Celebrity

25 Things Meghan Markle Probably Won’t Be Doing Now That She's a Royal

Farewell, selfies. Farewell.

By Peggy Truong
Meghan Markle Royalty
GETTY | KATIE BUCKLEITNER

Meghan Markle is now officially the Duchess of Sussex following her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry. Life as she knows has forever changed, and she's has had to make some significant adjustments to her life and the way she interacts with the public.

Below, in no particular order, a list of things Meghan probably won't be doing now that she's a Duchess. Bow down.

1. Take selfies.

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Meghan has already mastered this rule. During her first official event with Prince Harry in early December, Meghan reportedly told a couple who asked for a selfie, "We're not allowed to do selfies."

On top of all this, Queen Elizabeth allegedly isn't a fan of the selfie. In 2014, U.S. ambassador Matthew Barzun told Tatler magazine that The Queen confided in him and revealed that selfies were "disconcerting" and "strange" to her. To put it another way, "She was essentially saying: 'I miss eye contact,'" Barzun said. (via Hello!)

2. Pose with drinks — unless it's for a royal engagement.

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And even then, don't expect Meghan to really ham it up with a glass of wine, like when she was on vacation with BFF Jessica Mulroney:

3. Go out in public totally alone.

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Have you ever seen Kate Middleton all by herself? Like every member of the royal family, Meghan will likely have security with her everywhere she goes.

4. Give autographs.

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Save for official signings at royal engagements, members of the royal family are not allowed to sign autographs for the public. The fear is that someone could forge the signature and use it against the family. In 2010, Prince Charles broke this protocol when he granted an autograph to one of the victims of the Cornwall floods. According to The Telegraph, he wrote, "Charles 2010" and apologised for his "shaky writing." And in January 2018, Meghan signed a sweet note for a 10-year-old girl during an official visit to Cardiff Castle in Wales. Per PEOPLE, she wrote, "Hi Kaitlin," next to a heart and smiley face, despite the girl's actual spelling of her name, "Caitlin."

5. Give magazine interviews.

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VANITY FAIR

There's no hard rule against the royal family speaking extensively to the media. It's just uncommon. In recent years, however, Harry and William have given in-depth interviews to GQ, Newsweek, and the British gay lifestyle publication Attitude. Perhaps Meghan's Vanity Fair cover isn't that out of the ordinary in retrospect.

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ATTITUDE

6. ‘Gram, tweet.

Even before the royal wedding, Meghan officially joined Harry, Kate, and Will under @KensingtonRoyal on social media. The Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts have been providing updates about the charities they support and more personal news, including the birth of Prince Louis in April 2018. The official handle has provided an intimate but controlled line of communication between the young royals and the public. On May 19, @KensingtonRoyal was one of the go-to sources for important updates on Meghan and Harry's wedding.

7. Show PDA.

ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI VIA GETTY IMAGES
ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI VIA GETTY IMAGES

According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier (via People), there is no official protocol against PDA, despite Meghan and Harry's predecessors keeping things to a minimum. (Recall Kate and Will's hug fest during the 2010 Olympics in London.) "Meghan and Prince Harry holding hands at a royal engagement is a refreshingly modern approach to their new role both as a couple and as representative of the royal family," says Meier. On their wedding day, Meghan and Harry gave the world not one, but TWO incredible royal kisses.

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8. Vote.

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Meghan, who will seek British citizenship after her marriage to Harry, will likely not participate in future UK elections. As the official parliament website states: "Although not prohibited by law, it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election," referring to Queen Elizabeth II. Beyond The Queen, the law is blurry, but a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace told Newsweek in June 2017 that members of the royal family do not exercise their voting rights "by convention."

9. Wear see-through outfits like the $75,000 Ralph & Russo mesh dress in her engagement photos.

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ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI VIA GETTY IMAGES

While there was no obvious cleavage or slip-up, the sheer look of the dress raised some eyebrows and will likely be the last see-through dress Meghan wears in public or in official photos.

10. Bare her shoulders.

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Per The Sun, royal women traditionally do not wear off-shoulder styles. Meghan has tested this so-called rule at least twice: first on her wedding night (above), when she stepped out in a gorgeous Stella McCartney gown to her reception, and second during the Trooping the Colour festivities in June, when she wore a pink Carolina Herrera dress.

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As Page Six notes, Meghan's outfit could have been a tribute to Princess Diana's shoulder-baring pink gown worn to an opera gala in 1987.

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Either way, Meghan is not the first royal of her generation do break such a rule. In 2017, Kate stepped out on at least two occasions in outfits that let her shoulders breathe. Both were by Alexander McQueen.

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11. Step out in public without stockings.

