The devil, they say, is in the details. In Kate Middleton’s case, that would be the red nail polish she wore to the royals’ annual Easter Sunday church service appearance, choosing chaos of a similar magnitude to the resurrection the Royal Family had gathered to mark at St. George’s chapel.
A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but the Princess of Wales’s red manicure yesterday did set the royal internet ablaze. After over a decade of choosing either bare nails or light beige, Kate finally went for a coloured polish — and not a seasonally appropriate candy pink or pastel lilac but a bold, oxblood red.
To comprehend the havoc this wrought, look to the headlines it immediately generated. “Princess Kate shocks with a hidden detail in outfit,” on Yahoo. “Kate Middleton breaks with tradition,” in The Mirror. It makes one wonder what would happen if she’d done something truly shocking, like, say, pairing those red nails with a red lip.
The social media comments sections were equally hysterical. “Red nails, how disrespectful to the late Queen’s wishes,” wrote one commenter on a post from an Instagram account focused on Kate’s style. “I bet getting that red mani felt GOOD,” chimed in someone on another account’s post. There is, quite clearly, much more at stake than a woman telling her manicurist she feels like a change from her usual.
It’s something we’re fairly certain Kate didn’t do casually. Dark nail polish, you see, is a fraught topic within royal-watching circles. There’s a long-standing myth that royal protocol forbids the wearing of any nail polish that’s not Essie “Ballet Slippers.”
This critique, used most often against royal women, was used particularly viciously when Meghan Markle dared to wear almost-black nail polish in 2018, decried by many as a major breach of royal “rules.” (The fuss over this fashion choice was particularly shameful since it was paired with a ridiculous fake furor over how the Duchess of Sussex touched her then-pregnant belly.)
For the record, there isn’t some sort of codified handbook referred to religiously by the Windsors to guide their every accessory decision. Still, Kate would have known this would be a whole thing. So why did she decide to do it? A few theories.
Kate’s red nails mark a break with the past
This is the royals’ first Easter without Queen Elizabeth II, and it’s just a few weeks until King Charles’s coronation. In this in-between phase between the monarchy of the past — marked by the kind of traditional mores that saw the queen favour pale nail polish, for example — and the new one, which Charles is signalling will be more “modern,” Kate appears to be siding firmly with the future.
While it’s not true that the queen banned royal women from wearing coloured nail polish, she did come from an older school of etiquette that might have (snobbishly, classist-ly) regarded bright or bold nails as Not The Done Thing for ladies, and it’s entirely possible there was a spoken or unspoken understanding that she’d prefer family members representing her to abide by this.
Kate, however, is a 41-year-old millennial who’s lived through the rise of nail art and the cultural takeover of the nail extension. She’s also in the midst of a career transition, where she’s stepping up as one of the key players in a new chapter for The Firm. Opting for a red manicure could be her way of signalling a subtle but still respectful break with the old way things were done.
Red nails could be a tribute to Diana
Generally, we’re opposed to the practice of finding a nod (or comparison) to Diana behind everything Kate does. But the red nail polish could suggest an interesting connection between the current and former Princesses of Wales. Diana’s love of a bright, bold red mani was well-documented, particularly in the latter phase of her time in the Royal Family (i.e. when she was doing her best to burn it all down on her way out). In fact, the first time Diana wore red polish was with her infamous Revenge Dress, worn the night that Charles confessed his long-running infidelity in a television interview.
As the dress’s designer, Christina Stambolian, recalls in her memoir: “She was clearly angry … She wore bright red nail enamel, which we had never seen her do before. She was saying: ‘Let’s be wicked tonight.’” Diana would go on to wear the colour frequently after that, on several royal tours and formal occasions.
Now: is this Kate’s way of signalling she’s gearing up for her own Diana-style royal rebellion? It seems unlikely, especially set against the backdrop of the extreme family unity the Waleses demonstrated yesterday, with the entire gang in matching shades of blue, down to little Louis’s knee socks and Charlotte’s tights. But if it is some sort of act of defiance, it certainly got everyone talking.
It distracted attention away from Prince Andrew’s presence
Speaking of getting people talking: Is it a coincidence that Kate made a conversation-dominating styling choice to an occasion attended by Prince Andrew, royal pariah? Perhaps, but it certainly did distract from his presence at an event many are interpreting as a warm-up to his controversial attendance at the coronation.
Andrew’s presence at Easter may have been the result of a negotiation between Charles — not believed to be an Andrew fan — and his younger brother, who is widely believed to have every intention of returning to his former role as a working royal, a position he “stepped back” from after sexual assault allegations were made against him.
Kate, gamely playing her part to ensure the survival of an institution she’s invested her entire life in, may have happily offered to throw in a red herring to draw attention away from this compromise.
It’s because of TikTok
Like almost everything these days, Kate’s nail choice may have originated on TikTok. Specifically, the viral “red nail theory” doing the rounds on the platform. In a nutshell, it’s manifestation meets colour theory, wherein wearing a red polish imbues you with a new-found confidence, and, in an application we assume is less important to Kate, also makes you more attractive to potential suitors. As a parent tasked with ensuring three children sit still through a church service where everyone will be watching their every move, however, wouldn’t you try anything to channel your inner warrior?
Kate just … wanted to wear red nails?
It’s a theory so preposterous it hardly bears consideration, but could it really be as straightforward as Kate, emboldened by the spring sunshine and feeling her oats, deciding she felt like a red mani this week, especially since it set off her Klein blue dress so nicely? No, you’re right, that’s ridiculous.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
does not endorse these opinions.
Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.