Elizabeth II, the queen of the United Kingdom, has become a fashion icon thanks to her proverbial purple hats – and it's not just a one-off. In many parts of the world, purple is the color of royalty and aristocracy. In Japan, it is the color of the emperor and is called murasaki, which is also the name of a flower. If purple is a noble color, the reason probably lies in its origins: it is said that to obtain two grams of tinted Tyrian purple, the Phoenicians used twelve thousand murex shells, and a sea mollusk. From Italy to India, purple is also a sign of mourning and death. In Brazil, wearing purple clothes is acceptable only if you attend a funeral, otherwise it is bad luck. In the United States, purple is the color of honor and courage. For this, the highest recognition awarded to military personnel is a cross medal, the Purple Heart.