When looking at photos of the royal family attending various events associated with the celebration of Remembrance Day, royal watchers noticed that Meghan Markle did not stand with other women of the royal family. Photos of the Remembrance Day service showed Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, and Camilla Parker Bowles standing together on a balcony. Noticeably absent was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Other photos showed her standing instead with Elke Budenbender, wife of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Fans of the duchess wondered why she didn’t sit with the rest of the royal women. Was it an intentional slight due to some behavior they found offensive? People reports that the truth is much less salacious and much more practical.
The purpose of the Remembrance Day ceremony is to honor those who died in World War I. This year’s ceremony held special significance as it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the war. Given the solemn nature of the occasion, all of the royal women wore solid black and donned a red poppy, a symbol of the memory of WWI and its veterans.
The reason for Meghan’s placement with the German president’s wife — instead of with the Queen — has nothing to do with royal family drama and everything to do with royal protocol. It seems that, probably due to their small size, there is a preference that no more than three people stand in each balcony. At last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, Prince Philip and Camilla Parker Bowles stood with the queen on a single balcony. As the wife of Prince Charles, the person next in line to the throne, the Duchess of Cornwall would be considered the next highest ranking female family member. Prince Philip announced in May that he was retiring from public life and so was not present for this year’s ceremony. Taking his place was Kate Middleton, the wife of Charles’ eldest son William. So it seems that it wasn’t a matter of excluding Meghan but rather a matter of a sort of royal “pecking order” when it comes to public appearances like the Remembrance Day ceremony.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced recently that they are expecting their first child in the spring. Neither the exact due date nor the sex of the child has been disclosed. It was the Duchess of Sussex’s first Remembrance Day service as a member of the royal family.