Royal "pecking order" why Meghan Markle stood behind Kate Middleton at her royal balcony debut
During Kate Middleton's Trooping the Color debut in the year 2011, she did stand towards the front of the balcony but remained on the far left of the balcony, unlike Meghan.
When the newlywed bride of Prince Harry made her royal balcony debut at the Trooping the Color, she was made to stand a little bit behind Kate Middleton and was not at the front and center of the Buckingham Palace balcony.
The Duchess of Sussex was visibly seen as standing behind her sister-in-law Kate Middleton and brother-in-law Prince William. This all came down to a royal "pecking order". As reported by People, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, Joe Little shared, "She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order."
"There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife," Little continued. During Kate Middleton's Trooping the Color debut in the year 2011, she did stand towards the front of the balcony but remained on the far left of the balcony, unlike Meghan Markle.
"[Meghan] was still in a good position. She was central rather than the alternative of being in the front row and along the balcony to the left or right," Joe revealed. A source from the Palace added that Meghan's balcony position, "would have come from her. There’s no one laying this out, telling her where to stand. And there were a lot of kids who everyone would want at the front."
The annual celebration honors Queen Elizabeth's birthday and also saw the newest member of the royal family standing side by side next to her husband Prince Harry. The couple recently returned from their honeymoon after they got married on May 19 at the St. George's chapel.
The celebrations kicked off with a grand military parade as well as the arrivals of the members of the Royal family via carriages. Meghan and Prince Harry shared their own carriage which makes this Meghan's second carriage ride while Queen Elizabeth arrived on her own. For the prestigious event, the Duchess of Sussex sported a pale pink off shoulder dress by Carolina Herrera and matched it with a hat designed by Philip Treacy.
Her choice of wardrobe was appreciated by all and some Royal critics termed her outfit as "inappropriate" for the event. One critic wrote, "Off the shoulder is inappropriate day wear at the Trooping or any official engagement." While another added, "I do feel her choice of an off the shoulder dress was pushing it for HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday celebration. I have a feeling she’s going to push the limits a little too much?!"
Meghan however, seemed to be perfectly content with her outfit and her surroundings. The other royal family women, the Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla Parker-Bowles, and the Queen herself, all sported long-sleeved, blue dresses. Prince Harry has been trying to help his wife, Meghan Markle adjust and learn the ropes.
At the Trooping the Color ceremony, Prince Harry could be seen adorably prompting his wife, Meghan to curtsy upon his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth's official arrival. The general rule is that members of the Royal family are expected to bow or curtsy to the Queen if they are seeing her for the first time that day.
As the moment arrived, Meghan asked Prince Harry under her breath, "Do it?" to which he replied, "yes" before she curtsied and he bowed his head in respect. Meghan has had months of practice to nail her curtsy and she debuted her very first one on Christmas Day with the Royal family. Standing slightly in front of Meghan was Kate Middleton who has become a pro at these Royal protocols.
As reported by an onlooker to People, "I thought Harry looked more tense than Meghan in the carriage. On the balcony, he was more relaxed. It was the same on the wedding day. It took her a while to relax into what was going on. But coming back (from the parade), it all seemed to go swimmingly."
Ingrid Seward, the author of the recent biography titled 'Queen and Prince Philip, My Husband & I' revealed to People, "The Queen knows the potential pitfalls of not giving [new members] a guiding hand. It’s all about the monarchy. She can’t expect Meghan to know everything without being shown."
"She doesn’t want 70 years of hard work to be for nothing. I’m sure she feels Meghan needs a steadying hand in these early days," Seward went on to add.
In the next few weeks, the couple will also be attending Prince Louis' christening, an event which is likely to happen sometime in July. The Kensington Palace also announced that Meghan and Harry will visit Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand in the fall.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake an official visit to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in the Autumn. Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries’ respective governments. The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," the statement read.