Telegraph story by Hannah Furness:

The Duchess of Cambridge has given just a nod to the Time’s Up movement in a sombre dark green dress with black sash, as she eschews an unofficial all-black dress code for this year’s Bafta ceremony.

In the event, she took the middle ground, wearing a dark green Jenny Packham gown with a black sash to blend in with the dark dress code.

And from Vanity Fair:

By wearing dark green, and that very visible black sash, Kate managed not to stand out against all of the other black gowns on the carpet, stayed within royal protocol, and still made a statement for anyone looking for it.

And The Daily Mail’s story:

The Duchess of Cambridge has defied the Time’s Up protest by arriving at the BAFTAs in a green dress, instead of the black worn by the majority of the red carpet.

Film stars and directors made the one-colour statement to show support for the fight against sexual harassment against women, however only the ribbon around the pregnant Duchess’s Jenny Packham dress was black.

This is from The Sun’s coverage

For the 2018 Baftas, Kate wore a dark green gown – not quite the black dress code worn by those supporting the Time’s Up movement. However, she wore a black sash with the dress which is an acknowledgement without making a political statement.

Kate could face repercussions if she had worn black as it may be seen as a political statement, which is against the Royal Family’s rules. She was in a difficult position as if she completely refused to wear black, she could be open to criticism for not using her platform to make a stand against sexual harassment and women’s rights.

This is from a BBC story

Bethan Holt, fashion news and features director at The Telegraph, told BBC News: “The Royal Family very rarely get involved in political messaging, so perhaps it’s not such a surprise that she didn’t join in with the rest of the women and wear black tonight.”

And this via The Express

While many of the stars tonight chose black gowns to support the Time’s Up movement, the Duchess of Cambridge is forbidden from taking a political stance on issues. 

Royals usually stay clear of making political statements, while the monarchy’s website reads: “As head of state, the Queen has to remain strictly natural with respect to political matters.”

Tonight’s gown is quite similar to another Jenny Packham frock the Duchess has worn, an inky blue dress seen on three occasions.  

In fact, the last time we saw Kate in that inky blue gown she was also wearing pieces from the same emerald and diamond jewelry set. That was at the 2014 fundraiser for Sat. Andrews University at the Met in New York.

That is the perfect segue to coverage of tonight’s jewelry. Apparently sartorial support of the Time’s Up movement isn’t limited to the color of one’s clothing. Something I entirely missed in coverage of the Golden Globes and other awards was the number of women accessorizing with emeralds. More from W magazine’s coverage:

Black dresses on the 2018 Golden Globes red carpet weren’t the only symbolic look of the night—plenty of actresses also wore emerald jewels, a stone which signifies “hope, renewal and growth” and marks a symbolic element of the Time’s Up initiative protest on the red carpet, which aims to combat sexual assault and gender disparity in all workplaces, not just Hollywood.

And from the Today Show:

Emeralds have long been associated with divine feminine power — birth, fertility and creation — and often, they were associated with goddesses, like Venus and Umina in the ancient Peru,” Anna Sheffield, founder and creative director of her eponymous jewelry line, told TODAY Style. “They nod to the power and creativity attributed to females since the dawn of time, and evoke the reverence with which women should be treated.”

Many thanks to Jennifer F. on the Facebook page for pointing out the emerald jewelry information. 

A closer look at tonight’s pieces. 

We have seen the shimmering diamond and emerald bracelet before, and the earrings as well, but worn in a different style.

A closer look at the necklace.

The earrings are convertible; you can see in this photo that tonight’s earrings are the bottom portion of the drops worn in 2014.

More about the pieces from Ella Kay of The Court Jeweller

The pieces are set with white diamonds, yellow diamonds, and square-cut emeralds, which are set within a floral border of diamonds. 

Kate tonight and in 2014. 

The bracelet as seen in 2014 (l) and again tonight (r).

This is a set believed to belong to Kate; it is not on loan from HM, most believe it was a wedding gift. At one time there was some thought these were from Diana’s emerald and diamond set, but both The Court Jeweller and the Royal Order of Splendor have explained this is not the case.  

Kate’s shoes are the Prada wavy cutout style we have seen previously.

She carried the velvet Pretty Ballerinas/Mascaró clutch first noted at the Sun Military Awards in 2011.

Almost every article written in the run-up to tonight’s Awards, and most written this evening pointed out Kate’s conundrum: regardless of what color she wore there would be repercussions. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision. 

