Just about every little detail of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s mourning and funeral has been under the scrutiny of royal watchers for over a week now as they review hours of the carefully planned events that billions around the world saw. Seating arrangements, songs sung, jewelry worn, colors flown: nothing was deemed trivial in honoring the life of the Queen. But what has rankled eagle-eyed viewers is the symbol on the soles of the Duchess of Sussex’s shoes, with many believing it to be a secret communication to those in the know, or a defiant stance against the royals.
Mystery solved! The symbol, the letters ‘P’ and ‘A’ placed on top of one another, is the logo for fashion and shoe designer Paul Andrew, an apparent favorite of Meghan’s as she has been seen wearing the English designer’s shoes at previous engagements. It is believed the shoes are Andrew’s Pump It Up heels, and cost around $650 dollars. Viewers spotted the symbol when Meghan curtseyed to the Queen’s coffin as she and husband Prince Harry departed the service at Westminster Hall, the symbol standing out on the bottom of the shoe. Fashionistas around the world immediately recognized the symbols, but others ran the gamut wondering on its meaning.
Meghan and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, drew compliments for their stylish yet demure attire for the mourning ceremony held a few days before the state funeral. Both wore “head-to-toe” black, contrasting their sparkling jewelry on lapels, ears and fingers. But all people talked about were the shoes. Meghan’s shoes.
— Emmanuel Mmadukaego (@Emmanuelsblog1) September 18, 2022
Paul Andrew would be happy, as he had said in an interview with The National News as reported by The Sun: “My design philosophy has always been toe-to-head. Create a strong structure and then build upwards upon it.” While Andrew may not be a household name, he does have quite a pedigree as he had previously worked with designers at fashion houses Calvin Klein and Alexander McQueen before launching his women’s footwear line in 2012. Now that sleuths have solved the symbol mystery, industry experts expect demand for his shoes to skyrocket, and prices to follow suit.
Meghan reportedly wore the same shoes to the state funeral prompting Paul Andrew to consider a relaunch of the design. Both she and Kate were in head-to-toe black again with similar sparkles. Yet the sparkles carried deeper meaning as they were gifts from the Queen: Kate wearing a pearl and diamond choker that was once worn by both the Queen and Diana, Princess of Wales, and Meghan wearing pearl earrings.
But what about the guys? They were in military uniform for both the mourning event and the funeral; well, almost all of them. Harry was given special permission by his father King Charles III to wear military garb for the vigil despite his having left the royal household and duties, and Prince Andrew was allowed to wear his despite the ignominious dismissal from his duties and titles. However, neither Harry nor Andrew was in military garb for the state funeral as it was decided that only working members of the royal family would wear full military dress uniform.
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Rules and tradition are what have kept the British Royal Family going for over 1,000 years, and there’s something to be learned from that.