Meghan Markle Broke Royal Tradition During Her Africa Tour in This Surprising Way

All eyes have been on Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, since she joined the royal family after marrying Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in 2018.

The couple’s tour of Africa with their five-month-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is no different. While royal fans may not get to see as much of the newborn as they’d like — however, the new parents did introduce Archie to Desmond Tutu today —  we’re certainly seeing lots of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

More public appearances mean the Meghan Markle Effect i.e., the clothes, shoes, and accessories she wears will promptly sell out, will be in overdrive for the duration of the tour. Learn why brands sometimes hate it when royals wear their clothes

Prince Harry and Markle began the second day of their official royal tour by visiting Waves for Change, a charity that helps children with mental health services, at Monwabisi Beach in Cape Town. It’s among the charities that received donations in Archie’s honor following his birth in May of 2019. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit Waves for Change in South Africa.
Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa. | Karwai Tang/WireImage

Arriving at the beach, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were spotted wearing casual clothes. That is, casual yet put together. They’re still royals after all. 

Meghan Markle’s royal first in jean jacket

Markle wore a jean jacket by one of her favorite brands, Madewell, along with a white J. Crew button-down shirt, black skinny jeans, and sandals from South Africa-based, Brother Vellies, according to Fashionista

Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa.
Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa. | Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

The outfit marked a first for the royal family. Markle became the first member of the royal family to wear a jean jacket to an official engagement, according to Hello! Magazine. 

While Markle’s outfit might’ve been too casual for the royal dress code in other circumstances, she and Prince Harry sat on the beach surrounded by children in wetsuits. Based on the photographs from the event, Markle’s outfit looked absolutely right for the occasion. 

She even popped the collar a little bit for an extra dose of style.

Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa.
Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa. | Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

Learn how Markle gets glowing skin using a drugstore product here.

Jeans ‘still seen as very casual wear’

Diana Mather, senior tutor at The English Manner etiquette consultancy, spoke with BBC News about the royal dress code in 2017.

She discussed the protocol for the royal family when it comes to a casual setting, noting that Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have on occasion been seen wearing jeans.

“Many places will not allow jeans as they are still seen as very casual wear, so it is better to play safe for both sexes,” Mather said before adding, “But if the duchess is outside walking the dogs for example, then jeans are fine.”

Markle wore the same jacket years ago

While the time at the beach marked the Duchess of Sussex’s first time wearing a jean jacket as a member of the royal family, she’s worn the same Madewell piece before. According to Meghan’s Mirror, a website site dedicated to Markle’s style, she wore the same jacket before she became a royal. 

Another marked difference from her sister-in-law, Markle carried her bag with the strap across her chest converting it from a tote to a cross-body bag to keep her hands free.

Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa.
Meghan Markle visits Waves for Change in South Africa. | Karwai Tang/WireImage

What we love about Markle wearing a jean jacket to represent the royal family is that it’s an American classic like apple pie. What’s even better is that Markle’s exact jacket is still in stock and only costs $118. 

Lately, it’s been a trend — at least on the tour thus far — of the 38-year-old’s to rewear items she’s worn before. We wouldn’t be surprised if Markle continues to repeat outfits while in Africa. We’ll stay tuned for more from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (and Archie) on their royal tour. 

One item Markle’s not wearing in Africa? Her engagement ring. Learn why she chose to go to Africa without her diamond sparkler