Members of the royal family have used their clothing to punctuate important milestones and events throughout history, with today’s royals being no exception.

Color plays a large role in the wardrobes of the royals, with Queen Elizabeth II famously opting for bright hues for her workwear. The late monarch said she needed to be “seen to be believed” in a large crowd.

Meghan, Kate, Diana Red Fashion Moments
Kate Middleton (left) photographed December 8, 2021; Meghan Markle (right), March 7, 2020; and (inset center) Princess Diana, July 21, 1997. Royal women have often worn statement red looks to high-profile events.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage/Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In December 2022, Meghan Markle gave compelling insight into the fashion expectations placed on the British royals. She said in her Netflix docuseries that she opted for muted tones not to pull focus from more senior members of the family.

“Most of the time that I was in the UK, I rarely wore color. There was thought in that,” Meghan said.

“To my understanding, you can’t ever wear the same color as Her Majesty, if there’s a group event. But then you also should never be wearing the same color as one of the other, more-senior members of the family.

“So I was, like, “Well, what’s a color that they’ll probably never wear?” Camel? Beige? White? So I wore a lot of muted tones, but it also was so I could just blend in.”

When it came to undertaking her final royal engagements in 2020 before stepping away from the monarchy with Prince Harry, the duchess shed these constraints. She said, “I just felt like, ‘Let’s just look like a rainbow.'”

Among the brightest colors favored by royal women are a range of statement reds that have been expertly worn by the likes of Princess Diana, Kate Middleton, Meghan and Queen Camilla.

Here, Newsweek looks at the top 10 times royal women wore statement red to public events.

Princess Diana, Red Cross Event, Washington, June 17, 1997

Princess Diana had a special fondness for the color red, with a number of her most-striking outfits featuring it in some way, from evening dresses to day suits.

One of Diana’s most-famous red fashion moments took place in June 1997 on a visit to Washington, where she was campaigning for the elimination of anti-personnel landmines.

For an evening gala, the royal wore a Jacques Azagury evening dress in red with a beaded bodice and statement waist tie. The event was in honor of the American Red Cross, and the color paid tribute to this. The princess became well known for making statements through the clever use of her wardrobe.

Princess Diana Washington Red Cross Gala 1997
Princess Diana photographed wearing a Jacques Azagury evening gown in Washington, June 17, 1997. She wore red in tribute to the Red Cross charity.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana, Final Royal Engagement, London, July 21, 1997

On July 21, 1997, Princess Diana visited St Mark’s Hospital in northwest London to lay the foundation stone of a new children’s medical centre. For the occasion, the royal wore a chic, streamlined, red day dress with a simple matching belt.

The engagement would take on a new significance when, on August 31, news broke that Diana had been killed in a high-speed Paris car crash with then-boyfriend Dodi Fayed. The red dress, designed by Catherine Walker, would be the last piece she wore for a public event.

Princess Diana Final Royal Engagement July 1997
Princess Diana photographed wearing a Catherine Walker day dress, July 21, 1997. The royal would be killed in a Paris car crash, just weeks later.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas Day, 2015

Queen Elizabeth II had a number of statement red outfits in her wardrobes for official daytime events. However, the color appears not to have been her favorite for eveningwear.

On Christmas Day, the monarch debuted a new statement red coat with fur collar detail at the annual Sandringham church service in Norfolk, eastern England, attended by extended members of the royal family.

The queen matched the color of her coat perfectly to the band on her favorite style of clear umbrella. It allowed crowds to see her, even when shielding herself from a downpour.

Queen Elizabeth II Christmas Day 2015
Queen Elizabeth II photographed wearing a red coat on Christmas Day, 2015. The clear umbrella she held allowed the crowds to see her.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle, Mountbatten Music Festival, London, March 7, 2020

One of Meghan Markle’s standout outfits was worn to this official royal event before she stepped away from the monarchy with Prince Harry in 2020. It was a statement red caped evening dress from the designer Safiyaa.

The duchess wore the dress to the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with Prince Harry. The event came days before her final royal engagement, and the garment is counted among her “rainbow” wardrobe, referenced in the Harry & Meghan docuseries.

