Meghan Markle showed a final “defiant moment” when she and Prince Harry were leaving the royal family. A royal expert looked at the subtle signal she sent with her outfit choices during those final days.
Meghan Markle explained the royal family protocol surrounding outfit colors
In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex touched on the royal protocol about outfit colors that lead to her wearing very muted tones around senior royal family members.
“Most of the time that I was in the UK, I rarely wore color. There was thought in that,” she said. “To my understanding, you can’t ever wear the same color as Her Majesty [Queen Elizabeth II] if there’s a group event.”
Meghan continued, “But then you also shouldn’t be wearing the same color as one of the other more senior members of the family.”
She added, “So I was like, ‘Well, what’s a color that they’ll probably never wear? Camel? Beige? White?’ So I wore a lot of muted tones but it also was so I could just blend in. Like I’m not trying to stand out here. So there’s no version of me joining this family and trying to not do everything I could to fit in. I don’t want to embarrass the family.”
Meghan broke the protocol during her final week of royal appearances with Prince Harry
Two months after Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down from their duties, the Sussexes returned to the UK to finish out their royal appearances.
Meghan was seen wearing a bold blue dress at the Endeavour Fund Awards, a stunning red gown at the Mountbatten Music Festival, and a vibrant emerald green dress with a matching hat at the Commonwealth Day service.
There wasn’t a muted color in the lineup — and she did that on purpose.
“Until that last week in the UK, I rarely wore color, and I never wanted to upstage or ruffle any feathers, so I just tried to blend in,” Meghan explained. “But I wore a lot of color that week. It just felt like, ‘Well, let’s just look like a rainbow.’”
Expert calls Meghan Markle’s colorful move a ‘defiant moment’
Pod Save the King podcast hosts Russell Myers and Zoe Forsey shared their thoughts on Meghan’s act of defiance during the Sussexes’ “farewell week.”
“If you think the protocol is that you’re not allowed to wear bright colors and then on your last week back, you wear beautiful colors…” Forsey said. “Maybe I’m overselling it here, but I’ve described it as a bit of a defiant moment.”
Myers agreed, saying, “Well it was, it was like, ‘We’re free. I can do what I want. I don’t need to conform to this hierarchy within the monarchy,’ and that’s probably what she did feel like — she didn’t want to step out of line. I think a lot of people will, again, have sympathy for talking about that.”
During the docuseries, Meghan also noted that she didn’t receive any advice about protocol or walkabouts.
Myers found that surprising. “I think [Meghan’s claim] has been widely disputed,” he said. “There was an awful lot of help on hand. I don’t know why she was considering the fact that she only could wear camel colors and muted tone; it’s hardly the biggest bombshell in this whole thing, but they’re trying to paint the picture of her being really downtrodden and nervous.”