To become a member of the British royal family, one has to follow a set of rigid rules. But occasionally, those rules get broken. The Duchess of Cambridge, AKA Kate Middleton, has been part of the royal family for many years now, but that hasn’t excused her from breaking a few royal traditions here and there. Meghan Markle also isn’t 100 percent innocent. So maybe she’s not officially part of the royal family just yet, but she soon will be and in royal family language, that translates to her needing to abide by the royal rules and traditions ASAP. From PDA to pole dancing to that time Meghan wore her hair in a messy bun, here are 15 times Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle broke royal traditions.
15 When Meghan wore her hair like this
Every woman has worn their hair in a messy bun at some time or another. But when you’re a member of the royal family, wearing your hair in such an informal style just won’t do. We doubt Meghan realized just how much publicity she was going to attract when she casually pulled her back in that casual bun. She was, after all, only attending a radio station with her fiancé Prince Harry. It wasn’t like she was visiting the Queen or anything. As someone whose signature style is strictly casual and laid back, we think it’s going to be tough for Meghan Markle to cope with these rigid rules. Who knew wearing your hair in a messy bun was against royal protocol? It seems their code of behaviour applies from head to toe.
14 When Kate did her own wedding makeup
Not many brides would do their own wedding makeup, especially a royal bride like Kate Middleton. On the day she would officially become a princess, you would think Kate would have wanted her makeup done professionally rather than attempting the feat herself. Let’s not forget she’d also be seen by millions of viewers throughout the world. That’s got to pile on the pressure to look good! Kate, however, wanted to apply her own wedding makeup and she pulled it off perfectly. Opting for a soft, natural look, there is no denying that Kate Middleton was a beautiful bride. But she did break royal traditions. It just goes to show that Kate is a truly down to earth individual and in many ways, one of us.
Holding hands is a normal part of being in a relationship. Not when you’re a royal, though. Holding hands in public is actually forbidden, or at least not allowed, when you’re part of this powerful family. Still, that doesn’t seem to have stopped Meghan and Harry from indulging in a little public display of affection. They broke this rule during their appearance at Toronto’s Invictus Games, where they were seen holding hands and getting cozy. Yep, we think the rule is crazy too, but apparently, it’s breaking royal etiquette because they are ''working representatives of British Monarchy.'' Fortunately, Harry and Meghan chose not to pay any attention to that crazy unspoken rule and instead decided to cozy up, just like any newly engaged couple (or any other happy couple for that matter) would do.
12 But she wasn’t the first one to break this rule
Long before Harry and Meghan were called out for holding hands in public, William and Kate were spotted engaging in a little PDA. That’s right. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were once seen wrapping their arms around one another while celebrating a sports victory. But that actually wasn’t the first time. They have also been seen holding hands in the past. For members of the royal family, this kind of behaviour just isn’t normal. You will never see Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip touching each other in public. But that isn’t to say Kate is crass about it. They both maintain a high level of dignity when it comes to showing their affection for one another in public. What’s so bad about indulging in a little PDA anyway?
11 Meghan isn’t a member of The Church of England
British royals are open to all religions, but if you want to be a part of the royal family, it’s definitely the norm to be a member of The Church of England. Something Meghan Markle definitely is not. According to sources, Meghan did go to a Catholic school but that hasn’t really helped her much. See, according to People magazine, ''in order to remain in the line of succession, members of the royal family cannot be Catholic.'' Thanks to the laws changing back in 2013, Meghan may not be affected by this tradition. That means that Harry is allowed to marry whoever he wants, regardless of their religion. But there are rumors she'll become an official member of the church, anyway. Only time will tell if she's breaking this rule.
10 Kate did pole dancing lessons
Believe it or not, Kate Middleton once attended pole dancing lessons. She went after giving birth to Prince George in a bid to work of her baby weight. Clearly the classes worked. She lost her pregnancy weight fast and got back in shape in next to no time. Star magazine reported that Kate attended the class in disguise, for obvious reasons. When you are Kate Middleton, people have expectations and nobody is going to expect her to attend erotic dance classes. It definitely breaks royal traditions. How many other royals have you heard of going to pole dancing lessons? Still, Kate apparently loved the lessons and they clearly paid off. Kate Middleton is the ultimate definition of a yummy mummy. She has a figure most women would die for.
9 Meghan’s diamond ring
When one thinks of engagement rings, one thinks of diamonds. But the royals aren’t really into diamonds. They’re more into gem stones. Take Prince Diana’s ring for example (which now happens to be Kate Middleton’s). It features a sapphire as does The Queen Mother’s engagement ring and Princess Anne’s, too. As for Princess Margaret and Sarah Ferguson, they were both given a ruby ring. That’s why Meghan’s diamond ring breaks royal tradition. But who cares if it breaks royal protocol? It’s a fabulous ring and most women would kill to be presented with a diamond like that. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all. You can’t go wrong with diamonds and we doubt Meghan has any complaints over that rock on her finger.
