Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their plans to step away from their royal roles to a certain extent earlier this week. It was, of course, a massive bombshell. But as they sort out their future plans to be "financially independent" of the Queen and divide their time between their home in London and North America, I can't help but feel excited for the Duchess of Sussex. Especially because of all the simple things Markle can do if she's not a "senior royal."
After all, Markle grew up in a very different world from the royal family. She had 30+ years as an independent woman before she married Prince Harry in May 2018. And as an American, she has said herself she didn't really know what to expect from becoming a member of the British royal family. The former Suits actress explained to Tom Bradby in an interview for the documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, she had "no idea" about the level of scrutiny she would deal with as a royal.
The monarchy under Queen Elizabeth's rule has a long list of rules for senior members of the royal family, some of which are stated and some simply implied. Now that Markle and Prince Harry officially announced their plans to step away from their senior royal duties, they will no longer count on the Sovereign Grant for their expenses. Meaning they will not be bound by the same strict rules that govern the other senior royal family members. And this should be good news for Markle, she might be able to reclaim some of the life she left behind.
Ripped Jeans Could Make A Comeback
Markle fans will remember when she showed up to the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada beside Prince Harry wearing some faded jeans with a hole in one knee and a white button down shirt. Senior royal family members wearing jeans is not considered forbidden, but it is heavily frowned upon for anything but the most casual of occasions, according to the BBC. And ripped jeans? Not so much. Fans could see some more trendsetting denim looks from fashion designer Markle in the future.
Her Next Manicure Could Be All The Colors Of The Rainbow
This one probably doesn't feel like a big deal, but Queen Elizabeth reportedly requires senior female members of the royal family to keep their fingernails painted in the same muted tone as hers, Essie Ballet Slipper. Much like Princess Eugenie, who is not a senior royal member and once painted the Union Jack on her nails, Markle can start thinking about all of the colors of the rainbow for her next manicure.
She Could Opt For Hugs, Not Curtsies
People are often expected to curtsy for senior royals, and back in October Markle made it clear she prefers a warmer greeting at the One Young World Summit. Presenter Kate Robertson moved to curtsy and Markle went for a hug instead. A little awkward but also totally genuine and lovely, and moving forward she should be able to just hug any time she likes.
She Could Cross Her Legs Whenever, Wherever
Markle had only been married to Prince Harry for one month when she made everyone angry by crossing her legs at a royal function. Royal women are allowed to cross their legs, according to Harper's Bazaar, just not when they are on official royal duties.
She Could Let Her Feminist Flag Fly
The royal family strictly avoids sharing their opinions on controversial topics as subjects of the monarchy, according to TIME, and Markle must struggle with this at times. She is a staunch feminist who has spoken out for International Women's Day about female power in the world. Many of her charitable organizations are directed towards helping other women, like her patronage of Smart Works in the UK, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged women get back in the workforce. As she moves towards financial independence, she will be able to speak out about whatever issues concern her.
She Could Bring Back 'The Tig'
Markle ran a lifestyle site called The Tig once upon a time. She gave it up as a member of the royal family, since their social media is run through official channels controlled by their respective houses (Kensington Palace, Sussex Royal, etc). Now that she and her husband have created a brand new website to communicate with people, coincidentally created by the same person who designed The Tig, as ELLE reported, we might see her engaging with the public in a way that feels more organic for her. Maybe she'll even start sharing recipes again if we're lucky.
She Could Jet off To Visit Her Friends Whenever She Wishes
The royal couple found themselves in hot water several times for flying off to visit friends like Elton John and Serena Williams. Why? The tax payers believed they were footing the bill for their flights. Once Markle and Prince Harry are financially independent, they can fly off to visit friends whenever they like. It will be on their dime.
She'll Have To Invest In Some Pant For Archie
It appears as though Markle and Prince Harry might spend part of their time on the west coast of Canada. It's a good thing they're backing away as senior royals then, because little boys aren't supposed to wear pants in the royal family until they're a little older, according to the National Post. That could get awfully chilly for him.
She'll Say Goodbye To The Royal Rota
Perhaps one of the best things about the Sussexes' decision to back away from their senior royal roles is that they will no longer be bound to take part in the Royal Rota, an agreement between the monarchy and several British news outlets that gives them certain rights to the royal family. Markle's relationship with the British media has been murky at best, so the couple's decision to change the way they deal with the media to focus on "grassroots" organizations, as they shared on their website, will be a very welcome change for them.
As will most of these changes, I imagine. Especially jeans.