Since officially joining the royal family in May 2018 when she and Prince Harry tied the knot, the Duchess of Sussex has continuously exhibited her individualism while living in a new world full of traditions and rules. In fact, there are many
times Meghan Markle has bent royal protocol over the past year or so with her fashion sense, her words, and her warm, down-to-earth demeanor. And though some might have criticized the royal for doing things her own way, there are many others, from all across the globe, that truly appreciate every moment.
Though there's no official guidebook of royal rules and traditions that everyone is privy to, there are understood sets of protocol and such that come along with being a member of the royal family. For women, according to
Harper's Bazaar, that seems to involve dressing modestly and acting deferential, unobtrusive, elegant, and refined. Markle is all those things, of course, but she's also bringing her own flair to her role as the Duchess of Sussex.
In her own way, many royal fans have noted similarities between Markle and
Prince Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, who also forged her own identity in the royal family while remaining true to the role of a member of the monarchy. In fact, these moments below perfectly highlight how exactly Markle has shown that she's true to herself. When She Got Married In May WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Stood On Her Own WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Married Into The Royal Family As A Divorcee Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images When She Didn't Wear A Hat WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Closes Her Own Doors WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Rocks Bare Legs WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Wears An Incredible Pantsuit Jeff Spicer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Donned An Off-The-Shoulder Dress Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Markle was a brand-new member of the family when she first broke fashion standards by going
off-the-shoulder with the dress she wore to her first Trooping the Colour ceremony in June 2018, as Teen Vogue reported. While The Sun reported that tradition usually dictates royal women err on the side of modesty, Markle looked absolutely radiant, sophisticated, and celebratory in her pink Carolina Herrera dress. A perfect choice. When She Gave An Autograph... Kinda Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images When She Rocked Ripped Jeans Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Most royal fans will remember
Markle's appearance at the 2017 Invictus Games as it marked the first time that she and Prince Harry held hands in public. But for some who are more closely track how the royals, or soon-to-be royals in this case, present themselves, it will always be that time that Markle wore ripped jeans.
While she looked sporty and relaxed, Who What Wear reported that Markle's outfit went against
royal fashion protocol, which reportedly dictates that denim should be dark, fitted, and, needless to say, likely in one piece. When She Hasn't Been Shy With PDA Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images When She Sported Dark Nails Jeff Spicer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Whenever Rocked A Messy Bun Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Perhaps nothing asserted Markle's style independence more than
the messy bun that she chose often in the days preceding her marriage, as Glamour reported, which People noted was a break in royal fashion protocol. Though she's opted for more traditionally styled looks since then, she'll always be associated with those getaway locks and chic comfort. When She Felt The Sand Between Her Toes Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
There were actually two fashion traditions that were broken on one day during the Prince Harry and Markle's state visit to Australia. While they toured Bondi Beach, Markle leaned down and
took off her wedges, which she shouldn't have been wearing in the first place, according to Vanity Fair, as the Queen reportedly is not a fan of the clunky look and women in the family are generally supposed to honor her preferences.
Once free of the wedges, Markle walked the beach barefoot with her husband, something you'd likely never see another of the royals doing and, according to MSN, runs
counter to royal etiquette. Whenever She Speaks Her Mind About Social Justice Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
As the Head of State, according to
Reader's Digest, Queen Elizabeth has to remain neutral on matters of politics, and members of her family traditionally follow the same protocol. However, both Prince Harry and Markle are known to be more expressive with their feelings about social justice and political topics.
On the Me Too and Time's Up movements, for example,
Markle made a strong statement in February 2018. According to HuffPost, she said: I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment; you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices. I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it and people need to be urged to listen. When She Celebrated Her Baby Shower In NYC Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
Not only do members of the royal family typically forgo baby showers, Brits eschew them as a general rule. "Customarily, the
Brits don't do baby showers," royal expert Victoria Arbiter told TODAY. "We tend to give gifts after the baby is born."
But Markle's pals stateside
threw her a fun bash in New York City ahead of her May due date, which the Duchess of Sussex flew across the pond to attend, according to The Cut. But the event was one that Markle attended proudly. "Meghan coming home for a baby shower — it's absolutely in keeping with who Meghan is. She's doing it in America, where it is traditional, and she's doing it with her group of very loyal girlfriends," Arbiter told TODAY. When She Made Sure Archie's Birth Would Be An Intimate Family Moment WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Chose A Unique Name For Her Son Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images
In choosing a name for their son, Markle and Prince Harry undoubtedly had a lot to think about. There was tradition, public opinion, input from family members, not to mention their own desires. And true to form they managed to cook up a mixture of something that honors so many of the expectations upon them while remaining true to themselves.
While the formal name of Archie "Archibald" feels a bit stiff, the couple have only opted for the
short version on the baby's birth certificate, according to TODAY. They also went with the Americanized naming convention of just choosing one middle name, rather than the three that the Cambridges have bestowed on their kids. Finally, they honored the Queen by giving Archie her last name, Mountbatten-Windsor, instead of using their own title of Sussex. When She Kept Archie's Christening Private WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images When She Guest-Edited 'Vogue' Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
When asked to guest-edit the massive
September 2019 issue for British Vogue , Markle made sure it was all about the things that matter to her most. Nobody would have batted an eye if she'd stuck to fashion, but she chose to highlight women who are making a difference instead. She chose 15 women to grace the cover who are all advocating for important causes, such as climate change, LGBTQ right. But she also included a small mirror so readers could look at themselves and see how they're impacting the world, too.
Markle's choices, unfortunately, were met with criticism, as some questioned why she
didn't select the Queen as one of the women to highlight, according to the CBC. Additionally, as royals are supposed to remain neutral on politics, some criticized her decision to highlight political figures, such as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
No matter what she's doing, Meghan Markle is her own person and a true one-of-a-kind that we'd all love to know.