When the official photographs from baby Archie’s christening were released, there were several things that immediately drew our gaze. Of course we all spared a second to revel in the fact that baby Archie is, quite frankly, adorable. But there was something else in the glorious new pictures that commanded our immediate attention.
We’d have been surprised if you didn’t notice how incredibly chic both proud mom Meghan Markle and aunt Kate Middleton looked in their christening attire. And as it happens, there’s actually a very intriguing reason why both outfits made such a profound fashion statement.
On July 6, the official christening of baby Archie took place in a private ceremony at Windsor Castle. Prince Harry and Meghan chose to keep many details from the day under wraps, however, they did chose to share some amazing tid-bits with the world.
This included two heavenly portraits featuring the new family surrounded by their extended family, including Meghan’s mom Doria Ragland and Harry’s dad Prince Charles. Also included were Princess Diana’s sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
And while many royal fans studied the many royal faces featured in the new picture, there were two individuals in particular who stood out above the rest. You guessed it, as per usual, both Meghan and Kate stole the show on their day with their incredible outfits that were styled to peak perfection.
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This morning, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle at an intimate service officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son. They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment. Their Royal Highnesses feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie. Their son, Archie, was baptised wearing the handmade replica of the royal christening gown which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years. The original Royal Christening Robe, made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and first worn by her eldest daughter. It was subsequently worn for generations of Royal christenings, including The Queen, her children and her grandchildren until 2004, when The Queen commissioned this handmade replica, in order for the fragile historic outfit to be preserved, and for the tradition to continue. Photo credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal
While both are usually confined to strict royal dress codes on such formal occasions, there was something different about their outfits that subtly pushed the boundaries. Let’s take a look at exactly why this was.
Kate’s Pink Stella McCartney Dress
At first glance, it seems Kate’s choice in dress could only be described as pure gold. The high-necked Stella McCartney creation, which featured a bow at the neck and cinched waist, looked as though it had been made for the royal (and may well have been given Kate’s status in the fashion world.)
What’s more, her rouge-toned Emmy London shoes and Juliette Botterill head piece made a chic statement in all their color-blocking glory. But there was another detail the dress featured that subtly pushed the boundaries of traditional royal attire — it fell above her knees.
Seeing a royal wear a hemline that sits a good inch or so above the knee is something very rarely seen. That being said, it wasn’t the first time Kate’s worn the garment for a formal royal occasion. In December 2018, Kate was seen wearing the style to a Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, only that time eagle-eyed fans only caught a glimpse of the McCartney masterpiece from the shoulders up.
Whether that’s a sign of a hopeful step forward in traditional female dress-codes, or whether the style was just what Kate was feeling on the day of the christening remains to be seen. Either way, it’s refreshing to see a modernized approach to the humble royal portrait – and we’ll forever covet this stunning dress.
Meghan’s White Dior Dress
As a royal family member, it seems part and parcel that one’s wardrobe is fully decked out with the trendiest of British designers. But in Meghan’s case, there’s a lot to be said for casting the net a little wider.
A milestone event like her son’s christening was always guaranteed to capture global attention in a way few other occasions can, so we think it’s safe to assume that quite a lot of thought went into her outfit choice of the day.
Pictured proudly holding her newborn son in both portraits released on the day, Meghan looked heavenly in a white dress and matching millinery. And interestingly, the designer of her dress was none other than Dior, a French-based fashion house that deviated from the usual British suspects so often at the hand of her chic outfits. So why did Meghan look overseas when it came to the big moment?
Well, it could be to do with a significant choice she made for another milestone event she made just two months prior as she and Harry stepped out with their newborn son for his first official photo call.
At the time, Meghan was seen wearing a gorgeous white tuxedo style dress by Grace Wales Bonner, a British designer who is of mixed-heritage and known for her incredible talent, particularly in gender fluid designs.
Interestingly, Dior recently partnered with Bonner on their cruise collection. It’s quite possible that Meghan’s Dior gown for the christening day did provide a subtle nod both to British talent, and that of Grace.
With the above in mind, it is quite possible that both Meghan and Kate were both pushing the boundaries of traditional royal fashion in their own subtle ways. And while the symbolism behind both outfit choices are still up for debate, there’s one thing we know for sure: They both looked stunning. Long may the subtly radical wardrobes continue on both counts.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.