Many people dream of becoming a royal, but most people aren't ready to follow all the rules that it involves.
No matter what people think about the Royal Family, they still love to know about their lives. One of the main things that people pay attention to the most about this family is their fashion and sense of style, to the point that the outfits they wear become news on their own (Remember Lady Di's revenge dress? Or Princess Beatrice's hat?) Take for instance, Prince George with his outdated outfits of shorts, long socks, and shoes. Who dresses their kids that way these days? Well, his parents do because they follow a rule that says that little boys can’t wear long pants until they turn eight. Like this, there are a bunch of rules that all royals must follow, and for that reason, Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, made a dramatic change in her style in her first official appearance at Buckingham Palace in honor of Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday.
Her very modest outfit led to many reactions on social media. The thing is that even after she got engaged to Prince Harry, she had maintained a fresh and modern style that included her signature messy bun and relaxed silhouettes, but this time it was different. To start with, she appeared with a sleek hairstyle adorned with a huge hat covering basically most of it. Then, if we take a look at her dress, we can see that she toned it down; in my opinion, it was not very flattering. One of the things that shocked people the most was the fact that she was wearing some really pale, cream-colored tights that in no way matched her skin color, so it made her look pretty odd. Apparently, according to Alexandra Messervy, Chief Executive of The English Manner, the Queen forbids female royals from appearing in public with their bare legs. So, the real question here is, to what extent does Meghan have to compromise her taste and style to abide by the standards of her new family?
She'll probably have to become a new person in terms of style to fit in, mainly because she has to follow numerous etiquette rules that don’t really go with her own personal style, at least not what we were used to seeing from her until now. One of these rules is that colorful nail polish is a no-no, meaning that she will have to wear a nude color for the rest of her married life. Now, if bright colors aren't your thing, this isn't a problem, but imagine not being able to do something as simple as painting your nails orange or red. Of course, the rule only applies to public appearances, but it's still a restriction of her freedom to wear whatever she feels like. The same applies to showing cleavage or bare arms and legs, as was mentioned before. And if you take a look at other female royals' outfits, you'll see that they’ve managed to get their way in subtle ways, like wearing sheer sleeves.
Another outdated rule is that women aren’t allowed to wear pants at official events, meaning that they can only wear dresses that go below the knee. Now, some of these rules come from old traditions, that’s obvious, but some of them are just nonsensical in the way that they are actually just the Queen’s personal preferences. For instance, female royals can’t wear wedges in her presence. Why? Because she doesn’t like them, that's it. Now, my question is: is it really worth it? You might say, sure, she's joined one of the wealthiest and most respected families in the world, not to mention the huge historical importance that has turned them into cultural icons. That’s great, but, as the feminist she claims to be, should she be okay with it?
For starters, she's had to give up basically all her life because of her marriage. She changed her style, quit acting, and for god’s sake, she converted to another religion! Still, many people claim that in her new position of power she can really do something about the issues she’s interested in. And that might be the case (I hope so), but if we're being honest and realistic, chances are she won’t be able to do much unless she becomes the kind of rebellious royal who goes against the norms and rules of the monarchy. I mean, she even wore black whenever she wanted (something that’s also kind of forbidden), and she wore sleeveless and above-the-knee-dresses. So, unless she does that, I don’t see how she can take a political stand as a feminist activist.
In the end, I really believe that most of these rules are meant to do more than just give a specific image of the monarchy. They are, in a way, a means to restrain and detach royals from their personality, so that they adhere to a conservative and traditional image. So, I really hope that Meghan manages to find a way to take a stand and continue her job, or at least not to allow her new life to transform her into something that isn’t really her.
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