Meghan Markle breaks royal protocol in first major speech since Megxit

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Meghan exposed her shoulders as she delivered a powerful speech at the Girl Up virtual summit – a major no-no among frontline royals. The Duchess of Sussex, speaking from her LA mansion, donned a high-neck blue blouse without sleeves, a choice clashing with the royal fashion etiquette. 

Etiquette expert and chief executive at The English Manner Alexandra Messervy previously explained members of the Royal Family prefer not to leave their shoulders bare.

She told InStyle magazine: “They don’t usually wear sleeveless dresses and they usually wear clothes which are not too short in the hemline because of bending down and sitting in public”.

However, this royal preference has been snubbed more than once by a few female members of the Royal Family.

Princess Diana famously bared her shoulder when she wore what became known as the Revenge Dress at the Serpentine Gallery in 1994, two years before losing her HRH style.   

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has also worn dresses without shoulders, mainly to attend galas.

At last year’s gala organised by Action on Addiction, Kate wore a Barbara Casasola off the shoulder dress.

Similarly, she walked the red carpet at the 2019 BAFTA’s wearing a one-sleeve Alexander McQueen. 

Meghan, who in her speech encouraged young women to become the voice of the next generation, was praised by her fans on Twitter for her new look as well as her speech.

Twitter user Myra said: “As usual, she breathes and she trends.

“Meghan Markle is the Queen. Sorry I don’t make the rules. It’s just how the world is set up.” 

MAHlove wrote: “She’s just so effortless with it…my goodness”.

And Nico Robin added: “This girl! She was glowing!!”

Meghan’s speech and new look have been analysed by body language expert Judi James.

The expert told the Daily Mail’s Femail: “This was a very redesigned and rebranded Meghan, with her body language suggesting she has now fully emerged from the royal experience and is back on track and on form as a confident and inspirational speaker in her own right.  

“Meghan’s gesticulation was more ‘guru’ than Hollywood actress and wife of a prince.

“The way her cheeks rounded in a calm smile at the start showed happy confidence to be there addressing her young audience and throughout her speech she avoided showboating or over-congruence, both of which are trait-traps that less experienced and less adept speakers often fall into, using over-exaggeration to try to hammer their messages home.

“Instead Meghan spoke with a calm and warm tone, using long blinks and a raised index finger to suggest wisdom and empathy. 

“Her finger pinch gesture flagged up precise thought and a desire to give advice from a place of experience and when she pulled her hands into fists she showed a desire to create change.”

Ms James also pointed out the importance of this speech, as it was not only the first one Meghan has given since the Endeavour Fund Awards in London but also saw the Duchess sharing the virtual stage with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Ms James continued: “She was at her most confident here and the way she ended with a praying hand clasp pointed at the camera means her message of support should have inspired a whole new audience”.   

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