The couple announced they were stepping away from their roles. 1
The couple shocked the world in January 2020 when they revealed that they were stepping away from their senior member roles for the Royal Family. They also announced they would be splitting their time between Britain and North America.
They decided to not celebrate Christmas with the royal family. 2
Instead, the couple headed to the United States in December 2019 to spend the holiday with Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland. It was first reported that Queen Elizabeth had approved of it, but a conflicting report later said that she was "disappointed" the couple went against the tradition of spending Christmas at the queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
There was an awkward moment at the 2019 One Young Summit. 3
The Duchess of Sussex attended the One Young Summit on her own and when she went up on stage, there was an awkward moment with Kate Robertson, one of the founders of the summit. Robertson was following royal protocol, so she curtsied and extended her hand to greet Meghan Markle, but Markle was going in for a hug. When will people accept that Markle is a hugger? Fortunately, both of the women took the moment in stride, smiled through it, and gave each other a hug.
The whole documentary seems to go against Queen Elizabeth's mantra. 5
Queen Elizabeth II lives by the mantra, "never complain, never explain." Having Meghan and Harry air their issues publicly, certainly goes against that motto. Since the Queen is the Queen, you would think that going against her mantra is a break in protocol, but can you blame Meghan and Harry for wanting to tell their side of the story?
Oh, and let's not forget the time that Meghan--gasp--hugged Beyoncé. 6
This happened on July 14, 2019, at the European premiere of The Lion King in London. According to the Royal Family website, "There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms."
And what are those traditional forms? "For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way," says the website. Hey, but if Meghan Markle goes in for a hug, then she's setting the tone and it would be in bad form to leave her hanging, right?
She also went against the traditional norms when she hugged a little girl. 7
Meghan broke from tradition when she hugged a young girl during a royal visit to Birmingham in March. Harry brought the child over to the Duchess of Sussex, after the girl told him her dream was to be an actress.
Meghan shook things up even during the engagement announcement. 8
The former actress opted out of wearing nude pantyhose when they appeared at a photocall at Kensington Palace Gardens following their engagement announcement in November 2017.
Meghan kept her legs bare, again. 9
She also chose not to wear stockings in April 2018 when she attended a reception hosted by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to celebrate the upcoming Invictus Games 2018.
Meghan kept things fun at the Queen's birthday celebrations. 11
The former actress caused quite a stir in June 2018 when she arrived at her first-ever Trooping the Colour celebrations, held in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birthday. Meghan wore an off-the-shoulder pale pink dress by Oscar de la Renta, and that type of neckline is not traditionally seen at a formal daytime event.
Her wedding dress also showed off her toned shoulders. 12
Meghan had previously worn off-the-shoulder outfits and dresses, including her Givenchy wedding dress. The Queen had to approve the dress beforehand, so she might be considering changing the rule after all.
Harry wears a wedding ring. 13
Unlike his brother Prince William, Prince Harry has chosen to proudly wear a wedding band on his ring finger after marrying Meghan. It is not traditional for men to wear the jewelry, and it is not a tradition the royal family has adopted until now.
She opted out of wearing color and chose an all-black everything outfit instead. 14
Meghan wore all black to a reception to celebrate female empowerment, which was hosted by then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in April 2018. While it's not totally against the rules to wear black, members of the royal family usually reserve the shade for more somber events.
Meghan was previously married before meeting Harry. 15
While it hasn't been against the rules since 2002, the fact that Meghan was a divorcee raised some eyebrows among fans of the royal family. She was previously married to Trevor Engelson, but the pair called it quits in 2013.
Meghan walked down the aisle alone. 16
When she first started walking down the aisle at St. George's Chapel for the wedding ceremony, Meghan walked in alone. Her father was supposed to give her away at the altar, but instead, her now father-in-law Prince Charles met her halfway and walked with her toward his son.
The bride kept her American roots a part of her big day. 18
Meghan kept a lot of American traditions in her wedding. While the bridal party is usually made up of pageboys and bridesmaids with ties to the royal family, she included her friend's children in hers. She also opted out of having a maid of honor, which is a traditional part of British weddings.
They got married on the weekend. 19
While royal weddings are usually held during the week, and then the date is considered a British holiday, the pair got married on a Saturday in May 2018.
Their PDA is next level. 20
While PDA, including hand holding is not typical for royal couples, Harry and Meghan have been affectionate with each other in public from the start of their romance.
The news of the departure also took the family by surprise. 21
As if the departure wasn't enough, it was reported that the couple didn't consult with anyone in the royal family before making their announcement about the new change in their lives. Queen Elizabeth and Prince William were said to be shaken by the news. Yikes!