Meghan Markle seems to have transitioned into her new life with ease. She’s poised, professional, and usually dressed for the part. That said, the American former actress and newlywed has already broken a few of the queen’s royal family style rules.
From casual outfits to revealing dresses, we share all the ways Meghan Markle has already broken the royal family’s style rules, ahead. In fact, Markle is quite unconventional in a number of ways.
1. Ripped jeans
Although it was before her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle still broke a major royal family style rule back in September 2017 at the Invictus Games in Toronto. Here’s hoping those ripped jeans weren’t her favorite pair.
Next: Her engagement dress was a bold choice by royal standards.
2. Her revealing engagement dress
Just because she married into the royal family, doesn’t mean she has to stick to the rules all of the time. Meghan Markle wowed in her Hollywood-esque engagement dress that featured a revealing sheer bodice with embroidered detailing. While the queen might not have approved, we certainly do.
Next: Even a simple accessory can become a royal surprise.
3. Carrying a purse
While it’s not against royal family dress code per se, carrying a purse is something we don’t see Markle’s future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, do all that often.
Next: These often become the main focal point of royal outfits.
4. Her white coat
While she may have already broken some strict royal family dress code rules, she’s also done an exquisite job at altering her personal style to better fit her new role. Case in point: the white coat and green dress she wore for her engagement announcement photocall.
Thanks to cold weather, coats often become the main focal point of royal family member’s outfits and Meghan Markle fits right in. We love the classy style, ode to bridal white, and the way it hits right above the bottom of her dress’s hemline.
Next: A royal engagement before the wedding
5. This khaki skirt
Prince Harry and Meghan have also broken some royal family rules together, including going on their first royal engagement before their wedding. That said, Markle fit the part — and the dress code — in a mid-length khaki skirt and black turtleneck.
Next: This coat is actually a royal family favorite.
6. Her floor-length navy coat
Speaking of first official engagements, before revealing her khaki and black ensemble, Markle was spotted in a floor-length navy peacoat. Both the style and color of the coat are a royal family favorite.
Next: Her first hat and breaking Christmas tradition
7. Her first hat
This wouldn’t be a royal style post without mention of Markle’s first hat — and another rule broken by her and Prince Harry. Contrary to tradition, Markle joined the royal family on Christmas Day 2017 (again, before her nuptials to Prince Harry — the queen must be a big fan of her) and was spotted in her first royal-approved hat.
Markle has already taken a liking to the monochromatic style of the royal family and her first-ever hat was the perfect accessory to add to her look.
Next: Markle breaks more than just royal fashion rules. Her relationship with Prince Harry is breaking royal tradition in multiple ways.
8. Her American background
Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She’s the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937. The last, socialite Wallis Simpson, married Edward VIII. He chose to abdicate the throne to marry her, not because of her U.S. citizenship, but because she was a divorcee.
It’s no secret Americans are fascinated with royalty. The U.S. is delighted we finally have a non-Disney “princess” of our own: CBS gave the news a “hip hip and hooray,” and even former-President Barack Obama offered his congratulations to the couple.
Next: The one factor that has previously forced abdication.
9. She’s a divorcee
Markle was married once before, to producer Trevor Engelson. The two married in 2011 and quietly separated in 2013, citing “irreconcilable differences.” While this was enough to force Edward VIII off his throne, it won’t hold the same significance for Harry.
Markle and Prince Harry’s marriage has much lower stakes according to Anna Whitelock, a royal expert and director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage. “Harry won’t be king and will become sixth in line to the throne … It’s less of a constitutional significance.” Harry’s father, Prince Charles, notably divorced Princess Diana before marrying Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005.
Next: Markle may be the first future royal to break this barrier.
10. She’s a woman of color
Markle’s ethnicity sparked a lot of negative media coverage for the actress and philanthropist. The tabloids became so intrusive that Kensington Palace issued a statement warning the media to stop harassing her.
While some historians suspect Markle may not be the first biracial royal, but rather the second, she used the media attention to project a positive message nonetheless. “I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from. And we have never put any focus on that,” she said in her first joint interview with Prince Harry.
Next: She wasn’t plucked from obscurity.
11. She’s an actress
Unlike Kate Middleton, who quietly stepped into the role of Britain’s next queen and current Duchess of Cambridge, Markle was a well-known actress before her relationship with Harry began. She had a high-profile role on the USA Network show Suits and ran her own lifestyle blog, the Tig.
Markle also appeared in Remember Me, which starred Twilight‘s leading man Robert Pattinson, and was produced by her ex-husband.
Next: Her religion is controversial as well.
12. She was raised Catholic
Just a few years ago, Markle’s faith would have been a serious issue for the couple. Until 2015, Prince Harry would have been forbidden to marry a Catholic under royal succession rules. His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is head of the Protestant Church of England.
Markle, who attended the private Immaculate Heart Convent school in L.A., was raised Catholic. The rules recently changed to allow a senior member of the royal family to marry a Catholic. This came as part of a shift aimed at removing male bias and religious discrimination in the royal order, according to TIME.
Next: Her finances are significant.
13. She is independently wealthy
Royal Correspondent Roya Nikkhah told CBS News what makes Markle unique, “She is completely different from previous royal brides we’ve seen of recent generations, like the Duchess of Cambridge, like Princess Diana. This is a woman who’s had a career, she’s been married before, she’s had a very different background to members of the royal family.”
One of the factors is Markle’s independent wealth. While Prince Harry’s 30 million euro fortune eclipses Markle’s “mere” 4 million euros, Markle accrued her money from her acting career. She’s a philanthropist as well and has described her passion for charity work, writing, “I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches — I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works.”
Additional reporting by Emma Bleznak.
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