The Reason Why Meghan Markle Walks Behind Duchess Kate Middleton Explained
Meghan Markle is one of the newest members of the British Royal Family, and she has had to learn quickly the myriad rules, stringent protocols, and long-lasting traditions that come with marrying a prince. She has undoubtedly blundered at times, but by and large, she has mastered royal etiquette effortlessly. She even decided to adopt her new lifestyle even before tying the knot as she started to wear pantyhose before her wedding.
There is also another thing she has to do related to her sister-in-law. We are not sure if you have noticed, but the Duchess of Sussex always walks and stands behind her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge. This is no serendipity. There is an intriguing reason behind her decision, and we will reveal it in this article. Find that and some other striking details below!
Understanding the British monarchy
It has been reported that the former Suits actress struggled for a while to comprehend the old-fashioned rules that dictate how royal members in the UK must behave. From fashion, makeup, and hairstyle regulations to the way they talk and walk, she has had to learn a lot. Luckily for her, a good friendship with her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, has certainly helped her understand many new things for her.
Middleton's hands are full with two kids and a newborn, but according to a royal source, she makes time to keep in touch with Meghan. When they are together, the duchesses are seen smiling and laughing, so it is safe to assume that they get along well. But regardless of their blossoming companionship, Meghan must follow a protocol with Kate. Let's take a look at one occasion to understand better what we are talking about.
Trooping the Colour
The new duchess made her debut on the famous balcony of Buckingham Palace on Trooping the Colour, a ceremony performed by British and Commonwealth regiments that has marked the official birthday of the monarch since 1748. It took place on June 9 with a Horse Guards Parade by London's St. James's Park. The general public, the guests and, of course, the Royal Family are among the audience.
Meghan looked fantastic in a daring pastel pink off-the-shoulder dress by Carolina Herrera that she matched with a Philip Treacy stylish hat. But surprisingly for her debut, Prince Harry's wife was not in the front of the balcony. On the contrary, she made her first appearance next to her husband and behind Kate Middleton. Many people could have expected a more prominent place, but there is a reason for it.
Now that we consider it, this position is not new. Meghan can be frequently seen standing and walking behind her sister-in-law during official engagements, like the instance at Buckingham Palace's balcony, on their way into Westminster Abbey, and even entering Wimbledon. It is entirely understandable that she does that with Queen Elizabeth II because we are talking about the sovereign, but why does she step back in her in-laws' presence?
What is the reason?
It is all about the pecking order. Meghan let Kate be in the front just because she was taking the appropriate place according to the royal hierarchy. A palace source said that this is not a hard-and-fast rule, but it is instead a matter of etiquette and reverence. In fact, no one is there laying this out or telling Markle where to stand. Therefore, her position could have come from her.
She was in a central position rather than the possibilities of being to the right or left. The royal protocol prescribes that Meghan should allow Kate to stand and walk in front of her because she falls above her in rank. Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, explained to People, "there was no slight intended, but William being the older, the more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife." In the end, they might be future monarchs.
More than just standing behind
But that is not all; the Duchess of Sussex is even expected to curtsy to Kate. Mere mortals feel content with greeting relatives and friends with a hug or kiss, but it does not happen when you belong to the most important family in the UK. It is true that the monarchy has been progressive in many different ways. However, some traditions and protocols are here to stay, and one of those, maybe the most intriguing one, is the art of curtsy.
According to Now to Love, it is a gesture to evince respect to those with a higher rank, and it involves a deep and elaborate pose with one foot behind the other. Moreover, since the 17th century, it became gender-specific, as women are the ones who now perform it, whereas men adopted the bow. There are no rules on how deep you should go; it all depends on your flexibility, balance and core strength.
Broadly speaking, it is very similar to the line of succession to the throne, but it has several exceptions. For instance, Kate and Meghan would have to curtsy to blood princesses such as Eugenie and Beatriz, but that changes if they are with their husbands since the princes rank higher than their female cousins. Meghan, on her side, will always have to curtsy to Kate because she is married to a future king.
The same goes for her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, her father-in-law, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles. Meghan, like Kate, will also curtsy to "blood princesses" if she is without Harry. Yes, we know it is complicated to understand, and it gave us a headache too. Poor Meghan! Despite the protocol, it is not often to see royal members bowing to others different from the Queen, but that is how it should go.
As we could see, there are no coincidences when we refer to the British Royal Family, and now we understand why we always see Kate Middleton in front of Meghan Markle. The latter is still an in-training royal, so we would totally understand if she makes some mistakes and needs some guidance now and again. But concerning hierarchy, she really knows her place. Share this article with other royal-family lovers and see you next time!