Emma Thompson threw royal protocol to the wind by wearing white sneakers to Buckingham Palace before reportedly asking Prince William for a kiss.
The outspoken actress and writer opted for a casual look Wednesday night as she was named a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Thompson offset her footwear choice with a Stella McCartney suit.
Her next attempt to break with tradition was less successful, however, as she was reportedly rebuffed by Prince William, who was conducting the ceremony.
“I love Prince William, I’ve known him since he was little, and we just sniggered at each other,” she told reporters. “I said, ‘I can’t kiss you, can I?’ And he said, ‘No don’t!’”
She’s not the first celebrity to break with Buckingham Palace’s dress code conventions. In 1992, designer Vivienne Westwood revealed she hadn’t worn underwear under her skirt when receiving an OBE from the Queen.
It’s not the first time that Thompson has caused a stir with her fashion choices. At the 2014 Golden Globes she came onstage barefoot before tossing her Christian Louboutin heels behind her.
“I just want you to know, this red? It’s my blood,” she said, in a reference to the famous red-soled Louboutins.
Thompson has joked about her MBE since finding out about her royal honor in June.
“Yes. Dame Commander of the British Empire. I’ve become much more commanding since it happened,” she said in an interview with Seth Meyers in September.
“I’ve also had every seat I sit on just made slightly taller. It’s subtle, so people are lifting their heads slightly more toward me than they did before, but they’re not quite sure why.”
Thompson has a long history of supporting social justice projects, and is an avowed feminist and human rights advocate who demonstrated her awareness of the complicated history of Britain’s imperial past.
“They send you a letter saying, ‘Will you accept it?’ You can choose not to. You can choose to say, ‘Well, of course we don’t have an empire anymore, thank God, because it was ghastly, colonial, racist, dreadful undertaking on every level,’ and actually have some moral principle about it. Or you can be like me and think, ‘Hmm, it’s gonna be a really nice badge.’”
Thompson was accompanied at the ceremony by her husband, Greg Wise, daughter Gaia and son Tindyebwa Agaba Wise.