Wait, what?! Meghan Markle stepped out for her very first solo royal event on Tuesday, Sept. 25 but it wasn’t her chic Givenchy dress or newly straightened hair that got royal fans talking. Instead, the Duchess of Sussex shut her own car door when she arrived at the Royal Academy of Art and, frankly, the internet freaked out about her unprecedented move.
After getting out of the backseat of the navy blue vehicle that brought her to the event and greeting her host with a handshake, Meghan, 37, casually closed the open car door behind her before heading inside. The moment — perfectly captured in a video taken by People‘s chief foreign correspondent Simon Perry — quickly went viral online with many people praising Prince Harry‘s wife for acting so normal despite being a royal.
“First time I’ve seen an on-duty Princess shut her own car door…” one person commented via Twitter. The Sun‘s royals correspondent Emily Andrews similarly wrote, “A Princess who still takes the time to shut her car door. Well done, Meghan!”
So why exactly is everyone buzzing about this laughably normal task? Usually, royals wait until members of their staff and open and close car doors (and, really, any door) for them. By Meghan shutting her own door, she technically broke royal protocol and just generall went against long-standing royal tradition.
“The Duchess of Sussex closing her own car door is yet another silent signal that she is going to be doing things her own way and helping adapt and progress the British monarchy,” etiquette expert William Hanson told the Daily Mail. “Whether she thought long and hard about it before it happened, I doubt it, I suspect it was force of habit, but it is interesting to see that many have noticed as usually dignitaries have a member of staff to do this for them.”
Hanson also noted that royal staffers usually take care of such simple things like opening and closing doors for members of the monarchy due to security reasons and Meghan’s move may have caused a “little security bother” at the Royal Academy of Art event.
Funnily enough, Meghan was also caught on video shutting her own car door when she, Harry, 34, and her mom, Doria Ragland, arrived at a Kensington Palace party celebrating the publication of her new charity cookbook, Together, last week. Though a nice gentleman opened and closed Doria’s car door as he helped her out of the SVU the trio arrived in, Meg chose to take care of hers herself.
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