Meghan Markle Sparks Controversy Among Royals For Her Latest Breach Of Etiquette

Dominic LipinskiGetty Images

The Duchess of Sussex was criticized for a breach in etiquette recently, and the hubbub reportedly centers around ensembles she’s been wearing that are outfitted with pockets. In addition, her casual habit of often placing her hands in her pockets, which goes against rules of royal etiquette, haven’t gone unnoticed, either, according to the Daily Mail.

The fashion choices the 37-year-old expectant mom wore during her first royal tour were often met with great acclaim; however, her habit of placing her hands in her pockets were felt to be unbecoming for a royal, critics said. In particular, detractors took aim at the popular royal’s fashion choices and hand-in-pocket approach during an event at the Courtenay Creative in Wellington on Monday.

For that occasion, the Duchess of Sussex sported a white dress in a tuxedo-style that was created by well-known New Zealand designer Maggie Marilyn. Shutterbugs photographed Markle several times when she put her hands inside the pockets.

William Hanson, who is a leading etiquette coach and expert, weighed in on the controversy. He told the Daily Mail that she took the casual fashion choices and attitude a “step too far” for a royal, and that the gesture was “inappropriate for a duchess.”

“There is good casual and there is bad casual. Placing a hand in the pocket is too relaxed and unprofessional, however dressed down Prince Harry and his wife may have been.”

Hanson also gave Meghan Markle a little long-distance etiquette coaching, telling the British newspaper that he thought she hadn’t made too bad a “fashion faux pas” and advised her to wear outfits without pockets from now on.

“Will the world end? No. It is just a small blip in Meghan’s usually delightful manners that can be easily corrected for future engagements,” Hanson said.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at an event in Wellington, New Zealand
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visiting the Courtney Creative in Wellington, New Zealand.Featured image credit: Dominic LipinskiGetty Images

Now if you’re wondering why Meghan Markle subjects herself to the scrutiny of the royals or the scolding of an etiquette guru by continuing her casual habit, Judi James might have the answer. James, who is a social behavior and body language expert, told OK! Magazine that the reason behind a person putting their hand in their pockets could be because of one or two reasons. For one, the gesture signals a “subliminal desire to hide,” she said.

Judi James went on to say that this desire is especially true if a person’s hands are shoved way down into the pockets. She said that “[the gesture] also helps get over the common problem most of us suffer from, which is not really knowing what to do with our hands when we know people are looking at us.”

James added that you generally see that happen with people who are doing it; nevertheless, she felt that the Duchess of Sussex was probably doing it for another reason. James told OK! that “Meghan’s high levels of confidence suggest her reason is more to do with fashion than anxiety though,” and that the casual gesture was “a probable nod to her love of ’50s styling.”