How did red carpet come to be synonymous with royal treatment?
In 1821, President James Monroe was entertained with a red carpet rolled out to the river. And when the New York Central Railroad unrolled a red carpet to welcome passengers aboard its famous 20th Century Limited train, the term "red-carpet treatment" was born.
For much of history, though, purple was considered the most regal color. From a Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute paper :
Probably the most...expensive dye of ancient times was Tyrian purple... obtained from a small sac in the body of a snail-like marine mollusk... Only royalty and the very wealthy...could afford to wear apparel colored with this dye... According to a master's thesis, until the middle ages, the word "purple" was also used to describe various shades of red. This may account for purple's majestic aura crossing over to its crimson cousin. Today, red rules, though royal proponents of purple still exist.
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