Times Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Broke Royal Code

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry recently made one of the most unprecedented moves in royal history by deciding to step down from their roles as senior royals. The duo is progressive and have made it clear they want their young family to grow up with a normal and modern family life while also valuing the monarchy and royal tradition. Follow along as we round up all the times that Meghan and Harry broke royal code with their boundary-breaking tendencies:

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28. Prince Harry’s Escapades In Las Vegas

In 2012, Prince Harry made headlines for all of the wrong reasons when photos of him during a wild night in Las Vegas were leaked all over the internet. He and some other partygoers were reportedly playing a game of strip billiards when the photos were taken. After the photos were released, the royal family didn’t place any blame on Harry but instead pointed the finger at his personal security team, arguing that they should have known to confiscate the ladies’ phones once they arrived in Harry’s VIP suite. A couple of years later when Prince Harry was asked about the situation, he said, “It was probably a classic case of me being too much army and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.”

© Kevin Dietsch/Pool/DPA via ZUMA Press

27. Meghan Markle Signed Autographs

Royals aren’t allowed to sign their autographs which is a rule that was put in place to prevent their signatures from being forged. Meghan Markle, however, bucked with this tradition and signed 10-year-old Caitlin Clark’s autograph book. She wasn’t the first royal to break this protocol. In 2010, Prince Charles gave his signature to victims of a flood in Cornwall.

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26. Prince Harry Flew To Canada To Visit Meghan

Before Prince Harry proposed to Meghan, he regularly visited her in Toronto where she was working as an actress. After his Carribean tour, Prince Harry decided to make an impromptu stop in Toronto to visit Meghan before returning home. It’s against royal policy to combine personal affairs with official visits, which is why Prince Harry broke protocol by stopping in Toronto rather than flying straight back to London as planned.


25. Meghan Markle Discussed Politics

Royals aren’t permitted to discuss politics. At the 2018 BAFTAs, Kate Middleton avoided making a political statement and chose to wear a dark green gown with a black ribbon instead of a black dress to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Meghan Markle, however, chose to make a statement about the movements during the first annual forum for the Royal Foundation. “Women don’t need to find a voice,” she said. “They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.” She also stressed how important Time’s Up and #MeToo are. “We’re seeing so many campaigns – #MeToo, and Time’s Up. There is no better time than to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that,” Markle said. “It makes such a tremendous difference.”

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24. Meghan and Harry Didn’t Have A Wedding Fruitcake

It’s been royal British custom to have fruitcake at major celebrations, because for centuries “all special occasions in England, from Christmas to christenings, had been celebrated with fruit cakes.” Meghan and Harry decided to skip on this tradition for their wedding, however, and opted for a sponge cake with elderflower syrup instead, which was certainly disappointing for many.


23. Prince Harry Bought A Ducati Superbike

Prince Harry is a huge fan of motorcycles and was seen riding them multiple times in his youth. At the age of 25, he even bought his own: a Ducati Superbike, which retails for £11,500. He allegedly used some of his inheritance from Princess Diana’s estate to make the purchase.


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22. Meghan Closes Her Own Car Door

While closing a car door may seem like a normal task for the average person, it’s not for a royal! Typically members of the royal family have staff to help them with mundane tasks like closing doors, but Meghan broke this rule when she unexpectedly shut her own door at an early public appearance with the royal family.

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21. Archie’s Birth Announcement

When it came to the birth of Archie Harrison, Meghan and Harry took a more modern approach than the royal family has in the past. Typically the royals share the news through a ceremonial easel placed outside Buckingham Palace, but Meghan and Harry took to Instagram to break the news firsthand that baby Sussex had been born. A ceremonial message was placed at Buckingham Palace, but not until a few hours after Meghan and Harry posted on social media.

REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

20. Meghan’s Royal Baby Shower

In the past, it’s been uncommon for members of the royal family to participate in a baby shower, but Meghan Markle broke this tradition when she was pregnant with Archie. The Duchess of Sussex traveled to New York City for an extravagant gathering hosted by her celebrity friends Amal Clooney and Serena Williams.

(Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP)

19. Prince Harry Tried to Fight a Photographer

In 2004, Prince Harry got in a fight with photographers who were trying to take photos of him leaving a nightclub which resulted in multiple injuries. “Prince Harry was hit in the face by a camera as photographers crowded around him as he was getting into a car,” a spokesperson said at the time. “In pushing the camera away, it’s understood that a photographer’s lip was cut.”


18. Meghan’s Wedding Vows

Lady Diana broke tradition when she married Prince Charles and refused to vow to obey her husband. Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton followed suit when they said their own vows to their royal husbands and skipped out on the obey vow that had been a tradition in the past.

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17. Meghan’s All-Black And Neutral Outfits

Queen Elizabeth is known for her bright, eccentric wardrobe and almost always steps out wearing a bold pop of color. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has seemingly followed suit and tends to lean towards colorful pastels and bright pieces within her own wardrobe! Meghan Markle, however, has proved with her time in the royal spotlight that she has continued to stay true to her love of neutrals and black despite her royal title.

Doug Peters/EMPICS

16. Prince Harry Took Selfies

The Queen has enforced that no members of the royal family should take selfies with fans as it looks unprofessional. Prince Harry has definitely overlooked this rule a time or two and even once posed for a selfie with Barack Obama.

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15. Meghan’s Messy Hairstyles

Typically it’s expected that royal women dress prim and proper and groom themselves to perfection. Kate Middleton consistently has a perfect sleek blowout without a hair out of place. Meghan, however, has opted for a more effortless approach when it comes to her style. She favors messy, undone hairstyles like a loose bun with tendrils left out and frame her face, which many viewed as breaking protocol.

