King Charles at COP28
King Charles caused quite the stir with his outfit choice during his keynote speech at COP28 on Friday.
While at first glance it may appear pretty subtle, upon closer inspection, the Greek flag appears to have been printed on the monarch’s blue and white tie, with a similar pattern seen on his pocket-square.
Earlier this week, prime minister Rishi Sunak triggered a diplomatic row with Greece when he decided to cancel a meeting with his Greek counterpart at the last minute.
No.10 claim it was because Kyriakos Mitsotakis broke his promise not to publicly discuss Greece’s demand for the UK to return the 2,500-year-old Elgin Marbles (or Parthenon sculptures) to their place of origin – Greece.
This has led to significant public backlash against Sunak for his supposed “petulance”.
Sending subtle political messages through clothing, while outwardly maintaining your place as an apolitical figurehead, was an art Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II was well-known for.
Worth looking closely, the King today, wearing a Greek flag tie at COP, after days of a simmering diplomatic row btw UK and Greek PM 👀👀👀 pic.twitter.com/CEwaFmBYW4
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 1, 2023
The Queen’s decision to wear a blue hat with yellow circles on it at the 2017 state opening of parliament was widely perceived as a sign of solidarity with the EU at a time when Brexit negotiations were pulling Westminster apart.
The Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly later denied any political intent behind the outfit, saying it “never occurred to her” that it would be comparable to the EU flag.
The King has managed to steer clear of direct intervention in politics since ascending the throne in September last year – as his role demands – despite his reputation as the “activist prince” when he was the heir apparent.
He does have Greek heritage through his father, the late Prince Philip who was born in Corfu as the Prince of Greece and Denmark, and has visited the European country on multiple occasions.
However, the King did also seem to wear the same tie last week, when meeting the South Korean president – before the Elgin Marbles row kicked off.
Charles meeting the South Korea president on November 21