All the Royal Rules Meghan Markle Has ‘Broken’ Since Marrying Prince Harry

Britain's Prince Harry (R) and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle, arrive to attend a reception with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was an unorthodox potential member of the royal family from the start. Markle made history as the first American, biracial, divorcee fiancé of a British royal family member. And while the royals seem to be taking Markle in as one of their own, it’s evident she isn’t done surprising us and breaking royal protocol as she adjusts to life in London.

Markle recently made headlines for a foot-crossing faux pas, which brings to mind all the other royal rules she and Prince Harry have broken since tying the knot.

She wore a sleeveless dress to Trouping the Color

Trooping the Color is Queen Elizabeth’s birthday celebration and parade. Markle was invited to sit alongside Queen Elizabeth at her first Buckingham Palace event as an official member of the royal family.

Markle wore an off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress with a matching fascinator for the occasion. Tabloids like Page Six were quick to call out Markle’s detour from “unspoken royal protocol.”

According to the site, “fashion tradition usually dictates that Royal women do not wear off-shoulder or other more revealing styles.” Kate Middleton, Markle’s new sister-in-law and royal trendsetter, selects dresses with sleeves past her elbows like Princess Diana once did.

Both Meghan and Prince Harry wear a wedding ring

Prince Harry went where few royal men have gone before when he chose to wear a wedding ring after marrying Meghan Markle. Royal expert Marlene Koenig told Town & Country how uncommon it is for British aristocrats to wear a wedding ring. “There is no royal tradition for men wearing or not wearing a wedding ring,” she said. It’s actually based on personal preference — while some modern royal men choose to don their ring, most do not (Prince William opts out, as he doesn’t like jewelry).

At their nuptials, the crowd hushed when Prince Harry and Markle placed rings on each other’s fingers and recited their promise. “I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage. With my body, I honor you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” It signified the couple values equality in their marriage and acted as a modern step for the monarchy.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle messed up her ‘Duchess slant’

The “duchess slant,” a distinct move among royal women, is a seated position where the royal in question clasps their knees and ankles together and slants their legs to the side. British etiquette instructors consider it the most “flattering silhouette” for women while seated. Markle expertly embraced the duchess slant for various royal events like Prince Charles’ garden party and her first royal outing with the queen in June.

The term was first coined by Beaumont Etiquette, a London company, to describe Kate Middleton’s frequent pose that actually mimicked a position Princess Diana used to assume. “Typically the ‘duchess slant’ is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture,” Myka Meier, royal etiquette expert and founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, told PEOPLE.

“It is the perfect pose for when a camera is shooting directly in front of you because by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”

However, when Markle sat next to her husband and the queen at the most recent Buckingham Palace celebration, she seemed to forget to assume the royal pose. The Duchess of Sussex sat down and reflexively crossed her legs at the knee for the photo opportunity. See the moment captured by an onlooker below.


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