Ever since Prince Harry announced his romance with Meghan Markle, it was clear it was a very different royal relationship to those that had come before.
Not only is Meghan, 36, a celebrity, having starred in US drama Suits, but she is also a divorcee – something that’s raised eyebrows within The Firm in the past.
Now, as Meghan prepares to tie the knot with Harry, 33, on 19 May, she’s shaking things up once more. It’s been reported Meghan wants to make a speech at her wedding, breaking with the tradition that the father-of-the-bride makes the address.
We chart how else Meghan is snubbing palace procedure – and cementing her status as the nation’s new royal sweetheart.
Displays of Affection
Harry and Meghan aren’t afraid to depart from usual royal behaviour and engage in loved-up displays of affection. In the past few weeks, the picture-perfect pair have been photographed with their arms around one another and holding hands, something that has been picked up on by numerous royal commentators, who have described it as ‘atypical’ but ‘refreshingly modern’.
The pair first set tongues wagging with both their engagement interview and intimate official portraits, where the couple can be seen touching each other affectionately and posing candidly.
Breaking with convention once more, Meghan recently hit the headlines for her choice of hairstyle – a messy bun.
According to the rigid rules, female members of the royal family should make sure their hair is perfectly in place, unlike the style Meghan has opted for on more than one occasion.
However, this isn’t the first time she has broken the strict fashion rules that have been issued by the palace.
During the couple’s official engagement photocall last November, eagle-eyed fans spotted Meghan was not wearing nude tights or stockings – something the Queen reportedly has always insisted on.
Royal expert Victoria Arbiter recently commented, ‘I would say that’s really the only hard, steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires.’
Meet and Greet
It seems Meghan is paving the way and setting her own rules when it comes to official engagements alongside husband-to-be Harry.
Attending one of her most recent events at Cardiff Castle, Wales, she charmed the crowds of fans who had lined the streets by breaking with tradition. Meghan not only carried a handbag, so that at least one of her hands were free to shake hands with the public – most royals, like the Duchess of Cambridge, usually carry a clutch bag to avoid this.
But she broke with protocol further when she posed for selfies and even signed an autograph for a little girl – something that is usually prohibited.
Meghan went down in history when she became the first royal fiancée to spend Christmas with the Queen and the rest of her family at Sandringham, despite not yet being an official member herself.
According to reports, Harry asked his grandmother to lift the ban that unofficial partners could not be part of the celebrations – to which the Queen eventually agreed. This was in contrast to how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated Christmas as an engaged couple, as Kate was not present at the royal family’s celebrations and spent it with her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton.