As a recent addition to the British royal family, Meghan Markle is getting used to a lot of things when it comes to the written and unwritten rules of life as a royal. According to a new report, the Duchess of Sussex might have broken yet another one of those long-standing rules by publicly commenting on Ireland’s referendum to legalize abortion.
In a report published earlier on Thursday, the Huffington Post wrote that Irish senator Catherine Noone, who was in favor of repealing the country’s ban on abortion, spoke with Meghan at a garden party earlier in the week, and tweeted about the duchess’ comments on Ireland’s vote to legalize the controversial procedure.
“The Duchess and I had a chat about the recent referendum result — she watched with interest and was pleased to see the result.”
Soon after that post, Noone reportedly made another tweet that described Meghan Markle’s reaction as “interested and very measured,” while stressing that her stand was “not political at all.” According to the Daily Beast, this was because the British royal family has prohibited its members from publicly discussing political opinions since the 17th century, which suggests that Meghan’s comments might have been construed as a breach of protocol.
Noone’s tweets were eventually deleted, though as the Huffington Post noted, it was posted by another Twitter user. In lieu of her original tweets, Noone simply added in a third post that it was “a pleasure” to meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the garden party.
In addition to Catherine Noone, Irish feminist journalist and women’s rights activist Una Mullally tweeted that she had a “great” chat with Meghan about the “importance of her feminist activism.” The Daily Beast noted that Mullally left this tweet as is, even as Noone deleted her previous posts.
This is not the first time the Duchess of Sussex has been accused of breaking or having difficulty complying with royal protocol, as noted previously by the Inquisitr. Late last month, it was reported that Meghan crossed her legs and held Prince Harry’s hand while at a public event, two incidents that supposedly had her “[worrying] about messing up” and criticized for failing to behave like royals are expected to, despite the outward normalcy of those actions.
Although several media outlets, including the aforementioned Huffington Post and Daily Beast, wrote that the Duchess of Sussex might have violated royal protocol yet another time by expressing a political opinion, experts were previously quoted as saying that Meghan’s candidness, as shown by her open support for the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, could mark a “turning point” as far as adherence to protocol is concerned.
Speaking to the Huffington Post in February, the English Manner director and senior tutor Diana Mather said that Meghan Markle might have been so transparent about her support for hot-button issues because she wasn’t a part of the royal family at the time. She said that while Meghan needs to avoid “crossing the line” with her comments, royal protocol is “becoming more relaxed” in the 21st century, due to the British royal family’s desire to “be seen as making a difference.”