13 Royal Traditions Queen Elizabeth II Has Broken for Meghan Markle
On matters of lifestyle, what the Queen says, goes...except when she makes an exception, which she's been known to do, especially when it comes to matters involving Prince Harry's wife, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
Tradition: Christmas includes only the royal family
The Queen first broke this royal tradition for Meghan Markle in 2017, before Meghan was even married to the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry. At her beloved Harry’s request, Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Meghan, as Harry’s fiancé, into the royal family’s Christmas celebration. This year, the Queen will break further with tradition by welcoming the Duchess of Sussex’s mother, Doria Ragland, to join the royal family at Sandringham for the annual Christmas celebration. Find out why Queen Elizabeth II will never abdicate.
Tradition: The Coat of Arms is a family affair
Traditionally, a Coat of Arms is created for the family of a spouse marrying into the royal family and given to the father of the bride in advance of the wedding. On May 25, 2018, the Palace announced “A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex” with a blue background that represents the Pacific Ocean off the California Coast, two gold rays that are symbolic of California sunshine, and golden poppies, California’s state flower. The Coat of Arms, which does not even include the names of Meghan’s parents, was bestowed directly and only upon Meghan, according to Fashion Magazine.
Tradition: No royal church wedding for a divorced spouse
In the royal family, marriages involving divorcees have traditionally been seen as problematic. In fact, when Princess Margaret, the Queen’s late sister, wanted to marry a divorced man, it caused an uproar that ultimately led to the demise of Princess Margaret’s romance. And when Prince Charles got re-married to Camilla, the Queen did not attend the civil ceremony. For Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, however, the rules were relaxed, and Prince Harry became the first royal family member to marry a divorcee in church. Here’s why Camilla isn’t styled as a princess.
Tradition: Marry in May, rue the day
The Queen’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, believed it was unlucky to marry in May, buying into the old rhyme, “Marry in May, and rue the day.” The superstition grew into a tradition—one whch was broken when Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018. What makes this break from tradition even more surprising is that the marriage of the Queen’s own sister, the late Princess Margaret, began on a day in May and ended in divorce. Perhaps in permitting Harry and Meghan’s May wedding to go forward, Queen Elizabeth II was indicating her faith in their relationship. Check out the 12 times the royal family broke their own protocol.
Tradition: The wedding invitations refer to the bride as “Miss”
While tradition has it that on royal wedding invitations, the bride is referred to as “Miss,” that didn’t seem appropriate in the case of Meghan Markle, who had been married previously. So the Palace allowed the wedding invitation to more accurately refer to Meghan as “Ms Meghan Markle” (no period after “Ms” in Great Britain). Don’t miss these 21 rarely seen photos of the British royal family.
Tradition: The bride’s father must give her away
In what Marie Claire referred to as “a major tradition-breaking moment,” the Queen allowed Prince Charles to walk Meghan down the aisle when she married Prince Harry. This was after Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, backed out. Royal traditions are outdated and don’t exactly fit into our modern-day, but these etiquette rules from the crown will always apply.
Tradition: The royal wedding speeches are given by the best man and the host
At a traditional royal wedding, the best man and the host (in this case, the Prince of Wales), give speeches, but not the bride. However, Meghan was permitted latitude for her wedding to Prince Harry, perhaps because of her “vibrant personality,” according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Tradition: Hubbies don’t don wedding bands
It is actually British tradition that the groom doesn’t wear a ring at the wedding ceremony, according to Elite Daily. But that tradition was dispensed with for Harry, who, at his wedding, donned a platinum wedding band that he designed for himself. He is the first groom in his family to wear a wedding band. Don’t miss 50 more things you never knew about the royal family.
Tradition: Royal weddings feature all-British music
In another break from royal wedding tradition, Meghan and Harry were permitted to include American songs in their wedding ceremony. Traditionally, only British music figures into royal weddings, we learned from Elite Daily. And one wonders whether this song, which Harry chose for Meghan’s processional, was considered British, versus German (the composer, Handel, was born German and became British).
Tradition: No garlic, ever
While we’re talking about the royal wedding, it’s worth mentioning that Queen Elizabeth II is not only not a fan of garlic, but also expects the royal family to not eat it either. But it seems the Queen might be relaxing the garlic embargo because the night that Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle, the two lovebirds were roasting a chicken with lots of garlic, and it wasn’t a secret.
Tradition: A royal lady must cover her shoulders
One might wonder what the Queen has against shoulders, but all the women in the royal family know better than to bare theirs… until now. For reasons that have not yet been made clear, the Queen has relaxed her prohibition on bare shoulders for the Duchess of Sussex, who arrived at her first-ever Trooping the Color (a birthday celebration for Her Majesty), in a shoulder-baring Carolina Herrera dress, according to Marie Claire. Here are 10 more dress code rules everyone in the royal family must follow.
Tradition: No wedge heels
“Queen Elizabeth II banned wedges a long time ago simply because she doesn’t like them,” according to Stylecaster. “She really doesn’t like them and it’s well known among the women in the family.” But Meghan has been wearing wedge heels, perhaps because her sister-in-law, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, already paved the way by doing so occasionally herself.
Tradition: No bare legs
Female members of the royal family traditionally wear stockings with skirts, even if the stockings are flesh-toned. But at Meghan and Harry’s first official photocall after their engagement was announced, Meghan was permitted to eschew nude stockings and go bare-legged in her strappy sandals, reports Insider. Next, find out 13 more ways Meghan Markle has broken royal protocol.