Meghan Markle unfairly attacked for wearing 'inappropriate dress' at a Royal engagement
Meghan Markle has only been an official member of the royal family for a matter of weeks, and - if she thought she was already receiving enough negative criticism for literally just existing - she's probably been quite surprised at the amount of backlash she's gotten as a Duchess.
This weekend, the 36-year-old former actress attended the Trooping the Colour: a 260-year-old tradition to honour the reigning monarch's birthday. According to the official royal website, "over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday."
Despite the spectacle, however, many people were only focused on one thing - Meghan's "inappropriate" dress.
For most people taking part in the celebration as part of the crowd or watching footage at home, the Duchess of Sussex looked absolutely radiant in her bespoke Carolina Herrera dress and matching Philip Treacy hat. However, some critics with knowledge of so-called royal protocol lashed out at the newest member of the monarchy.
"Why?" you ask. Well, because it shows too much of her shoulders. (Yes, seriously).
"Off the shoulder is inappropriate day wear at the Trooping or any official engagement," one critic snapped during their commentary on the event.
"I do feel her choice of an off the shoulder dress was pushing it for HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday celebration," wrote another on social media. "I have a feeling she’s going to push the limits a little too much?!"
It is certainly true that the royal family have certain guidelines that they adhere to for formal events. The Queen is almost always expected to wear gloves, for instance, and other female members of the royal family should never be caught at a fancy event without a hat.
However, it's not clear whether off-the-shoulder outfits are explicitly prohibited, or whether they simply fall under the category of being too "informal" for such an event.
Either way, a lot of people leapt to Meghan's defence after the outcry, arguing that some people were focusing too much on archaic rules, and not enough on the fact that the Duchess looked amazing.
"I love that Meghan Markle is breaking 'traditions'," said one Twitter user. "She looks absolutely gorgeous in this off shoulder dress."
"I don't envy Meghan Markle's life, because it seems like she's now trapped in a bubble with sooooo many rules and regulations on etiquette. No thanks," said another, before adding: "P.S. There is NOTHING inappropriate about this dress lol".
Meanwhile, others were quick to point out that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn similar style outfits before.
Regardless of how her dress was received, the event was a historic moment for Meghan, as it was the first time she appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with her new family. And I'm no expert on how a royal should or shouldn't look, but I'd say she fits in rather well amongst the group:
Personally, I think Meghan should ignore what the few critics are saying on this occasion. So far she has shown nothing but dignity and grace in her position as a royal, and - given how old some of the monarchy's "traditions" are - they could do with someone to add some 21st-century style to their image.