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Kate Middleton and Prince William have returned to royal duties following the 10-day mourning period attached to Queen Elizabeth’s death. And, with all eyes on her, Kate made a vivid fashion choice that we think was packed with hidden meaning.

Keep reading to learn more about the perceived significance of Kate’s bright red coat. Plus, what other messages has she sent with her recent fashion choices?

Kate Middleton made a bold fashion statement after the queen's death
Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Kate Middleton stepped out in red after Queen Elizabeth’s death

William and Kate are back to work and officially visited Wales for the first time since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. Notably, the couple lived in the country as newlyweds years ago. And they returned to perform their first official royal duty since the mourning period for Queen Elizabeth’s death ended (BBC).

Some observers believe Kate sometimes makes subtle statements through her fashion choices. For example, she paid tribute to the late queen through jewelry several times after her death.

But her red coat in Wales was a bold fashion statement that commanded attention. And we think her decision to wear it was about much more than choosing an eye-catching color to stand out.

Kate Middleton showed ‘strength and resilience’ by choosing red after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, meets two-year-old Charlotte Bunting in Wales.
Kate Middleton and Charlotte Bunting | Samir Hussein/WireImage

According to Forbes, red is associated with “primal survival,” signifying “strength and resilience.”

So, we deciphered Kate’s choice to don a striking red coat as an indication that she’s ready and prepared to fulfill her duties in the wake of the queen’s death. And it comes at a crucial time for the royal family for more reasons than their loss.

Some observers argue the monarchy should end with the succession of King Charles III. For example, journalist, filmmaker, and doctor, Ahmed Twaij, wrote for NBC News, “[Charles] now assumes not only the throne but becomes the head of the Church of England — another inherited role that should be discontinued.” 

Still, others contend that William and Kate give the age-old institution hope in an uncertain future. And her choice to wear red sends us the message that they are taking on their royal roles confidently but seriously together, with “strength and resilience” in the face of loss, change, and other adversity.

Kate Middleton honored other late royals after Queen Elizabeth’s death

Prince William, Prince of Wales, and Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales leave St Thomas Church, which has been has been redeveloped to provide support to vulnerable people, during their visit to Wales on September 27, 2022, in Swansea, Wales.
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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If Kate meant to send a message with her red coat, it seemingly wouldn’t be the first time she’s used fashion that way.

When she appeared at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in a four-strand diamond and pearl choker, she honored the long-reigning monarch by choosing an accessory that once belonged to her. But she also paid subtle tribute to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, who also famously wore the piece of jewelry.

This choice acknowledged two generations of famous royal women who came before Kate and significantly influenced William. And it was seen as a meaningful gesture from the new Princess of Wales; a nod to the vital work they started, not just as royals but within their shared family.