Fashion News

How Meghan Markle’s Style Is Breaking Royal Protocol

See how her style has deviated from the status quo

By Sabrina Salehuddin | January 25, 2018

Marrying into the British royal family comes with more than just the namesake–you are also marrying into a heralded list of protocol actions that instruct you on how to sit, eat, talk and appear in public. These rules govern everything that happens within the royal household, even the way you dress. Coloured nail polish is forbidden, tiaras can only be worn by married women after 6pm, and wedges may not be worn in front of the Queen.

Given how exhaustive this list of rules are, it comes as a breath of fresh air that Meghan Markle has already broken a few of them even before she’s walked down the aisle. While Kate Middleton has succeeded in looking gorgeous while playing by the rules, Meghan’s American sense of ease and her preference for fuss-free pieces has made her into a different kind of royal fashion icon.

This story was first published on The Singapore Women’s Weekly website/Written by Aaron Kok / Images from: Instagram @kensington_palace_ and www.hellomagazine.com

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1.When she announced her engagement, sans-stockings.   

Women in the Queen’s household have long understood that they are required to wearing stockings before making public appearances. This wasn’t the case of Meghan, as evidenced when she made her engagement announcement. More than just breaking protocol, her choice to appear without stockings points to how most modern-day women have also opted to forgo stockings for practical purposes.

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2. When she sat courtside in a loose shirt and distressed skinny jeans

Skinny jeans with visible rips, and a shirt loosely thrown over? Only Meghan could carry it off. While her future sister-in-law fovours ladylike dresses, Meghan’s all about easy, fuss-free outfits and this experience proves that point. After all, Meghan is going to an American princess, and who better to embody the LA-brand of laid-back style than her?

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3. When she wore her hair messy

Kate Middleton is always a picture of grace and elegance, right down to having every strand of hair in place. And while the rest of the royal household never shows up without looking perfectly coiffed, Meghan’s messy bun certainly feels more relatable and down-to-earth.

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4. When she wore a scintillating gown for her engagement photos

Engagement photos are traditionally known for the PR motive behind them, with everything calculatingly selected right down to the nth degree.Princess Diana was presented as a traditional wife, when she wore a high-neck blouse and a prim skirt suit. Kate embodied the demure elegance that the public loves her for when she posed in a draped white dress that cost approximately RM900 back then.

So when Clarence House unveiled Meghan’s photos, no one could ignore her choice of dress. In a fitted black gown from couturiers Ralph & Russo-complete with feather motifs strategically embroidered-Meghan’s dramatic gown certainly caught everyone’s attention due to its sheer bravery.

As noted by many watchers, the message was loud and clear; she is a royal who is hipper than usual, not afraid to take risks and is a departure from the norm.

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5. When she carried her Strathberry bag

By now, most of us would be familiar with her navy-and-maroon bag from Strathberry. The bag has since sold out worldwide and garnered a waiting list, but that’s not the point here. The key thing to note is that Meghan chose to carry a top-handle bag in the first place.

As noted by etiquette expert William Hanson, “The Duchess of Cambridge may well prefer not to shake hands with certain people- but there are other ways to achieve this, as used by The Queen and other members of the royal family, than opting for a clutch over a bag with a strap”. Members of the public cannot extend their hand to a member of the royal household unless they extend first, so the tradition of carrying a clutch has helped them avoid getting into unwanted handshakes. Even the Queen chooses to carry her bag on the crook of her elbow, with her two hands firmly clasped in front of her.

Meghan’s departure from this customary practice certainly did not go unnoticed.

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