12 Times Meghan Markle Broke Royal Code
The world has been watching Meghan Markle’s every move ever since she and Prince Harry went public with their relationship. Now that the two are married, Meghan is officially a part of the royal family which means there are certain rules she is expected to follow. While these protocols aren’t necessarily written in stone, they’ve been a royal tradition for a very, very long time. There’s no denying that Meghan is extremely poised and well-kept, especially when cameras are around, but it’s also becoming more and more clear that she might be looking to forge her own path among the royal family. Check out these 12 times she already broke royal code!
12. She Talked to the Media About Their Relationship
There’s a reason we never read any interviews from the royal family in our favorite magazines. They like their privacy, and they like to control what information is made public knowledge. While it isn’t completely unprecedented (Kate Middleton was on the cover of British Vogue), it’s definitely not common. Before the two even announced their engagement, Markle spoke to Vanity Fair about her relationship with Prince Harry. She said: “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news. And I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”
11. Holding Hands
This one might seem silly, but the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William follow it religiously. It’s an unspoken rule that couples in the royal family do not hold hands in public. According to royal etiquette expert, Myka Meier, this is because when a royal couple like Prince William and Kate Middleton are making a public appearance they “are working representatives of British Monarchy,” so they want to present a professional appearance. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have now broken this rule on several occasions. The first time we saw it happen was during their appearance at the Toronto Invictus Games and they’ve continued to show PDA ever since.
10. Christmas with the Queen
This past Christmas Meghan Markle made history after she was invited to spend the holidays with Prince Harry and the royal family. In 2010 Kate Middleton famously wasn’t allowed to spend Christmas with the royal family even though she and Prince William were engaged at the time because the royal protocol is that only spouses are allowed to attend the Queen’s festivities at her private residence in Norfolk. According to online reports, Meghan was invited this year because Prince Harry asked the Queen to make an exception.
9. Getting Married on a Weekend
Almost every popular royal wedding (Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and the Queen and Prince Philip) takes place during the week, but not Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s! Not long after they went public with their engagement, the Kensington Palace announced they decided to get married on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
8. This Will be Her Second Marriage
Arguably the most shocking thing about Meghan Markle is the fact that she’s been married before! While it’s not against any law or formal rule in the British monarchy, it’s definitely unusual. In the past, it wasn’t allowed. Remember when Princess Margaret had to end her relationship with Peter Townsend because he was a divorcee? There was also Edward VIII who had to abdicate in order to follow through with his marriage to Wallis Simpson. Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson. They began dating in 2004, got married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on September 10, 2011, and later divorced in August 2013.
7. The Wedding Party
According to online reports, Meghan Markle was going to have the traditional bridesmaids and maid of honor for her wedding. A maid of honor (or Matron of Honor) is customary for a traditional wedding, but not so much for a royal wedding whereas Chief Bridesmaid is the British custom. A source at Us Weekly said, “The day of the wedding itself will certainly hold a few unconventional surprises. Don’t expect a royal wedding by numbers. They want to involve their friends and family in as much as possible throughout the day.” As the wedding day approached however it seems that Meghan leaned more toward royal protocol, and their wedding party was actually filled with the children of their close friends and family.
6. Family Background
Not only is this Meghan’s second marriage which is very unusual for a royal relationship, but she’s also considered to be just an ordinary person from America which is definitely breaking the mold. True, she’s a famous actress which meant she was in the public eye prior to meeting Prince Harry, but unlike Kate Middleton who comes from a posh British family, Meghan is basically just a ‘normal’ person.
5. She Carried a Tote Not a Clutch
There is one fashion rule that all royal women tend to follow and that’s to use either clutch bags or purses with a small strap. This is so that they can avoid shaking hands with people if they don’t want to. According to etiquette expert William Hanson, it’s protocol “that you do not extend your hand to any member of the royal family (blood royal or those who have married into the family) unless their hand extends first.” During one of her first appearances since announcing their engagement, Markle was seen toting a tote bag so her hands were free to shake everyone’s hand.
Similar to the purse of choice, wearing pantyhose is not a fashion rule that’s set in stone, but it’s been a long-held tradition upheld by all the women before her including Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton. Meghan Markle has been photographed not wearing pantyhose on several occasions, most notably in her and Harry’s engagement photocall.
3. Engagement Ring
Meghan Markle’s engagement ring is gorgeous but surprisingly untraditional. While diamonds are always a go-to for engagement rings, the royals tend to prefer gemstones. Kate Middleton wears the late Princess Diana’s ring which was a sapphire, and this was also the preferred choice for The Queen Mother and Princess Anne. Other royals like Sarah Ferguson and Princess Margaret sported a ruby engagement ring.
2. Church of England
While it isn’t a deal breaker to not be an Anglican and belong to the Church of England, it’s definitely out of the ordinary that someone who is not a member would marry into the family. According to People, “in order to remain in the line of succession, members of the royal family cannot be Catholic.” In the past, it has always been forbidden for royals to marry a Roman Catholic, but in 2015 an amendment was made to the Act of Settlement of 1701 which allowed for interfaith marriage.
1. Crossing Her Legs
Similar to the unwritten rule about hand holding in public, there’s another etiquette most female royals follow when sitting down. Instead of crossing their legs like the rest of us, there is what’s called “The Dutchess Slant,” which is what Kate Middleton always follows, and was the late Princess Diana’s preferred choice as well. According to Meier, this is the preferred pose when being photographed front on. “It is the perfect pose for when a camera is shooting directly in front of you because by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty,” she said.