Meghan Markle: An American's Adaptation to Royal Rules

Many things have changed for Meghan Markle after her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. She has probably gotten used to many of the royal rules by now, but it must have been hard work, trying to learn all these protocols that range from how to curtsy to the higher-ranking members of the family to how to eat at a formal event.

Royalty has to maintain several standards that other people do not, and as a woman who grew up normally and in America, we cannot imagine how difficult the learning period was for the Duchess of Sussex. However, Meghan seems to be doing great in her duties, and now that she is pregnant, she looks like a princess, exuding happiness. Here are some rules that Markle had to embrace.

1. Learning to curtsy to different people

There are written rules, known as the Order of Precedence, set for people to understand who must bow to whom in this noble family, and it’s probably very confusing for most, not to mention, someone who did not grow up in this setting. Queen Elizabeth II’s kids and grandkids have to curtsy if they have not seen the monarch earlier that day.

Furthermore, there is also a difference between people who were born royal and people who weren’t. According to The Telegraph, when Prince William married Kate Middleton, the Order of Precedence was updated to state that she had to curtsy to all “blood princesses” such as Princesses Anne, Alexandra, Beatrice, and Eugenia.

Even if she is married to the future king of the United Kingdom, the princesses outrank her because they were born into the family unlike the Duchess of Cambridge. However, she does not need to do it when Prince William is near because then her ranking goes up and the princesses have to bow to her. This rule has probably been applied to Meghan because she also married into the family.

2. She cannot hug her fans anymore

As an American, she was probably accustomed to lots of displays of affection, and as an actress, she had to deal with strangers asking for autographs and hugs. However, members of the British royal family only give handshakes or nothing at all to strangers. Within the family, they can give each other kisses on the cheek because they are familiar with their own people.

It seems that this rule was particularly hard for Meghan because she gave out hugs at several royal events, though she probably did not get in that much trouble because even born royals have broken some rules before. The former actress seems to be doing much better now, but it’s also due to her pregnancy and months of practice.

3. Sitting while doing the “duchess slant”

If you are a fan of The Princess’ Diaries, then you probably remember Queen Clarise telling Mia that royal women do not cross their legs, and this is true in real life. The “duchess slant” is a term created by Beaumont Etiquette as a way to describe Kate Middleton’s manner of sitting with her knees and ankles leaning towards the side.

Thanks to months of practice, Meghan has learned how to do it herself. According to Myka Meier from Beaumont Etiquette in an interview with Insider, “Typically the 'duchess slant' is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture. It is the perfect pose for when a camera is shooting directly in front of you.

“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 — or in this case a crowd — only sees and shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”

4. She had to learn how to eat properly

From The Princess’s Diaries or any other similar movie, we learned that there is a certain way to eat at formal gatherings, especially those involving royalty. From the usage of the many utensils to when to eat, it must have been daunting for the former actress and activist, but we are sure things are running smoothly now.

Members of the royal family have to hold knives in their right hand, and the forks on their left hands with the tines downward. Furthermore, they cannot stab their food with the utensil. Instead, they have to place the food on the back of the fork and lift it towards their mouths. We cannot imagine what they do if they are eating a piece of steak that needs to be stabbed to cut, but well, that is probably not served on the menu.

Additionally, we all know that tea time is an essential aspect of British life, and how to hold a teacup properly is a serious matter for any royal person. They have to hold the handle with their thumb and index finger, and the middle finger is used to support the bottom of the cup. Unlike most people believe, extending the pinky finger is thoroughly looked down upon.

5. The usage of hats

Most women in America do not use hats unless it is a baseball cap, a beach hat, or an accessory that protects your head from the cold. However, women in the royal family cannot attend formal events without a beautiful piece of headwear. The ensemble would not be complete without the decoration for their heads.

According to the BBC, this rule was created before the 50s, a time when women would not show their hair to the public. Fashion director at The Daily Telegraph, Hilary Alexander, said that hats are an essential aspect of any fancy party in Britain. They are "part of the social fabric", and Meghan has taken to this rule beautifully.

What did you think of these rules that Meghan had to get used to? Would you be able to follow them at all? We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below and share this article with your friends who dream about being a princess.

Sources used: This Is Insider

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