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Meghan drew (unnecessary) attention when she walked out with bare legs on the day of her engagement announcement with Harry. "You never see a royal without their nude stockings," royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells Business Insider. "Meghan, from what I can see from the engagement photographs, it doesn't look like she was wearing tights or stockings. I would say that's really the only hard, steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires."

Meghan continued to go stocking-less until her first official appearance as the Duchess of Sussex, which took place three days after the royal wedding.

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12. Wear colorful or dark nail polish.

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As per royal protocol, only nails bearing natural colours are allowed at official events. According to nail polish giant Essie, Queen Elizabeth has been a customer of "Ballet Slippers," a very subtle light shade of pink, since 1989.

13. Wear wedges.

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This rule reportedly only applies when Queen Elizabeth is present. In 2015, a source told Vanity Fair, "The Queen isn't a fan of wedged shoes. She really doesn't like them and it's well known among the women in the family." Wedge away, Meghan, just as Kate has when the Queen's not around.

14. Stick her tongue out.

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There's a reason tongue wagging has only been displayed by the youngest members of the family, and even those instances are rare. Though, to go with her early string of breaking royal tradition, Meghan stuck her tongue out while walking to church on Christmas with the royal family. Don't be surprised to see more of this, considering who she's married to:

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15. Carry giant purses.

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Yes, it's very convenient when your giant bag can fit everything from a laptop to three days' worth of snacks. But when you're a royal, other people carry things for you, right?

While it's unclear whether or not carrying clutches (instead of big purses) is an official royal rule, there's a really good reason why Kate Middleton and The Queen are almost always seen with clutches or bags with small handles. As one royal expert explained to The Daily Mail, "The Duchess of Cambridge may well prefer not to shake hands with certain people — but there are other ways to achieve this, as used by The Queen and other members of the royal family, than opting for a clutch over a bag with a strap."

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Princess Diana was also a fan of clutches in the '80s and '90s, but it had less to do with etiquette or protocol and more to do with practicality. She called them "cleavage bags," according to designer Anya Hindmarch, whose bags were a favorite of Diana's. In 2009, Hindmarch told The Telegraph: "We used to laugh when we designed what she called her 'cleavage bags,' little satin clutches which she would cover her cleavage with when she stepped out of cars."

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16. Accept a non-royal’s handshake.

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Per The Telegraph, it's protocol that royals make the first move in a handshake. Hopefully, Meghan's experience on the red carpet will help in this transition.

17. Let a non-royal kiss her hand.

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Even with permission, as in the case of this fan's sweet gesture during Meghan's visit to Cardiff Castle, a kiss on the hand from a non-royal is a big no-no. This type of greeting is usually reserved for the monarch when say, visiting dignitaries are in the room. Still, Meghan is not the first to have her hand kissed by a non-royal.

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18. Hug a non-royal.

As the New York Times reported in May, Meghan began greeting the guards at Buckingham Palace with hugs not long after her relationship with Harry began. While she's since followed the rule for palace guards, Meghan continues to break tradition when it comes to the public. According to one friend, Meghan said, "I'm American. I hug."

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19. Attend Fashion Week.

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WIREIMAGE

Her royal schedule will surely be packed with official engagements and appearances supporting causes close to her heart and Harry's heart. (Related: Meghan probably won't be seen with a crop top in public ever again.)

20. Sit wherever she wants.

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Meghan is probably allowed to sit on her favourite side of the couch at home as she pleases, but when she's out with the royal family, there's an order she must follow. While she'll likely sit with Harry most of the time, entering the room is another story. There's a procession which begins with Queen Elizabeth, followed by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and so on.

21. Cross her legs while sitting.

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POOL/SAM HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE

Again, not an official rule, but according to Hello!, it's often frowned upon when female royals do the cross. Kate can often be found sitting in "the Duchess Slant," which has her legs slanted to one side. Diana also sat this way.

22. Get into a car before everyone else, notably, The Queen.

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As Meghan learned during her first official royal engagement with Queen Elizabeth, there's also an order for who gets into a vehicle — and from which side of the vehicle. During their visit to Chester, Meghan asked Lillibet, "What is your preference?" when there was a slight moment of confusion over who was to enter first. The Queen seemingly told her to go in first, which she did.

That same day, Meghan was also caught running back and forth between the car doors. She eventually made it.

23. Go to bed before The Queen.

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Supposedly, this is only for when Meghan and The Queen are sleeping at the same house/castle.

24. Stab her food.

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In addition to mastering the order of entry for royal dinners, Meghan must also learn how to eat like a royal. This includes scooping food up and balancing it on the back of the fork, instead of going with a stabbing motion. And, according to Business Insider, refrain from letting her pinky stick out while drinking tea.

25. Open presents on Christmas Day.

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Every year, the royal family celebrates Christmas at Sandringham House at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth. Traditionally, presents are opened on Christmas Eve, followed by church on Christmas morning.