The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” was prominently conveyed on Friday with King Charles’ choice of attire at the COP28 summit in Dubai, as the United Kingdom monarch wore a necktie adorned with little Greek flags and an accompanying blue-and-white handkerchief.

The significance in Charles’ choice of fashion accessories came only a few days after the Crown’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, quite undiplomatically snubbed a visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis by cancelling a previously scheduled meeting on Tuesday morning at No. 10 Downing Street.

The image of Charles conversing in Dubai with his prime minister facing straight at the tie was widely circulated around the world.

The reason for the cancellation, according to Sunak at least, was a high-profile television interview given by Mitsotakis – on British soil over the weekend – to again advocate for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum to Greece.

Mitsotakis expressed his displeasure with the snub, while his office later categorically dismissed claims by Sunak of some sort of “gentlemen’s agreement” to not bring up the thorny issue in public. Diplomatic sources in Athens also charged that the Tory prime minister, now trailing badly in opinion and voter approval polls, was engaged in political maneuvering.

Of course, Buckingham Palace could not and did not issue any official statement regarding the British monarch’s fashion choices at the global climate summit, yet the tie was nevertheless viewed as a subtle expression of support for the repatriation of the Parthenon friezes to Athens, or possibly, a gesture aimed at de-escalating the mini diplomatic row. It’s noteworthy that King Charles, whose father, Phillip, was born a prince on the Ionian Island of Corfu, has worn the same tie during meetings with world leaders. The tie was gifted to Charles during a reception in his, and Queen Consort Camilla’s honor at the presidential mansion in Athens.

The British monarch also set the tone for the summit in his address, emphasizing, “I pray with all my heart that COP28 will be another critical turning point towards genuine transformational action.” In his opening address to world leaders, he called for urgent environmental restoration, emphasizing that the world is “dreadfully far off track.” He also underscored that the global economy is at risk unless swift measures are taken to restore the environment.