Britain's Kate facing BAFTA black dress 'dilemma'

Royal women traditionally do not wear all-black unless in mourning, and the monarchy avoids public protest

The Duchess of Cambridge could face a tricky decision at Britain's BAFTA film awards, a newspaper reported Friday, if female attendees decide to wear black in protest at sexual harassment.

If the red carpet "blackout" at last month's Golden Globes is copied at the February 18 ceremony in London, Prince William's wife Kate may have to decide whether to be seen to be joining in or standing apart.

Royal women traditionally do not wear all-black unless in mourning, and the monarchy avoids public protest.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said Kate "will be left in a diplomatic minefield... a trickier dilemma than ever" when she accompanies William, the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to the BAFTA bash.

Kate, 36, who is expecting her third child in April, wore a black dress with white flowers at last year's ceremony.

Her Kensington Palace office declined to comment.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine said it had seen a letter addressed to BAFTA guests inviting them to wear black like "our sisters" at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.

"We feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten," it said.

"Wearing black is a strong, unifying and simple statement -- a physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse."

At the Globes, Hollywood's A-listers turned out en masse wearing black outfits, with only the slightest hints of colour.

It was a sartorial show of force to draw attention to the issue in show business and beyond, a culture of abuse revealed in the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper described the reported BAFTA plan as "virtue signalling, the sequel".

The best actress nominees are Annette Bening, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan.

Allison Janney, Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf, Kristin Scott Thomas and Octavia Spencer have been shortlisted for the best supporting actress gong.

"The Shape of Water" leads the BAFTA nominations with 12 nods, ahead of "Darkest Hour" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" with nine.