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