Meghan Markle looked confused after jockey Frankie Dettori kissed her hand. But did he break the royal code?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were left stunned after jockey Frankie Dettori kissed the Duchess' hand instead of shaking it after he was awarded his trophy.
Meghan Markle attended her first ever Royal Ascot event as the Duchess of Sussex with husband Prince Harry. All eyes were on newlyweds, as they arrived in a traditional carriage procession along with Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex. The Royal Ascot is one of Britain’s most valuable race meeting, where horses from across the globe compete for more than £7.3m in prize money.
This year, an Italian jockey named Frankie Dettori, won the St James's Palace Stakes on horse Without Parole on the first of the five-day event. While receiving his trophy from Her Royal Highness, Frankie reached out for Meghan’s hand, and instead of shaking it, he gently kissed it. Both Meghan and Harry were taken aback by this gesture and looked rather confused. People were quick to question whether or not Frankie was breaking one of the royal rules of conduct with this gesture but turns out he was, in fact, not in the wrong.
The official Royal website clearly states: “There are no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family.” But the website does added that some people prefer more traditional forms.
For example, some believe that when greeting a member of the royal family - a slight neck bow for men and a small curtsey for women or a simple handshake - is the most appropriate etiquette. Though a kiss on the hand does not defy any rules, it is an uncommon practice, and that is probably why Meghan and Harry were shocked by the gesture.
However, the horse rider was in the wrong for another matter. He was suspended and fined £4,300 for "using his whip above the permitted level from approaching two furlongs out" during his winning race, reported The Sun.
While Frankie did not break any sacred royal rule, Meghan is also known for stashing up a fair share of violations on her own.
For first, during the official photoshoot of her engagement with Harry, she boycotted pantyhose, something unheard of for a royal. From the Queen to Princess Diana, every woman in the royal family has been seen in public wearing them.
Furthermore, Meghan was spotted wearing a crossbody bag in Edinburgh, instead of carrying a clutch. Most royals carry clutches because then they don’t have to come up with a different excuse to avoid shaking hands with everybody in their path. Despite these mishaps, it seems like Meghan is getting the hang of dressing as a royal. At the Royal Ascot, she radiated elegance in her Givenchy dress, a hat by Philip Treacy, a pair of Birks Petale earrings and a black satin clutch, which complimented her look, The Sun reported.
It's being speculated that maybe Meghan has grown some sort of fascination for Givenchy, as this is not the first time she is wearing an outfit designed by the fashion house. She wore the brand at her engagement and during her visit to Cheshire along with the Queen.
Givenchy is one thing, but Meghan also seems to be taking on to emulate Princess Diana’s style, in her own fashion choices. Very recently, Meghan wore a maxi dress to Prince Harry's cousin Celia McCorquodale's wedding. The attire appeared to be inspired by a similar dress that Princess Diana was spotted wearing in 1986. The Sun reported that many people on the internet were quick to spot the similarities between the two dresses. An Instagram fan account @loveprincessdiana posted a side-by-side picture of Meghan and Diana in their dresses.
People were also quick to show their love for both the stunning women in their respective outfits. "Beautiful prints on two beauties," and "Really??? She's copying Diana's style," read two comments. Meanwhile, another user defended Meghan and insisted that both women looked stunning and that it was possible that she was not copying Diana and merely embracing her own style. The comment read: "Only one Diana, Meghan is her own person, with her own style. Hope they let her be her own person and not try to copy Diana. It just looks strange otherwise."
Though this may be right, it is not the first time Meghan’s style has been compared to Princess Diana's. On June 9, Meghan attended the Queen’s 92nd birthday celebration where she was seen wearing an off-shoulder dress. Many thought she was breaking royal code by wearing the off-shoulder, but others argued that Princess Diana wore similar dresses back in the day.
Though Meghan has been criticized for breaking several royal rules, things are soon going to change, as the Queen has requested her most trusted aide, Samantha Cohen, to train Meghan on the royal ways of life. The training program will last for six months during which Meghan will be guided through all the rules that royals must adhere to - from wearing weights on dress hems to curtsying the Queen when she enters the room. Samantha will also be guiding the newlyweds through their first year of marriage. The training aims to help Meghan completely assimilate into the royal family.