Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee with purple eyewear

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are just around the corner, and the colour purple is everywhere. Purple is a colour that traditionally symbolises royalty. It’s also the colour for platinum anniversaries. So, we thought now would be the perfect occasion to immerse ourselves in all things purple. From facts about purple to showcasing some of our fabulous purple eyewear, our latest blog is all about the power of purple.

The official emblem for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee features a purple and platinum design. Purple is associated with royalty, power, and wealth and has been for centuries. It was a colour only the wealthy could afford to wear. But that changed in 1856. The purple dye that brought the colour to the masses was created accidentally by an 18-year-old called William Perkin. The young man was in the process of trying to synthesise quinine.   But instead, he produced a purple liquid to dye products.

Caroline Abram

It was a significant development because only the mucus of sea snails could produce a purple dye. The colour was so expensive to produce that only royalty could afford to wear it. Julius Caesar declared purple to be such a status symbol that he was the only Roman allowed to wear it. Elizabeth I of England wore it for her coronation banquet, and when she died, her coffin was covered in purple velvet. So, as you can see, purple has long been seen as a colour befitting royalty.

But the colour purple is also associated with another kind of royalty – music royalty. Musical genius – the late, great Prince Rogers Nelson – more commonly known as Prince – has been associated with the colour since he burst onto the music scene in 1984. Prince made his movie debut in 1984 in Purple Rain. He even won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score.

Prince has always been linked with the colour purple, wearing purple outfits, and playing purple guitars. Before his untimely death in 2016, he had commissioned a purple piano to take on tour with him. A year later, Prince had an official Pantone colour purple created in his honour named Love Symbol #2. The deep purple hue takes its name from his custom-built purple piano.

Vinylize tribute to Purple Rain

To pay homage to this epic showman, Vinylize has released a set of limited-edition purple frames. The ‘Purple Pupil Protectors’ are a collection of frames upcycled from discarded man-made materials and handcrafted by the award-winning designers at Tipton Eyeworks. There are five models to choose from, all manufactured with the usual high-quality craftsmanship we have come to expect from Vinylize eyewear. Pop into our shop on Manor Walk to view the limited-edition Prince-inspired frames from Vinylize.

Along with our lovely new Vinylize ‘Purple Pupil Protectors’, we have purple running through many of our other collections here at Respectacle Company. Who remembers the pink frame Prue Leith from Bake Off wore during the last series? It’s a frame from Theo called Pendeloque, and we have it in stock in pink and vibrant purple.

Pendeloque from Theo

Visit our online store to shop for purple eyewear. Or pop by the optical and browse our purple frames in person.

Some other facts about the colour purple

  • The colour purple symbolises wisdom, bravery, wealth, and spirituality.
  • It’s the rarest colour for a car. Car manufacturers don’t mass-produce vehicles in this colour because it’s not a popular choice with customers. You will occasionally see expensive supercars in this shade.
  • Most carrots are orange. But they were purple in colour originally. In the 17th century, Dutch farmers were cross-breeding to grow orange carrots in honour of their ruler, William of Orange. Or so the story goes.
  • Purple isn’t a colour you see often in flags. In fact, only one nation’s flag features the colour purple, and that’s Dominica.
  • In Japan, the colour purple is associated with wealth and position.
  • Purple is the colour for epilepsy awareness. Purple Day is celebrated on March 26th, to raise awareness for the neurological condition.
  • In Star Wars, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Mace Windu has a purple lightsaber. He was the first and only Jedi to have a purple lightsaber.
  • The Colour Purple is a novel by American author Alice Walker. Published in 1982, the book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year and made Alice Walker a household name. A role in the 1985 movie of the same name was Whoopi Goldberg’s breakthrough role.
  • Purple is at the far end of the visible colour spectrum. And it is the hardest colour for the eye to recognise.
  • Prince’s Purple Rain album sat at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks. It sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
  • In our opinion, purple is a core colour for eyewear – whether it’s the dominant colour of the frame or highlighted between other colour hues. It brightens the base colour and brings a more vibrant element to each frame. Everyone deserves some purple in their lives, so why not add a bit of glamour to your eyewear and check out some variations on the purple theme.

Further reading:

Spotlight on Vinylize Eyewear

Look Stylish Like GBBO’s Prue Leith in Theo Eyewear