If there’s one thing that Meghan Markle (now the Duchess of Sussex) is going to have to get used to now that she’s a fully-fledged royal, it’s the fact that everyone and anyone, no matter how badly dressed they are, is going to have an opinion on the way she looks.
It started before the pair were even married, with some traditionalists slating her decision to wear a semi-sheer dress in her and Prince Harry’s official engagement photos:
Then there were those that criticized her choice to wear a sleeveless calf-length dress at a memorial service for a teenage boy murdered in a racially motivated attack, apparently missing the bigger picture:
Then there was that wedding dress, which some celebrated as simple and classy, and others – like pop star Katy Perry – slammed as boring and ill-fitting:
Now, she’s managed to upset people again, by wearing what some are deeming an “inappropriate” dress to the Trooping the Colour ceremony, a public event which celebrates HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday. Although Queenie was actually born on April 21, 1926, the occasion is celebrated publicly during summer as part of a royal tradition that stretches back over 250 years.
The day sees military regiments show off their flags and march through central London to be inspected by the monarch, as well as a flypast from the Royal Air Force. Members of the Royal Family will also take a horse-drawn carriage ride past well-wishers, and appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to crowds. All in all, it’s pomp and ceremony at its best.
Now, back to the offending dress. The 36-year-old Duchess chose to wear a pale pink Carolina Herrera number, which had reportedly been made especially for her, teaming it with the same Philip Treacy hat that she worn to Prince Charles’ 70th birthday celebrations just a few days after the royal wedding.
Dainty, demure and neutrally colored, it’s a piece that most of us would consider unoffensive.
However, not everyone was so easily pleased. You see, the dress was a very slightly off the shoulder style, something that some regarded as a little too saucy for such a fancy event.
Either way, the Twitter critics didn’t hold back, taking to the social media site in droves to complain: “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?!”
Another added: “Markle didn’t shut the hell up and kept blathering on with Camilla right behind the queen! She hardly looked up at the flypast. And yes, her attire was wholly inappropriate once again. (sic)”
This is despite the fact that other members of the royal family, including her sister-in-law Kate, have frequently been seen in such styles.
Fortunately, there were a few people who stepped in to defend Meg, with many of the comments revolving around the fact that she is helping to modernize the monarchy through her fashion choices and cool-girl vibe.
As one user put it: “Duchess Meghan looked very gorgeous and stylishly modern. She glowed. It’s nice to see a young woman in the Royal family dress her age. And she was appropriately dressed too. No protocols were broken.”
Another added: “Can’t believe all the old dinosaurs are slating Meghan Markle for wearing an off the shoulder dress to a royal ceremony. Hun it’s 2018 get a grip (sic)”. Well said, hun.
Others pointed out that she probably had a helping hand from those already used to royal life, like errr, Prince Harry: “How quickly people turn. She’s a beautiful, intelligent young woman who should wear what makes her feel good. It’s not anyone’s right to judge her. She has enough people guiding her on the ‘dos & don’ts’ of Royal life. Her husband would have told her if it was inappropriate.”
Let’s be honest, if the rest of us attending a wedding or a birthday in this dress, we would probably be considered to be dressing a bit fancy. But as someone people are desperate to bash, whether because of her ‘commoner’ family, her mixed-race background, or the fact that she’s bagged the world’s most eligible bachelor, Meghan’s never going to be quite good enough for some, no matter how completely bloomin’ awesome she looks.