Meghan Markle's cross-legged pose at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards divides royal fans

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
The Duchess of Sussex’s seated pose divided royal fans [Photo: Getty]

Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined Her Majesty at the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards in Buckingham Palace.

But eagle-eyed royal fans were quick to spot Meghan Markle’s potential ‘breach of royal protocol’, as she took to her seat for a photo call with guests.

Sitting beside Prince Harry, live footage showed the 36-year-old comfortably crossing her legs in a pink Prada skirt suit.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat alongside the Queen at last night’s awards ceremony [Photo: Getty]

The former actress then quickly shifted her legs into a cross-legged ‘duchess slant’ whereby you sit with your ankles and knees together in a slanted position.

The unofficial term – first inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge – is designed to maintain a royal’s modesty during a public engagement.

But royal fans were quick to call out the Duchess of Sussex’s makeshift pose, as one social media user tweeted: “Meghan is crossing her legs… awful photo.”

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While others took to the Facebook live stream of the ceremony to criticise the Duchess’ cross-legged position.

One viewer deemed the pose ‘disrespectful’ as they commented, “Duchess of Sussex has her legs crossed wrong. What a disrespect to the Queen. All royal ladies cross at the ankles or put both legs off to the side.”

Another warned in the comments section: “Meghan don’t cross your legs, Queen doesn’t like that.”

But was the seated pose really against royal protocol?

Royal etiquette expert, Grant Harrold, told Yahoo Style UK: “The way members of the royal family sit varies depending on the royal. For example, the Duchess of Cambridge sits in the same way as the Queen. This will allow a lady to display good posture and is actually a comfortable seating position when she’s wearing heels.”

He continued, “However, ladies do on occasion cross their legs and it was a famous pose for Princess Diana but let’s remember that a royal lady certainly would not cross at the knees. All ladies will know that this is correct form at an official event.”

But times have changed and Meghan is switching up the royal game, as Harrold added: “The Duchess of Sussex is a modern royal and I have always said she will rewrite the rules on royal etiquette which is not a bad thing.”

If you look through the regal history books, Princess Diana also crossed her legs on several public engagements in a similar manner to Meghan.

On the anniversary of V-J Day back in 1995, Princess Diana was photographed in a similar seated pose as Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Cambridge on the other hand is more inclined to adopt the ankle-by-ankle ‘duchess slant’ a large majority of the time. But like Meghan, has also been pictured with her legs crossed at a series of events.

The Duchess of Cambridge was photographed mimicking Prince William’s cross-legged pose at West Ham’s stadium back in October 2017 [Photo: Getty]

Others took to Twitter to defend the Duchess of Sussex, as one proved that it is not a breach of protocol by sharing a thread of royals with their legs crossed from Princess Diana to Princess Beatrice.

Over on the royal family’s Facebook page, one fan pointed out the ‘double standards’ that come with being a royal: “How is Meghan being disrespectful by elegantly crossing her legs but Harry is sitting legs splayed wide open and sloppy but that isn’t disrespectful at all? Double standard here is shameful.” 

But backlash from the public is hardly surprising, as the newly-crowned Duchess of Sussex has come under fire for several ‘protocol-breaking’ moves in recent months.

Note: the Queen didn’t seem fazed by the Duchess of Sussex’s cross-legged pose at their debut joint engagement in Cheshire [Photo: Getty]

For instance, Meghan’s Trooping the Colour look sparked controversy as the bateau neckline of her Carolina Herrera skirt suit bared her shoulders.

Most recently, the Kensington Palace newbie was in hot water after failing to wear a name badge at her debut Royal Ascot.

But with a weighty royal rule book to get to grips with, who can blame Meghan for eschewing tradition once or twice?

 

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