Meghan Markle may now be the Duchess of Sussex, but she still has to defer to higher-ranking members of the royal family. At the annual Trooping the Colour celebration on June 9, which is held in honor of the Queen’s birthday, Markle made her official debut on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
You may have noticed that she was standing behind her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. That’s because Markle was simply taking her proper place in the royal hierarchy.
“She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, explained to People. “There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife.”
Although she did not take the top spot, according to a palace source, the order of appearance on the balcony is not a hard-and-fast rule, but rather, a matter of etiquette and deference.
“[Markle’s position on the balcony] would have come from her,” the source told the magazine. “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.”
No matter where she stood, Markle was hard to miss as she looked radiant in a pale pink off-the-shoulder dress by Carolina Herrera, which she paired with a matching hat by London-based and royal favorite designer Philip Treacy.
Markle handled her debut on the balcony with grace and ease, but of course, she’s still getting used to being a royal, so it’s no wonder she needed a little assistance from husband Prince Harry at the event as well. A fan captured an adorable moment in which Markle nervously asked her husband to confirm that it was time to curtsy. Check out the cute clip posted to Instagram:
It’s nice to know that even royals-in-training like Markle need a little guidance now and again!