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.
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.
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.
Where is Meghan name tag at royal ascot?
— Stacia Woods (@StaciaWoods7) June 19, 2018
Why doesn’t Meghan have a name tag
— Rachel Hess (@_ChampagneFox) June 19, 2018
This is the first time I’m paying attention the royal ascot so I really don’t know 😄 but @Solidmoonlight spotted Meghan carrying her name tag with her clutch!
— Meghan Maven (@MeghanMaven) June 19, 2018
Did the Duchess break the royal rules?
“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.”
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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