Five Times Meghan Markle Broke Away From The Royal Mold

Markle has a thing for flouting royal norms but her breaking away informs us of her independence.

Meghan Markle loves to flout royal norms.
Phil Noble / Getty Images

Markle has a thing for flouting royal norms but her breaking away informs us of her independence.

Meghan Markle underwent a “princess-training” program to advise her of the intricacies and etiquettes of royal life before her wedding with Prince Harry. Just like other entrants into the royal family, the training was expected to help Meghan adapt to the extensive behavorial code that governs the lives of each royal.

And while Markle seems to be adapting with ease into her new family, she has not been able to keep herself immune from making a bunch of royal faux pas during her public appearances with the Queen. Some of them are genuine errors by an outsider still learning the ropes of the royal household, but others seem to spring from Markle’s desire to stamp her own identity into the modern royal family — that of being a fiercely independent woman.

Here are five times the Duchess of Sussex has already broken away from the royal mold.

Engagement Photocall

While rumors about American actress Meghan Markle’s engagement with Prince Harry had been in the mills for a long time, their relationship was made official when the couple announced their engagement in November of last year. It was a widely publicized event, with Meghan making her first appearance as a soon-t0-be royal.

But as she posed for pictures with Prince Harry for the photocall, Markle did not wear nude stockings — a necessary wardrobe choice for royals.

“You never see a royal without their nude stocking,” said royal fashion expert Victoria Arbiter, signaling the moment as a precursor to what may follow.

Meghan gives out signatures and hugs — a no-no in royal decorum

Two months after her engagement was announced, Meghan visited Wales with Prince Harry, where the couple met members of the public at Cardiff Castle, followed by festivities. During the meeting, several people asked the couple for autographs and hugs, and while Prince Harry did not sign for anyone, Meghan went about handing out autographs and even hugged kids.

Hugging and giving out autographs are strictly prohibited for royals, with Prince Charles known to be a fierce apologizer for the royal tradition during his meetings with the public. But Meghan, on the other hand, decided it is better to go one step ahead and actually break away from the tradition which prohibits it for them to mix with non-royals, or, just people.

Off-the-shoulder, anyone?

This is probably the most talked about and direct example of Meghan Markle’s inane desire not to be restricted with the sometimes-crippling idiosyncrasies of the fashion that dictates royal world appearances. At this month’s Trooping the Color event, Meghan made heads swirl when she appeared in an off-the-shoulder dress by Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera.

This was a departure from a royal rule not to wear off-the-shoulder dresses or more revealing outfits at public appearances, and while Markle’s off-shoulder was probably not earth-shattering, it was still hailed as a nuanced and bold statement about her independence in some quarters, while she was roundly criticized by royal fans expecting more “class” from the new entrant.

See my back, Queen?

Following her appearance at Trooping the Color, Meghan once again joined Prince Harry and the Queen for Royal Ascot. Here, while Markle appeared to make sure not to generate any controversy by making bold fashion choices, one moment marked an involuntary departure from a royal tradition.

Although there is no code for behavior when meeting with the Queen, no one is supposed to show her the back — something Markle seems to have forgotten when she momentarily turned away from the Queen to talk to her husband. We are not sure if the Queen minded that, but it is definitely something that could have ruffled a few feathers.

Meghan Markle faux pas.
Meghan Markle momentarily turned her back to the Queen at the Royal Ascot races. Max Mumby / Getty Images

The Meghan Slant

While there are other incidents where Meghan has surprised the world with her choices, we had to narrow down to one last instance where the new royal entrant stumbled over a faux pas. The decision to walk alone at her wedding was not a mistake but an informed choice, so instead of mentioning that, we go with the Meghan slant which was visible this week when the former actress attended the Queen’s Young Leaders reception at Buckingham Palace, as reported by News.com.au.

Wearing a beautiful Prada dress for the event, Meghan flouted another rule when she sat cross-legged with Prince Harry and the Queen in attendance. Royals do not favor sitting cross-legged, instead favoring a slant position perfected by Kate Middleton. Meghan, however, crossed her legs as well while slanting her legs, leading fans to term her position the “Meghan Slant.”