Did the Duchess of Sussex break royal rules by not wearing her Ascot name badge?

Prince Harry wore his Ascot pin [Photo: Getty]

It’s been a week of firsts for Meghan Markle. Just last week, the Duchess of Sussex made her first solo appearance with Queen Elizabeth II in Cheshire.

And yesterday she made her Royal Ascot debut as a fully fledged member of the royal family. 

The annual five-day horse-racing event requires race-goers to adhere to a strict dress code, including asking all attendees to wear hats. Royals and key Ascot figures are also given name badges to wear.

But eagle-eyed royal fans couldn’t help but wonder why Meghan had opted to ditch hers.

Did the Duchess of Sussex break with royal protocol by not wearing her pin? [Photos: Getty]

According to Town and Country, members of the Royal Family are typically expected to wear name pins at the prestigious racing event.

The tags read “HRH” followed by their official title (Duchess of Sussex, etc.) and grant the royal family access to certain levels at the occasion.

The purple colour indicates those sitting in the Royal Box, an honour only granted to select family members.

Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stuck with tradition and donned their name badges.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge both wore their name pins to Ascot last year [Photo: Getty]

But at the 2018 event, while Prince Harry, the Countess of Wessex and other royal family members sported the purple pin, Meghan chose to hold hers next to her £1,390 satin Givenchy clutch.

The only member of the Royal Family not required to wear a pin is the Queen, so eyebrows were raised when Meghan left hers off.

Did the Duchess of Sussex break with royal protocol by not wearing her pin [Photo: Getty]

Did the Duchess break the royal rules?

Marlene Koenig, a royal historian and writer of the Royal Musings blog, told Town and Country that not wearing a pin is not going against royal protocol.

“Wearing pins has nothing to do with protocol,” Koenig says.

“Protocol is for official, diplomatic, state events, [including] where you sit, when you enter, etc.”

Princess’ Beatrice and Eugenie also left off their pins [Photo: Getty]
Neither the Duchess of Cornwall or Princess Anne wore their Ascot name pins [Photo: Getty]

She also offered an explanation as to why the Duchess might have chosen to leave off her badge.

“Perhaps [Meghan] did not want to ruin that nice Givenchy dress with a pin hole,” Koenig suggests.

Meghan wasn’t the only royal who opted to skip the wearing of the pin either. The Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie also chose to remain pin-less for the event yesterday.

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