Meghan Markle Mountbatten Music Festival 2020
Meghan Markle photographed wearing a red Safiyaa dress at the Mountbatten Music Festival, London, March 7, 2020. The garment formed part of her “rainbow” wardrobe.
EDDIE MULHOLLAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meghan Markle, Salute to Freedom Gala, New York City, November 10, 2021

In 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Salute to Freedom Gala in New York City, honoring armed servicemen and women ahead of the annual Veterans Day commemorations.

For the event, Meghan had an elegant Carolina Herrera evening gown specially designed for her in red. It was the same color as the poppy, the flower of remembrance. Footage of the duchess being fitting for the gown was included in her Netflix docuseries.

Meghan Markle Salute to Freedom Gala 2021
Meghan Markle photographed wearing a red Carolina Herrera evening gown to the Salute to Freedom Gala, November 10, 2021. The garment for the New York City charity event was the same shade as the poppy, the flower of remembrance.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum

Kate Middleton, Taking Action on Addiction Visit, London, October 19, 2021

In 2021, Kate Middleton delivered a keynote address launching the “Taking Action on Addiction” awareness campaign, hosted by the Forward Trust in London.

For the occasion, Kate wore an all-red ensemble comprising a Ralph Lauren roll-neck blouse and pleated Christopher Kane skirt.

Kate Middleton "Taking Action On Addiction" Campaign
Kate Middleton photographed wearing an all-red outfit to the launch of the “Taking Action On Addiction” Campaign, London, October 19, 2021. The garments were by Ralph Lauren and Christopher Kane.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/ Neil Mockford/GC Images

Kate Middleton, Together at Christmas Service, London, December 8, 2021

Some of Kate Middleton’s biggest solo events of the past two years have been the “Together at Christmas” carol services at Westminster Abbey, London. The princess celebrates community members for work they have undertaken throughout the year.

For the inaugural event, hosted at the abbey on December 8, 2021, the princess wore a striking red coat dress by the designer Catherine Walker & Co. This was not the first time the public had seen Kate in this style. She wore a black version for the funeral of Prince Philip in April 2021.

Kate Middleton Carol Concert 2021
Kate Middleton photographed wearing a red Catherine Walker & Co. coat dress at the “Together at Christmas” carol concert, December 8, 2021. The royal spearheads the annual event.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle, One Young World Summit, Manchester, England, September 5, 2022

Meghan Markle attended the One Young World Summit in September 2022, during a special visit to Europe to undertake charity commitments. It is an event and organization she has patronized since before her marriage to Prince Harry.

For the summit, held in Manchester, northwest England, the duchess wore an all-red outfit from the American activist fashion label Another Tomorrow.

Meghan’s outfit comprised a pair of boot-cut red pants and a collarless bow blouse made out of a sustainable viscose material.

Meghan Markle One Young World Summit 2022
Meghan Markle photographed wearing a red ensemble from Another Tomorrow to the One Young World Summit, Manchester, England, September 5, 2022. The outfit was made from sustainable material.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate Middleton, ‘Shaping Us’ Launch, Leeds, England, January 30, 2023

For the launch of her early years awareness campaign “Shaping Us” in January, Kate Middleton wore an all-red power suit with an asymmetric cross-front closure and trumpet-leg pants.

The suit was designed by Alexander McQueen, the fashion label credited with creating Kate’s royal wedding dress, 11 years earlier. The label was founded by Lee “Alexander” McQueen in 1992, having studied at Central Saint Martins school of art in London. McQueen was a trained Savile Row tailor, and the label has become famous for its menswear-inspired tailoring.

Kate Middleton "Shaping Us" Launch 2023
Kate Middleton photographed wearing a red Alexander McQueen suit to the launch of the “Shaping Us” awareness campaign, Leeds, England, January 30, 2023. The garment symbolized the hope of the childhood action project.
Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Camilla, Grenadier Guards Meeting, Aldershot, England, January 31, 2023

Queen Camilla is among the latest members of the royal family to wear a statement red fashion look. She opted for a bold dress to pay her first visit to the battalion of the Grenadier Guards as their colonel in chief.

In Aldershot, southern England, the royal wore a style of her favored smock dresses with intricate pleated detailing and statement seaming.

Queen Camilla Grenadier Guards 2023
Queen Camilla photographed wearing a red dress for a visit to the Grenadier Guards, January 31, 2023. She wore the outfit to the Lille Barracks in Aldershot, England.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

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