The two did the unthinkable and closed their own car doors ― yes, really ― while attending official royal engagements.
Last September, Meghan caused a stir by closing her own door ― with many saying the move made her look “humble” and “down to earth” ― during her first solo outing at the opening of the “Oceania” exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Of course, as etiquette experts told HuffPost last year, the move itself does not actually breach royal protocol.
But it is typical for security officers to open and close the door for royalty, Diana Mather, director and senior tutor at The English Manner, an international protocol, etiquette and hospitality consultancy firm in the U.K., said last September.
“It is really for safety,” Mather said over email at the time, noting that Harry typically didn’t shut his own door on the way out.
Lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann said that she believes that was because Harry “has been royal since birth,” while Meghan at the time was still adjusting to all of the new rules to follow.
“He instinctively allows doors to be opened and closed for him,” she added.
British etiquette expert William Hanson speculated that the move could be “yet another silent signal that she is going to be doing things her own way and helping adapt and progress the British monarchy,” but added, “The key thing to stress is that it’s not a protocol breach!”
Anything the couple does is subject to intense dissection. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently weathered a storm of controversy after reportedly taking four private flights in 11 days for vacations in France and Spain.
Many of the couple’s famous friends, like Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres, jumped to defend the royals and their private plane use.
“Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation,” DeGeneres said amid the controversy last month.
“They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better,” she added.
Harry later addressed the backlash head-on during the launch of his sustainable travel initiative in Amsterdam last week.
“I came here by commercial,” the royal said at the event. “I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe ― and it’s genuinely as simple as that.”
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