Kate Middleton Just Broke 1 of Queen Elizabeth’s Biggest Royal Rules in a Very Public Way

Queen Elizabeth follows so many royal rules and strict protocol it’s difficult to keep track. There are specific words you may never say in Her Majesty’s presence. No one is allowed to eat until she takes her first bite at a formal dinner. And the queen has an extremely specific way of dressing that hasn’t changed in her 65 year reign.

Prince William’s wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has been studying her husband’s grandmother as she prepares to become the queen one day herself. But at an event in Oct. 2020, she broke one of Queen Elizabeth’s biggest rules when it comes to outfit selection.

Kate Middleton wore a black suit to the Natural History Museum

After many months of self-quarantining during the global pandemic, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are starting to attend more in-person events while still social distancing. Kate announced an upcoming virtual award’s ceremony for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year while she was on location at the Natural History Museum in London, where she is a patron, Harper’s Bazaar reported.

The video clip showed the duchess clad in a black shirt and pants with a black blazer along with simple pearl earrings. The teaser revealed that the awards announcements would take place the following night, on Oct. 13.

Queen Elizabeth only wears black to funerals

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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Her Majesty is best known for wearing colorful ensembles in varying shades from bright yellow to deep cobalt blue and everything in between. There are a few photos of the queen wearing black — but only when she’s attending a funeral. She would never wear black to a royal engagement.

Queen Elizabeth doesn’t just wear bright colors for fashion’s sake. Instead, she has a very practical reason for always dressing that way. Her daughter-in-law Sophie, the Duchess of Wessex explained in the documentary The Queen at 90, “She needs to stand out for people to be able to say ‘I saw the Queen.’”

“Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, ten, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen’s hat as she went past.”

Kate Middleton chooses bright colors frequently

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

She’s not the queen yet. But Prince William and Kate draw plenty of crowds themselves, which may be why she emulates Queen Elizabeth by dressing in bright colors during royal events. Many of her outfits are similarly bold and colorful so fans can easily pick the duchess out of a crowd.

The obvious reason Kate selected black for her museum appearance is that she wasn’t technically standing in front of a crowd — she was just recording a promo spot to be added to the official Kensington Palace social media accounts, so she didn’t need to wear a bright color or pattern. Still, it’s telling that Kate was willing to break the queen’s strict rule of never wearing black except to funerals.

This likely won’t be the last of the queen’s rules that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge break as they prepare to take over the monarchy.