When it comes to royal titles, the best of the best is, obviously, king or queen. Next in line is prince or princess, and then, duke or duchess. Following them, in order from highest to lowest, is marquess/marchioness, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess, and, finally, baron/baroness.
And, for each of those titles, there are strict rules as well as various guidelines that should be adhered to because of one’s title. As one goes down the list, however, the list of expectations obviously lessens.
So, in theory, Meghan Markle, as a duchess, should have a shorter list of rules and regulations than, say, Princess Beatrice. However, in the interesting case of Meghan Markle, this just isn’t so.
As Bustle points out, there is a list of rules that Meghan Markle now has to adhere to that both of the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie don’t seem to.
For example, while the queen doesn’t like royals to wear nail polish other than her exception, Essie’s Ballet Slippers, the princesses appear to be able to wear any sort of nail polish, even the dark colors that the queen particularly doesn’t like.
In addition, while Meghan Markle has opted to shut down her social media accounts and blog, Princess Eugenie has had an Instagram account since March 7, 2018, which coincided with International Women’s Day. While many Instagram accounts are filled with bikini body shots, Beatrice, instead, chooses tasteful pictures for her account and often focuses on throwback images and talking about mental health.
While Meghan Markle was able to wear whatever she wanted while she was an actress, now her items are tastefully selected and modest in appearance. She has yet to be seen wearing short dresses or skirts since her wedding to Prince Harry. Princess Beatrice, on the other hand, as Elle points out, was spotted wearing a dress that was above the knee to Meghan and Harry’s wedding. In addition to the modesty rule, the princesses are often seen out in public with bare legs, as opposed to being clad in pantyhose such as Meghan Markle now does in public.
When it was announced that Meghan Markle would marry Prince Harry, it was expected she would give up her career. And, this would have likely been the case even if her career choice wasn’t that of an actress. The princesses, however, seem to have the option of retaining jobs if they so choose, with Princess Eugenie working as an associate director for the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in London, according to Elle.
Along with dropping her job, Meghan Markle had to get permission from the queen to marry Prince Harry, something Princess Eugenie didn’t have to do when she got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank.
So, why does Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, have to adhere to more rules than the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie?
According to the royal family’s line of succession, Prince Harry, who Meghan is married to, is sixth in line to the throne after Queen Elizabeth, now that his brother, Prince William, has three children. This makes Harry closer to the throne than Beatrice and Eugenie. In addition, his title of “prince” will always trump Meghan’s. So, therefore, this is likely why Meghan has a heightened set of rules and guidelines to which she must adhere.
But, what about Beatrice and Eugenie, where are they in the royal succession line? Well, their father, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is Prince Charles’ younger brother, so his daughters, the princesses, Beatrice and Eugenie, are eighth and ninth in line, respectively, to the throne. As a result of this, they appear to have more leeway when it comes to bending and breaking royal protocol.