Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Cambridge, made her first official solo outing on Tuesday at Royal Academy of Arts. Everything appeared to be great, the duchess looked chic dressed in an all-black Givenchy dress. She emerged from a sleek black sedan, a gust of wind gently blowing her perfectly fixed hair. But then she had the temerity to do something that would set social media users and headline writers the world over on fire.
The Duchess of Sussex closed the door of the car she’d just emerged from by herself. The humanity!
Observers deemed this simple act constituted a breach of royal protocol. Cue the commotion and the breathless headlines, some of which read, “Meghan goes against royal protocol: Closes her own door!” and “Meghan Markle leaves people in shock as she shuts own CAR DOOR on first solo engagement.” Others praised the door-closing as a down-to-earth moment that shows the royal highness of her new status in life has not gone to her head.
As royal commentator Victoria Arbiter pointed out on Twitter, the duchess closing the car door herself was not in any way a breach of royal protocol. “Car door shutting does not fall under protocol!” she reminded everyone.
Current state: Poking my own eyes out after reading Meghan “broke protocol” by shutting her car door. Car door shutting does not fall under protocol!
— Victoria Arbiter (@victoriaarbiter) September 25, 2018
But as HuffPost explained, there’s a pretty good reason that people might have thought that it does. It’s exceedingly rare to see a royal close her own door because that is typically handled by a member of the royal security detail for safety reasons. Diana Mather, the director and senior tutor at The English Manner, an international protocol, etiquette and hospitality consultancy firm, told HuffPost, “It is really for safety. Also, royal ladies need to make sure they get in and out of a car in the most elegant way and not worry about the door,” she said, adding that Prince Harry does not close his own car door.
Another expert on British etiquette, William Hanson, viewed the gesture as “yet another silent signal that she is going to be doing things her own way and helping adapt and progress the British monarchy.” Below, behold video footage of a real-life princess closing her own car door.
Read the full story at HuffPost.