For the vast majority of women attending the British Academy Film Awards, AKA the BAFTAs, this year, wearing black in support of #TimesUp will probably be a must (especially based on the success of the Golden Globes fashion protest). For Kate Middleton, however, the choice will be a little trickier. As several news outlets have speculated, the Duchess of Cambridge is facing a tough situation: If she wears black in support of #TimesUp, she could violate the royal protocol that calls for the monarchy to avoid making political statements. However, if she doesn’t, she would be facing a lot of backlash for appearing not to support the anti-harassment movement.
This is a particularly tricky dilemma since the rule against making political statements is very vaguely defined, and there’s no set parameters for what constitutes a “political statement.” After all, the Duchess of Cambridge has spent a lot of time advocating for better mental health treatment, and one could argue that taking a public stance against sexual harassment and assault is just as apolitical. Similarly, the Time’s Up initiative’s additional stance for gender and racial pay parity doesn’t seem particularly controversial either, although there are definitely enough people who view both #MeToo and #TimesUp as political.
Meanwhile, the few women who did wear color to the Golden Globes were heavily scrutinized, even the one who had to do so for cultural reasons — and Twitter most likely would not consider the Duchess of Cambridge above reproach.
The solution, some say, lies in Middleton’s outfit to the 2017 BAFTAs. Last year, the Duchess of Cambridge wore an Alexander McQueen dress that bore bouquets of white flowers on a black background. Something similar might allow her to strike the balance and avoid (most of) the criticism expected on both sides of the argument. The real question though, is why no one’s wondering if Prince William has to face the same dilemma.
Related: 17 of Kate Middleton’s Best Hair Moments Over The Years
17 of Kate Middleton’s Best Hair Moments Over The Years
At the Charities Forum Event in London, Middleton unveils an even shorter version of her tousled lob paired with natural hint of blush on the cheekbones.
The Duchess of Cambridge debuted her newly chopped locks in her signature curls as she attends the first round on the opening day of Wimbledon 2017.
Attending the Chelsea Flower Show press day in London in 2016, Middleton kept her hair in a tousled half up do.
Wearing her hair in her signature blown out curls with a playful, braided headband, Middleton visits the Haida Heritage Centre in Canada in 2016.
Attending a Christmas Day church service in King’s Lynn, England, in 2015, Middleton wore her hair in a low bun with a soft smoky eye.
Wearing her hair in a tousled high pony, Middleton attended the WW1 commemorative and Flying Day at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in New Zealand in 2014.
Visiting the Christchurch City Council Buildings in New Zealand in 2014, Middleton wore her hair in a effortlessly tousled half do with a hint of blush on the cheeks.
Attending the naming ceremony for the new Princess Cruises ship ‘Royal Princess’ in 2013, Middleton paired her tousled half up do with a chic black hat.
Looking stunning at the official launch party for Team GB and Paralympics GB for the London 2012 Games, Kate Middleton’s hairstyle pairs beautifully with her dark smoky eye.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore her hair in natural waves while visiting the Tuvanipupu Island on their Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012.
Arriving at the St. Andrew’s School in Berkshire, England, in 2012, Middleton wore her brunette curls with side swept bangs and a nude lip.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked radiant on her wedding day in 2011 wearing her hair in an elegant half up do with a hint of blush on the cheekbones.
Celebrating her royal engagement to Prince William in 2010, Middleton wore her shiny, polished locks in soft curls with luminous skin.
Wearing her brunette curls side-parted with a soft smoky eye, Middleton looked all done up at the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman in 2008.
At the Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire in 2007, Middleton kept her look simple, wearing her tousled waves under a black beret.
Attending the wedding of Laura Parker-Bowles and Harry Lope in 2006, Kate Middleton wore her brown hair in soft curls with a natural lip color.
Kate Middleton at the premiere of ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ in London, England, November 2016