8 Kate was the oldest royal bride
Did you know Kate made a record for being the oldest royal bride? It’s a pretty shocking fact seeing as she was only 29. It’s not like she was an old bride or anything. But in the world of royal marriages, 29 is pretty old to be a bride. Kate and William actually began their relationship back in 2003, long before they tied the knot. Then finally, in 2011, the pair got married. You probably remember. It was big news. But it’s not like there’s an age limit on marriage in the royal family. The Queen didn’t turn her nose down at Kate for being an old bride. Kate just happened to take a record for being the oldest royal bride.
7 Meghan has been married before
Before starting a relationship with Harry, Meghan was married to producer Trevor Engelson. The pair got divorced in August 2013. In the past, marrying someone who’s been divorced was seen as a sin and wasn’t approved of. In case you forgot, Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, was forced to end her relationship with Peter Townsend because he was formerly divorced. Fortunately for Meghan, the fact that she’s divorced is no longer an issue for the British monarchy. Phew! From what we’re hearing from these facts, it sounds as though the royal family are becoming a little more laid back as time goes on. Then again, this is the 21st century and it’s not like divorce is uncommon anymore. The crucial factor here is that she’s with Harry now and she intends on marrying (and hopefully staying with) Harry.
6 Kate’s high street wardrobe
Kate Middleton is practically famous for her thrifty sense of style. She proves to all women out there that you don’t have to splurge on designer dresses to look good. Kate Middleton is considered to be one of the best dressed women in the world, after all. But her approach to fashion is in no way similar to that of her royal counterparts. Duchesses of the past wouldn’t be seen dead wearing clothes from high-street stores. Kate, on the other hand, favours items from Gap and Zara. At the end of the day, Kate Middleton is a 21st century woman and she is going to wear what she wants to wear. And it’s not like she’s bringing shame on the family. She always dresses with dignity.
5 Meghan’s Vanity Fair cover
This kind of thing is totally unprecedented for royals. No member of the royal family before has spoken so candidly to a publication than Meghan did when she covered Vanity Fair. "I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it's really simple," she said in the interview, before she got engaged to Prince Harry. "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." The way Meghan opened up about her private life in such an official manner was astounding.
4 Kate doesn’t live in London
It’s royal tradition that members of the royal family reside in London. But if you haven’t figured it out by now, Kate doesn’t exactly stick to the royal rules at all times. Sometimes, she goes astray and breaks a few rules. One of those rules is living outside of London. While William and Kate have an apartment in Kensington Palace, they actually live elsewhere. They live on the grounds of Sandringham, which is in Norfolk, in a place called Anmer Hall. And they spend 90 percent of their time there with their two children. It has been reported before that Kate wants to give her kids more of a normal upbringing. While that sounds almost impossible to accomplish, you’ve got to admire Kate’s humbleness and her faith in the possibility of it.
3 When Meghan signed a child’s autograph book
For security reasons, royals are not allowed to sign autographs. Basically, it prevents the possibility of their signatures being forged. Selfies and hugs with fans are also off limits for members of the royal family. However, Meghan can’t have been aware of that rule when she signed a 10-year-old girl’s autograph book with a message and smiley face. According to the young child, Markle actually spelled her name wrong, but she didn’t care. Like any other kid would be, this girl was just happy to get her autograph. "I don't really care," she said. "My heart is still racing. I've never got a royal autograph before. This is going to make everyone jealous." We haven’t seen Meghan signing any autographs since. Maybe she’s been given a warning.
2 Kate’s hands-on parenting approach
As you would expect, the royal family is full of busy people. They are always involved in various engagements, which leave them with little time to take care of the children. That's why they hire nannies for the kids. Kate, however, is not one of those parents. The Duchess, not dissimilar to mother-in-law Princess Diana, is a hands-on mom. She may have a busy schedule, just like the rest of the royals, but that doesn’t stop her from spending quality time with her two children. George and Charlotte are Kate’s priority and no royal tradition is going to stop that. She does have a nanny to help out on various occasions, but the Duchess still does a lot of parenting and errands, like dropping George off at school.
1 When Meghan spent Christmas with the Queen
When you heard that Meghan Markle would be spending Christmas with the royal family, you probably never guessed it was breaking royal tradition. But it seems it’s against royal policy to celebrate Christmas with the royals if you’re not yet married into the monarchy. Meghan was obviously an exception. When the palace spokesperson declared to AP that ''You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day,'' we realized Markle would be part of the event. Prince Harry must have pulled a few strings to allow that to happen. So it seems Meghan has been breaking more rules than Kate but sometimes, rules need to broken. Sometimes, change is good and we have a good feeling about this year’s royal rumble.