Emma Thompson Defends Her Controversial Decision to Wear Sneakers to Buckingham Palace

Emma Thompson raised quite a few eyebrows — and caused a serious stir on social media — this month when she showed up at Buckingham Palace to receive one of Britain’s highest honors, a damehood, wearing sneakers. The 59-year-old “Love Actually” actress is well-known for eschewing heels in favor of comfortable kicks on the red carpet — and it seems she decided to stay true to her style even for a visit to the hallowed halls of Queen Elizabeth’s historic residence.

As Prince William presented Thompson with her Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medal on Nov. 7, the actress looked proud and confident in a dark blue double-breasted pantsuit and crisp white sneakers. While some social media users praised her decision to dress as she pleased, others slammed the star for disrespecting royal protocol.

emma-thompson
Emma Thompson poses outside Buckingham Palace after receiving her damehood.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

In a new interview, Thompson has revealed that she had absolutely no idea that her outfit had kicked up such a controversy — and defiantly declared that she could not care less that it did. “They were posh trainers,” the actress said on the “My Dad Wrote a Porno” podcast, noting that her sneakers were Stella McCartney’s Adidas Stan Smith vegan style.

“Was there a lot of controversy? Of course you have to understand [that] I don’t do social media,” she continued, “so I have no idea when they say, ‘Oh my God. You caused a stir.’ I go, ‘Why?’”

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Emma Thompson wears sneakers to the 2018 red carpet premiere of “The Children Act.”
CREDIT: James Gourley/Shutterstock

While it seems her damehood outfit passed muster with the royals, Thompson did recall one incident when her devil-may-care attitude regarding dressing raised the ire of the Cannes Film Festival organizers.

“I got into terrible trouble wearing jeans to Cannes once,” Thompson said on the podcast. “I was wearing a very sparkly top — look, if you’re wearing a sparkly top, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing underneath it. Their fashion police went, ‘Oh my God! What is she doing? She is destroying the whole Cannes experience. Everyone is coming to see the beautiful Cannes actresses all dressed up looking gorgeous, and look what she is doing. She’s wrecking the whole thing.’”

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