Meghan Markle has had to have a crash course in how to be a royal after falling in love with and marrying Prince Harry. So far, she has perfected the royal curtsy and given up eating garlic at royal functions in order to fit in with royal etiquette standards. She has also perfected the art of sitting like a royal — up until now.
On Tuesday, however, Meghan and Prince Harry joined Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace to celebrate a group of young leaders from across the world, according to People. While attending, Meghan Markle allowed herself to cross her legs rather than adopting the duchess slant. As to be expected, there was much pearl clutching as royal watchers looked on in horror at the obvious faux pas.
According to royal protocol, when royal women sit, they are expected to display certain elements of poise and decorum. They are supposed to sit in an upright manner – no slouching — and adopt the “duchess slant.” The duchess slant is a way of sitting that allows your legs to stay together and create an elegant line. Feet may be crossed at the ankles or the female royal member may allow their legs to remain at an angle. Along with the bottom half of the duchess slant, the upper body should remain an egg-width away from the chair they are sitting on and the royal’s chin should be parallel to the floor.
The Express reported that many fans took to the royal family’s Facebook page to voice their opinion on the matter.
According to the article, one royal fan wrote, “The Duchess of Sussex has her legs crossed wrong. What a disrespect to the Queen. All royal ladies cross at the ankles or put both legs to the side.”
Simon Perry from People captured the moment when Meghan Markle sat down and crossed her legs and you can view the video of it below.
But, is it really a faux pas?
“I thought it was etiquette rules to keep legs and knees together, although crossing at the ankle is fine,” another royal watcher questioned the royal Facebook page in regard to the incident, according to Good Housekeeping.
However, Good Housekeeping also says that it is not a major faux pas for a royal woman to cross her legs in public.
“Typically ‘the Duchess slant’ is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture,” Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, previously told Good Housekeeping.
And many other royal women have been photographed crossing their legs during official functions and events. Kate Middleton has been photographed several times at events with her legs crossed rather than adopting the duchess slant. Along with her, Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was also photographed on many occasions with her legs crossed.
So, there you have it, Meghan Markle was completely within royal protocol when she crossed her legs at the event.