Meghan Markle has not been shy about doing things her own way since joining the British royal family. The Duchess of Sussex has broken royal tradition several times since marrying Prince Harry in 2018. Below is a list of 10 times Markle broke royal tradition.
1. She closed her own door car door
In September 2018, when Markle attended an art exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts, she closed her car door after she got out. This may seem normal, but royals on duty never do this. BBC interviewed an etiquette expert named William Hanson who said: “Usually if you are a member of the royal family or a dignitary, you have a member of staff to open and close a car door for you.” Hanson further explained that the rule was created for security reasons.
2. Her family didn’t get a coat of arms
A coat of arms is created as a way to recognize someone in the royal family. Markle broke royal tradition when the Queen of England bestowed one to her directly and not to her family. People noted the move was done “amid the drama” surrounding Markle’s relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, prior to the royal Wedding.
As noted by The Telegraph, “The Duchess, who helped to design the image, holds the coat of arms in her own right with no input from her father, who as an American does not have his own coat of arms.” Check out what hers looks like below.
3. She signed an autograph
On an official visit to Cardiff, Wales, in 2018 with then-fiancée Prince Harry, Markle took the time to sign an autograph for a young fan named Caitlin Clarke. As a celebrity, this is a common thing to do but for a royal, it breaks protocol. Time Magazine reports that Markle found a way around the rule by writing the message “Hi Kaitlin” instead of her own name for the fan.
4. She has shared her political views
The royal family members are not supposed to share their thoughts on politics. In 2016, Markle appeared on “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” where Newsweek reported that she said she was a Hillary Clinton fan, a passionate fighter for women’s rights, and even called President Donald Trump a misogynist.
5. She took off her shoes in public
Markle visited Bondi Beach in October 2018 and while there, she took off her shoes in the sand. Royal women are not supposed to be barefoot in public, according to Yahoo Finance. “This is because it’s very un-royal to go barefoot and all royal women, in particular, are required to wear tights on public occasions,” the outlet reported.
6. She got married on a Saturday
As noted by Harper’s Bazaar, royal weddings usually happen on a weekday. Duchess Kate Middleton was married on a Friday, Princess Diana was married on a Wednesday, and Queen Elizabeth II was married on a Thursday. Markle decided to tie the knot to Prince Harry on a Saturday.
7. She didn’t release a birth plan to the public
When Markle was pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s son Archie, they decided to keep the birth plan private. Royal women typically share this information, including which hospital their baby will be born in.
In a statement issued by the Buckingham Palace and obtained by Vanity Fair, a spokesman for the couple said at the time: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby. Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
8. She skipped the Lindo Wing photo after Archie was born
It is common for royal babies to be born in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London. After their arrival, the family will take a staged picture on the steps of the hospital posing with their newborn. As the couple chose to keep their birth plans private and deliver elsewhere, this photo op did not occur.
9. She doesn’t believe in formal greetings and gives out hugs
Markle is famous for giving out hugs when she meets people. The Duchess famously rejected a curtsy during an appearance at One Young World Summit’s opening ceremony at Royal Albert Hall in London in October. While onstage, Markle went in for a hug with founder Kate Roberston as Roberston attempted to curtsy.
10. She was married before Prince Harry
Before marrying into the royal family, Markle was married to director Trevor Engelson from 2011-2013. According to MSN, the royal family used to not allow members to marry anyone who had already been divorced. Before Markle, this rule was broken by Prince Charles who married divorcée Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.