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14. Harry Snuck Into Clubs By A Fire Escape

Prince Harry definitely had a wild phase during his teenage years and early twenties. The royal had a party reputation that the royal family was desperately trying to mend. It was reported in 2010 that Harry entered a popular club, Embargo, through a fire escape to avoid being photographed outside by paparazzi.


13. Meghan Talked to the Media About Their Relationship

There’s a reason we never read any interviews from the royal family in our favorite magazines. They like their privacy, and they like to control what information is made public knowledge. While it isn’t completely unprecedented (Kate Middleton was on the cover of British Vogue), it’s definitely not common. Before the two even announced their engagement, Markle spoke to Vanity Fair about her relationship with Prince Harry. She said: “I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple. We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news. And I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”


12. Meghan And Harry Show PDA

It’s an unspoken rule that couples in the royal family do not hold hands in public. According to royal etiquette expert, Myka Meier, this is because when a royal couple like Prince William and Kate Middleton are making a public appearance they “are working representatives of British Monarchy,” so they want to present a professional appearance. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have now broken this rule on several occasions. The first time we saw it happen was during their appearance at the Toronto Invictus Games and they’ve continued to show PDA ever since.

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

11. Meghan Spent Christmas With The Queen Before Marriage

In 2017, Meghan Markle made history after she was invited to spend the holidays with Prince Harry and the royal family. In 2010 Kate Middleton famously wasn’t allowed to spend Christmas with the royal family even though she and Prince William were engaged at the time because the royal protocol is that only spouses are allowed to attend the Queen’s festivities at her private residence in Norfolk. According to online reports, Meghan was invited that year because Prince Harry asked the Queen to make an exception.

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10. Meghan And Harry Got Married On A Weekend

Almost every popular royal wedding (Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and the Queen and Prince Philip) takes place during the week, but not Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s! Not long after they went public with their engagement, the Kensington Palace announced they decided to get married on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

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9. Meghan Is Divorced

While it’s not against any law or formal rule in the British monarchy to not marry a divorcee, it’s definitely unusual. In the past, it wasn’t allowed. Remember when Princess Margaret had to end her relationship with Peter Townsend because he was a divorcee? There was also Edward VIII who had to abdicate in order to follow through with his marriage to Wallis Simpson. Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson. They began dating in 2004, got married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on September 10, 2011, and later divorced in August 2013.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William have made a post-birth appearance for every one of the couple’s three children at Lindo Hall. Kate dresses to the nines and has full makeup and hair complete, which many found controversial and unnecessary so quickly after giving birth. Meghan and Harry decided to forgo this tradition and instead booked an official photocall to reveal Archie to the world a few days later.

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7. Meghan’s Controversial Family Background

Not only is this Meghan’s second marriage which is very unusual for a royal relationship, but she’s also considered to be just an ordinary person from America which is definitely breaking the mold. True, she’s a famous actress which meant she was in the public eye prior to meeting Prince Harry, but unlike Kate Middleton who comes from a posh British family, Meghan is basically just a ‘normal’ person.

© Meleah Loya / AFF-USA.COM

6. Meghan Wore Totes Over Clutches

There is one fashion rule that all royal women tend to follow and that’s to use either clutch bags or purses with a small strap. This is so that they can avoid shaking hands with people if they don’t want to. According to etiquette expert William Hanson, it’s protocol “that you do not extend your hand to any member of the royal family (blood royal or those who have married into the family) unless their hand extends first.” During one of her first appearances since announcing their engagement, Markle was seen toting a tote bag so her hands were free to shake everyone’s hand.

Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.

5. Meghan Skipped On Pantyhose

Similar to the purse of choice, wearing pantyhose is not a fashion rule that’s set in stone, but it’s been a long-held tradition upheld by royal women before her including Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton. Meghan Markle has been photographed not wearing pantyhose on several occasions, most notably in her and Harry’s engagement photocall.

Eddie Mulholland/Pool via AP

4. Harry Picked An Untraditional Engagement Ring

Meghan Markle’s engagement ring is gorgeous but surprisingly untraditional. While diamonds are always a go-to for engagement rings, the royals tend to prefer gemstones. Kate Middleton wears the late Princess Diana’s ring which was a sapphire, and this was also the preferred choice for The Queen Mother and Princess Anne. Other royals like Sarah Ferguson and Princess Margaret sported a ruby engagement ring.

Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP

3. Meghan Doesn’t Belong To The Church Of England

While it isn’t a deal-breaker to not be an Anglican and belong to the Church of England, it’s definitely out of the ordinary that someone who is not a member would marry into the royal family. According to People, “in order to remain in the line of succession, members of the royal family cannot be Catholic.” In the past, it has always been forbidden for royals to marry a Roman Catholic, but in 2015 an amendment was made to the Act of Settlement of 1701 which allowed for interfaith marriage.

© PA

2. Meghan And Harry Stepped Down As Senior Royals

In one of the most unprecedented moves in royal history, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced in January 2020 that they would be stepping down in their roles as senior members of the royal family. They wrote, “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

1. Prince Harry And Meghan Set Up Residence in Canada

Another aspect of Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down includes that they will split their time between the U.K. and Canada. The Queen gave the royal duo her support and further explained the situation with a formal statement. “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” the Queen shared. “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.”

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Olivia Di Pede

Olivia Di Pede

Olivia loves all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. In her free time, she can be found taking yoga classes, reading thriller novels, and styling outfits on Instagram.