The Symbolic Reason William And Kate Rock Shades Of Blue While Harry And Meghan Go Green

For centuries, color has played an important role in how royalty presents itself. Traditionally, the color most associated with royalty is purple, and there is an ancient reason for that dating all the way back to the Phoenicians (via The History Chanel). At that time, the Phoenicians used what they called "Tyrian purple" to dye cloth, and this dye was made from a specific species of snail that we now call Bolinus Brandaris, which was so rare and difficult to find that purple dye was exceedingly expensive and difficult to come by. Therefore, only royalty could afford it. 

As time went on, purple continued to be associated with royalty and power in several different societies and time periods. For instance, in ancient Rome, some emperors forbade any of their citizens from wearing the color, even under penalty of death. To this day, purple remains a staple color in royal ceremonies, including in the recent coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, who both wore traditional crowns that prominently featured purple velvet.

But more "modern" royals including William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, and Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have opted for different signature hues in hopes of evoking certain feelings from the public.   

Why Willam and Kate tend to opt for blue

As most recently demonstrated by a Fathers' Day photoshoot in which William Prince of Wales was photographed with his children all wearing different coordinating shades of blue, William and Catherine have long-favored stepping out in blue for significant public appearances (via Page Six).  

Rosie Harte, author of the upcoming book "The Royal Wardrobe," says that this choice is quite intentional, and goes far beyond the couples' personal affinity for the color. "Blue is a more palatable alternative to the colors traditionally associated with royalty, being far less aggressive than red and significantly more conservative than purple," says Harte (via the Daily Mail). 

Blue is still a rich jewel tone like purple or red, but it feels softer, gentler, and more modern. Prince William and Kate Middleton have made a point to try and bring the monarchy into the modern age by appealing to both traditionalists and more liberal-minded members of the public. And their countless public appearances while wearing blue are thought to be part of the image they are trying to cultivate. After all, even Kate's engagement ring, which had been Princess Diana's engagement before her, features a stunning blue sapphire, making the ring a family heirloom (traditional) and also a less traditional alternative to a diamond (modern).  

What Harry and Meghan's love of green symbolizes

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the other hand, have gone out of their way to separate themselves from royal tradition in countless ways. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have committed to blazing their own trail ever since stepping down as working royals and moving to California. Unlike William and Catherine, who are slated to be the future King and Queen of England, Harry and Meghan have a bit more freedom to cultivate lives and images that don't have to reflect traditional royal values. And as such, their choice of signature color is different from that of William and Kate. 

Harry and Meghan have often chosen to be interviewed and photographed in outdoor spaces, which may be intended to give the impression that they are more approachable and down-to-earth (literally) than being photographed inside palace walls or in front of official buildings or symbols (via Page Six). Environmental causes are also close to the hearts of the Sussexes, and so green also aligns with those endeavors. Emerald green, which the couple has often been seen wearing, is still an eye-catching jewel tone fit for red carpets, official speeches, and photoshoots, but it is decidedly different and more earth-based than the blues of the Waleses or the purple of traditional royals.