Meghan Markle is still learning the ropes of being a royal, and she may have just had her biggest royal faux pas yet.
The Duchess of Cambridge is being accused of being disrespectful to Queen Elizabeth II after she opted to forgo the famed “Duchess slant” in favor of crossing her legs at the knees while attending the Young Leaders Reception at Buckingham Palace with husband Prince Harry and the Queen Tuesday night.
While royal watchers were enthralled with Markle’s fashion sense yet again, talk quickly turned to her apparent disrespect at not crossing her legs at the ankles, something that sister-in-law Kate Middleton flawlessly does, and something that Markle herself has showcased on multiple occasions.
“Duchess of Sussex has her legs crossed wrong. What a disrespect to the Queen,” one person commented.
“Meghan don't cross your legs Queen doesn't like that,” another added.
Despite royal fan reactions, according to etiquette expert William Hanson, the Suits alum’s slip-up was not a slip up at all.
“There was nothing disrespectful about HRH The Duchess of Sussex's seating position last night. She had chosen to use the traditional 'finishing school' technique of crossing one leg over the other, resting one ankle against the edge of the shin,” Hanson told the Daily Mail. “This used to be used by ladies who wished to show off a grand ballgown and today it can be a good way to highlight a pair of hosiery-clad legs. Royal women do not often cross their legs, although HRH The Duchess of Cornwall sometimes does; this tip is to ensure nothing gets flashed that shouldn’t.”
The so-called “finishing school” technique is a favorite of the Duchess of Cornwall, who is commonly seen crossing her legs at the knees rather than the ankles, and the Queen herself has even been spotted opting for the less popular sitting position, most recently during a January interview with the BBC about her Coronation.1comments
Although she is being accused of disrespect, Markle previously showcased a flawlessly respectful curtsy to the Queen alongside Kate Middleton during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace earlier in June.
Markle has seemingly won the Queen over, the two caught smiling and laughing during the Duchess of Sussex’s first solo trip with the monarch to Cheshire on the Royal Train for the opening of the River Mersey in Widnes, Cheshire. Paparazzi caught the two whispering in one another’s ears as they watched children dance and were gifted with posies.