Meghan Markle went against royal fashion protocol at the Women’s Empowerment reception (for a very important reason).
As a soon-to-be member of the Royal Family, Meghan Markle has to abide by a number of sometimes restrictively strict rules.
For example, royal women are instructed not to take their coats off in public, as it’s deemed “unladylike”. They’re unable to wear coloured nail varnish, either, and are required to wear hats during any formal events.
Royals are also barred from wearing all-black ensembles (unless they’re in mourning) and from making explicit political statements – a rule which meant that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was not allowed to wear black in support of the #TimesUp movement.
Markle, though, has made a point of breaking with royal protocol over the past few months – much to the delight of fans (and disdain of traditional royalists). However, it’s her most recent outfit – which she wore to a Women’s Empowerment reception this week – which has sparked the most interest.
That’s right: much like Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan and Angelina Jolie before her, Markle opted for an all-black ensemble.
And, unsurprisingly, many believe the Suits star did this as part of the Time’s Up movement to bring awareness – and hopefully an end – to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
It’s a decision which should come as no surprise to Markle’s longtime fans: a passionate women’s rights activist all her life, the actress has worked as an ambassador for UN Women and the charity World Vision. She’s used her celebrity status to back Hillary Clinton, lament Brexit and attack Donald Trump as “misogynistic” and “divisive”. And she’s even used her wedding to Prince Harry to raise awareness for Myna Mahila, a charity which empowers women in Mumbai’s slums by providing them with a trusted network, stable employment and the chance to grow as individuals and businesswomen.
And it’s the sort of move which has earned Markle a place on Time magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People list – accompanied by a glowing essay about the soon-to-be royal, penned by none other than Priyanka Chopra.
Of Markle, Chopra writes: “This ever-smiling, strong free spirit found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales again…
“With her, what you see is real, and what you get is a relatable young woman with her heart and mind in the right place. Her compassion, evident in the causes she supports, and her drive to break down stereotypes—obvious in her actions—will connect her to a generation in much need of kindness.”
Chopra adds: “More than anything else, Meghan is an important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to. People the world can be inspired by.
“Meghan, standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry, will be a princess for the people.”
We don’t doubt it.
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund, which will provide subsidised legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organisation of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.