It’s no mystery that one of the significant topics of conversation as of late schools around President Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth. On the first week of June, the President and First Lady made a visit to the United Kingdom where they engaged with the British Royal Family, a custom that’s been upheld for many years now.
One of the highlights of the trip is the state banquet held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. This is one of the truly majestic and monumental occasions where royals and dignitaries attend in their absolute finest, even the royal women break out their tiaras for the event.
Many have noticed a pattern in the Queen’s attire for state banquets over the years, and without fail, she always opts to wear a white garment and looks utterly luminous and gleaming at that, but this year, though, another trend was spotted and it piqued the attention of many across the globe.
One thing a lot of people came to notice was that this year, it wasn’t only the Queen wearing white, but the rest of the royal women and the First Lady. Coincidence some initially thought, but for this number of women to choose this makes it anything but.
It then went on to spark the question, was there a reason for it? As it turns out, there was, and it was better than you’d ever imagine.
According to experts, the colour white holds a great deal of importance and the message was delivered loud and clear during the regal banquet. “White, of course, is the colour of peace and the colour of new beginnings.”
Coincidentally the psychological meaning behind this uncommon colour preference is quite appropriate when it comes to restoring and honouring diplomatic relations between various countries, and it’s a thoroughly reflective colour that creates simplicity, clearing the way forward.
Scientifically speaking, white contains an even scale of all the colours of the spectrum, so naturally, white’s most important feature is equality, impartiality, and independence.
And it’s so amazing to see the subtle messages like this between the British Queen and the First Family. They all looked utterly stunning on this event and the message delivered through the colour choice was the icing on the cake.
Of course, a white tie dress code doesn’t mandate that women wear alabaster gowns, but at the state banquet, the Queen, the First Lady, Princess Anne, and the Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge were all furnished in hues of cream, and at state events such as a banquet, there are no colour conditions for women, and ladies have indeed worn all kinds of bright and muted colours.
Her Majesty the Queen normally prefers white, but not as a dictate. Furthermore, there are no conditions for attendees to coordinate their outfits, although the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall more often than not wear white for a state banquet, which works best with sashes and jewels.
There are no hard and fast rules, and in the past, the Duchess of Cambridge has worn red or blue, but now she has a Royal Victorian Order sash to wear, so it would make sense that the Duchess of Cambridge would want to show off her new order against a blank canvas, but even when considering the sash, wearing white is not mandatory.
No official announcements have been made about First Lady Melania Trump’s style choices either, but it’s obvious that her garments for this trip were chosen with great consideration. From the shirtdress printed with British landmarks, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, that Melania wore to leave for Britain, to the careful parade of well-tailored silhouettes and hats in a mix of British, American, and European designers, her preferences have been a strict example of sartorial discretion.
In the past, Melania Trump’s attire decisions have provoked contention, a pattern she did not appear to want to replicate this time around, and she would possibly have discussed this with the State Department’s Office of Protocol before choosing her attire for the trip.
The department thoroughly prepared the President and first lady for what was expected all before the moment the door of Air Force One opened on landing in England. This involves cultural traditions and courtesies of the United Kingdom, arrival, motorcade, route, security, media, weather, which of course could affect dress attire at various events.
That preparation would certainly have turned up the fact that the Queen usually wears white to State Banquets and that first ladies have done so as well. Michelle Obama wore white in 2011, as did the Queen, so Melania Trump would have known it was a safe-and respectful-option, one not likely to receive criticism.
But in addition to making blue sashes and red rubies pop, white dresses at formal events have deep historical roots in the United Kingdom as a powerful sign of status.
Historically, courtiers would use dress as a means to confirm their social standing and wealth. White clothes, particularly when made of expensive materials such as silk and heavily embellished, were particularly beneficial for these means. However, white is not a particularly practical colour as it dirties quickly and shows even the tiniest flaws.
That meant, its wearer did not have to carry manual labour and could afford to have various costumes for different activities, and what you have to remember is that before the industrial revolutions, textiles were very costly, so much so, that in the 18th century, there was no invitation system at court, so long as you were clothed accordingly, you were let in.
These days, it’ll take more than an expensive gown to secure admission into a Buckingham Palace festivity, but the equivalence of white clothing with formality and wealth continues. After all, if you can confidently drink red wine without debilitating anxiety that you might spill it on your ivory ballgown, you’re indeed an elegant lady.