Royals follow a very strict protocol of behavior, but since her arrival in the royal family, Meghan Markle made it very clear that the rules are to be broken.
From the dress, to the way of eating and greeting, being a member of the British royal family is basically a full-time job.
Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex upon marrying Prince Harry, and since then, she has already broken many rules, both official and unofficial.
Although some of them sound somewhat extreme or ridiculous, they are traditions that have been observed for several years and that denote a high social status. Meghan, coming from outside, shook up the rules by bringing an air of freshness and freedom.
Now that Meghan and Harry have renounced their roles as royals, let’s remember all the ways Meghan rebelled against royal protocol.
I said ‘no’ to the stockings.
Queen Elizabeth II hopes that the ladies of the royal family will wear stockings, but Meghan from the beginning ignored this custom, as we appreciate here, during the engagement announcement to Prince Harry, in 2017.
Meghan did it again during the presentation gala for ‘Hamilton’, at the Victoria Palace Theater in London, this time in a super short black dress by royal standards.
Even when she was pregnant, like this time on her visit to Mayhew, an animal charity, showing her bare legs once more.
She walked alone to the altar.
Since her father, Thomas Markle, did not attend the wedding, it was hoped that Prince Charles would have accompanied her. However, Meghan broke royal protocol by opposing this and walking alone.
He publicly displayed his affection for Harry.
While it’s not technically against protocol to do so, royal couples generally avoid kissing, hugging, or even holding hands during official events, for reasons of decorum and composure. Luckily Meghan, on these occasions she had Prince Harry as an accomplice.
It was very common to see Harry and Meghan walking hand in hand, as they did at Daisy Jenks and Charlie van Straubenzee’s wedding in 2018.
Here they did it by arriving at a reception and dinner at the palace in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, an Oceanian country integrated within Polynesia and constituted as a parliamentary monarchy.
The couple walked hand in hand and in coordinated attire, during the national service to mark the Centennial of the Armistice in London.
Or also during your visit to Cape Town, South Africa, with a much more relaxed and casual style.
Close your own door.
When you are a member of the royal family, it is customary for the staff to be the one to open and close a car door for you. But Meghan can do it herself.
He got in the car before the queen.
At her first official event with Queen Elizabeth II in 2018, Meghan was confused whether to go up before or after Her Royal Highness and then asked her, “What is your preference?” The queen indicated to go up first, but only because she likes to sit behind the driver, so even though it breaks protocol, if the queen approves, this time we pass it to her.
He signed autographs.
Royals aren’t supposed to give autographs for security reasons, but Meghan didn’t have the heart to say no to this 10-year-old.
Cross your legs.
It is not well seen that royal women sit cross-legged during public appearances. Queen Elizabeth II sets the example, but Meghan doesn’t care much, even in front of the queen.
Wear dresses with a high side slit.
The royal palace prefers that its members maintain a conservative dress code. On her official visit to Australia, Meghan not only did not wear stockings, but also showed off her legs with a side thigh slit dress, which caused a lot of controversy.
The bare shoulder.
For her second official appearance at the Trooping the Color celebration in 2018, Meghan opted for an off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress. This is very frowned upon for official daytime events. Protocol or not, you have to admit that Meghan looks very good.
Kate, however, during these types of events sticks to the rules.
He took off his shoes in public.
No matter it’s on the beach, royalty shouldn’t show their feet and Meghan did it on Bondi Beach during her official tour with Prince Harry in Australia.
Can you imagine the queen barefoot? We don’t believe it.
He got married on Saturday.
It is normal for ordinary people to marry on the weekend, but the royal tradition is to marry during the week. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip got married on a Thursday, Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married on a Wednesday, and Kate Middleton and Prince William got married on a Friday.
Meghan and Harry did not serve fruit cake at their wedding.
For centuries, all special occasions, including weddings and christenings, had been celebrated with fruit cake, but Meghan and Harry broke with this tradition and chose lemon cake with elderflower syrup, for which 200 lemons were used, 500 eggs, 20 kg of butter, 20 kg of flour and 20 kg of sugar.
She dresses all in black.
The custom is that royalty does not dress in all-black garb unless they are in mourning. However, Meghan has done it multiple times, such as on this visit to Wales in 2018.
Even when she was pregnant, she was seen with the ‘All Black’ look, hiding her pregnancy a bit in 2019, during her visit to the Commonwealth Universities, in London.
It has its own coat of arms.
The protocol dictates that before a woman who does not belong to the royal family marries a member of her, her father receives a coat of arms that later extends to all his family, but because Meghan did not even invite her father to the wedding, the royal palace created one specifically for her.
She was married before meeting Harry.
Meghan was married to Trevor Engelson for nearly two years until their divorce in August 2013. It used to be forbidden for royals to marry someone who was divorced, although this is a rule that has now been relaxed. Prince Charles himself married divorced Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.
Had a baby shower.
Normally royals don’t do baby showers, Kate didn’t hold a single one for any of her three children. On top of that, royals don’t travel pregnant either, and Meghan had her baby shower in New York.
He loves to give hugs.
The monarchy suggests that you should go no further than a greeting or handshake when meeting a member of royalty. Some of them relax this rule when it comes to children, but Meghan embraces everyone.
Of course, in the case of Queen Bey, no one blames her for having ignored this rule.
He wore ripped jeans.
The use of denim is reserved only for very casual occasions, but wearing jeans and also ripped jeans for an official event is going too far.
This was precisely what Meghan did during the Invictus Games in Toronto.
She used a crossbody bag.
The reason why it is almost legal for women in the royal family to only use handbags is because that way they have a better pretext for not having to shake the hand of anyone who crosses their path. However, Meghan surprised everyone with both hands free when she wore this crossbody bag during her visit to Scotland in 2018.
He kissed the hand of a fan.
Although it was truly a touching gesture, Meghan broke protocol by kissing the hand of a little fan, during her official visit to South Africa with Prince Harry.
Her famous tousled bun.
Royal protocol dictates sleek hairstyles, after all we’ve never seen Kate get her hair down.
Regardless, this Meghan hairstyle has already become a worldwide trend.
He celebrated Christmas at Sandringham.
This is a legendary tradition that only the spouses of the Queen’s guests can attend. Even Kate Middleton did not attend before marrying Prince William. However, Prince Harry asked his grandmother to make an exception for Meghan and she agreed.
She was a TV actress
The fact that Meghan Markle was a famous American actress before marrying Harry is unprecedented in the royal family.
Her best known role was that of Rachel Zane, on the television series ‘Suits’.
Meghan and Harry did not wear their titles during an official tour.
During their official visit to South Africa, they asked fans to forget about formalities and only refer to themselves as Harry and Meghan. Nothing “His Royal Highness” or anything like that.
This naturally broke with royal protocol.
Harry and Meghan resigned as members of the royal family.
On January 8, 2020, they broke for the last time with royal protocol by completely abandoning their responsibilities as members of the royal family, with the plan to “become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen” from the United States.