A word about comments on tonight’s post: this is the first, and may well be the only time when we will publish comments with political content. I’m not encouraging it by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t know how it can be avoided and I know almost every reader will have their own thoughts on what Kate wore. Some will wish she had worn a black gown. Others will be pleased she did not. Some will find the black sash and emerald jewelry to be the best solution to the dilemma confronting Kate when selecting an ensemble for tonight’s engagement. We all bring our own experiences, strength, and stories to this point and have our own thoughts on the topic. If you disagree with someone’s comment, please respond politely, personal attacks won’t be published.   

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Saturday 24th of February 2018

I agree with many here that the dark dress, black accessories, and emerald jewelry were plenty of a respectful nod to the movement. Furthermore, as another angle on the issue, although the Duchess' pocketbook undoubtedly runs deep, that bespoke Jenny Packham was almost certainly created specifically for the event months in advance and with her pregnancy in mind. Why go to the expense and effort of having another bespoke piece created at the last minute, as wearing anything off-the-rack would run the risk of being duplicated by another attendee when everyone else is in black too. For goodness sake, at least she wasn't wearing canary yellow or baby blue! She did the best she could and, let's face it, that gown was heavenly!


Thursday 22nd of February 2018

Everyone in attendance probably knows by now, that if you don‘t wear black you will be in the fire line and get all the hate in the world by feminists.It‘s a routine by now.Kate wore a sombre dark, very simple dress with black accessories.That‘s discreetly respectful without screaming out anything in particular.It‘s a gala thrown by the entertainment industry.Everyone in that industry depends on this business.Of course you can force every actress into wearing black, if she knows that her „marketing worth“ depends on her public image.And many of them do and say happily what they ought to because they are actresses and they need the attention. Kate is a Royal, not an actress.I am sure she feels empathy for victims of rape or sexual abuse anyways.However in a black or a dark green dress. In fact she is doing a lot more for abused people than just wearing a black gala dress. That being said, I find this dress very „Kate“ and it looks flawless to my eyes.The jewelry set looks gorgeous and I love emeralds on her. I like the empire waist, pregnant or not but since she actually IS pregnant now, at least no one can complain now that she „looks pregnant“.I think she looks great.


Wednesday 21st of February 2018

Choosing an arbitrary color for only women to wear and then harassing a particular woman for simply choosing not to participate, all in the name of standing up for women against harassment... Is NOT LOGICAL! ? Ugh, it's hard enough to pick an outfit for a special event, especially when pregnant, and even for someone as beautiful as Catherine. How about we say that all men must wear purple to an event in support of women and then hold our breath waiting for Prince William to wear or not to wear the special color?

I thought the dress was beautiful, but I really didn't like the emeralds with it. It may have been different in person since camera flashed can do funny things to colors, but I thought the bright green and forest green were terrible together. I would have preferred different jewels or a different color dress. (Perhaps, black, haha!)


Wednesday 21st of February 2018

I think the DoC looks stunning in this outfit. Perhaps I'm the only one on the planet that didn't know the symbolism of emeralds but now that I know, I think the choice of emeralds by the DoC and her team knocks it out of the park. She could have chosen other jewels or worn none, but she didn't, she chose emeralds. To me this speaks volumes and was extremely clever in a very difficult situation. Her accessories were all black, another clear indication of her sensitivity to the situation. I agree with other comments that her choices were smart, diplomatic and got her message through. Her commitment to the organizations she supports is based on action through actual engagement and means more than any outfit colour or pin attached to an outfit.


Wednesday 21st of February 2018

Very respectfully, I disagree with those who have commented that Kate was somehow disappointing or generally unkind to wear another color than black to show support of the Times Up movement. As I would guess is common with many (if not the majority of commentators on this blog post), I have been on the receiving end of sexual harassment on multiple occasions. Although, I have fortunately never been a victim of assault, my experiences with sexual harassment occurred in what should have been professional environments, where instead I felt as if my job was in jeopardy as well as my reputation. However, even with those experiences, I find the Times Up movement quite polarizing, and frankly somewhat silly at times. Furthermore, I do not believe I am the only one who shares these sentiments. I follow the British Royal Family to a moderate extent, and I am aware they seem quite careful to avoid opining on not only political matters, but also matters that are merely polarizing. I think Kate (again, in my respectful opinion), wisely chose to make no comment with her dress for the latter reason.

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