Meghan Markle Broke Royal Protocol Not Once But Twice In the Same Night

A closer inspection of Meghan Markle's Cirque de Soleil outfit reveals that Meghan is still pushing fashion boundaries and stretching official royal protocol, even as she's entering one of the busiest times of her life.

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(Image credit: WPA Pool)

Meghan Markle attended Cirque de Soleil last night with husband Prince Harry in support of Harry's Sentebale charity. The glowing mom-to-be was sparkly from head to toe in a navy Roland Mouret gown that paid sweet and fitting tribute to Harry's mom Princess Diana—all the way down to Diana's bracelet, which completed the look. But a closer inspection of her outfit reveals that Meghan is still pushing fashion boundaries and stretching official royal protocol, even as she's entering one of the busiest times of her life.

Behold: Meghan wore dark nail polish on her toes—it looks like navy or black, to match her outfit or shoes—and dark, vibrant plum red lipstick. Royal protocol is generally restricted to light shades, even during super-formal occasions like this one. What's so intriguing here is that Meghan almost never favors dark lipstick in her own life, and we haven't seen her wear such a dark shade since becoming a royal. So this is not only a royal rule that she's broken, but also a personal one. Frankly, I think she looks great, so I think she should do it more often.


We've already seen Meghan break the nail polish protocol before, with burgundy polish on her hands. Last night she wore light polish on her hands as a contrast to her dress and clutch—best not to break all the rules at once, so that makes sense!

Here's a look at the full outfit:

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(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

And a close-up of the nail polish on her toes:

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan did opt for a light pink for her nails, though:

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's a good thing the Queen thinks royal protocol is all "rubbish"—so the duchess is almost certainly in the clear, whether she breaks royal protocol once, twice, or a dozen times. Okay, maybe not a dozen times.

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(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)
Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.