The One Fashion Rule You’ll Never See a British Royal Break

Meghan Markle hasn't broken this royal fashion rule, despite other reports. Here's what you need to know about the rule and "breaking royal protocol."

Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II open the Mersey Gateway BridgeREX/Shutterstock

Meghan Markle has a lot of learning to do as a new member of the British royal family. In addition to learning the various etiquette traditions, Markle will also have to remember various fashion rules too. For example, she must keep her nails lightly colored, travel with mourning clothes, and keep her legs uncrossed. And Markle is off to a good start on all counts, despite various reports of her “breaking” a major fashion rule—bare legs.

Here are the etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.

Yes, Queen Elizabeth II does expect female family members to cover their legs with skin-tone-colored tights. But Markle has yet to go against this style tradition. Prior to her wedding to Prince Harry, however, Meghan was spotted on a few occasions with bare legs. Most notably, she had no stockings on during her engagement announcement back in November 2017. Many people forget though that she technically wasn’t an official member of the British royal family at the time.

It is also worth noting that the now Duchess of Sussex didn’t “break royal protocol” either, as many outlets report. According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, this buzzy term is being used too lightly and inaccurately in the media. “When it comes to the royal world, protocol is a code of conduct. It’s etiquette; it’s custom; it has nothing to do with clothes,” Arbiter says. Although Markle has yet to actually “break” this rule, it doesn’t look like judgments on her clothes will be going away anytime soon.

Next, check out why Queen Elizabeth always wears neon outfits.

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Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest who previously wrote for INSIDER, the Food Network, POPSUGAR, Well + Good, Westchester Magazine, and more. There's also a 90 percent chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she's not writing away about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.