Meghan Markle may now be a member of the royal family, but she’s proved that she’s still down to earth by - wait for it - closing her own car door while attending her first solo event.
Upon arriving at the Royal Academy of Arts to celebrate the opening of the Oceania exhibit on Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex was captured exiting the car, greeting an event host, then closing the door by herself - a move that somehow managed to shock people on social media.
While some are praising the California-born royal for being relatable, others are calling the move a break in protocol.
“First time I’ve seen an on-duty princess shut her own car door…” one person tweeted along with the video.
“Honestly she probably didn’t even realise she did it,” another said, considering Markle didn’t grow up royal.
Others defended the “humble” Duchess and the royal family - “People have to remember the royal family are human too. I think especially the younger generation want to have more normality in their lives,” someone wrote on Twitter.
However, some felt the opportunity for the Duchess to shut her own door should never have arisen - as it should have been the job of the host or bodyguard to close the door after she exited.
While having someone else shut the door isn't part of protocol technically, it is done out of safety reasons, according to etiquette and protocol coach William Hanson, who tweeted: "This is not a protocol breach. Usually royalty and dignitaries have someone to open/close car doors for security reasons: nothing to do with 'princess behaviour'. Meghan clearly just shut the door out of force of habit."
Despite the debate over royal behaviour, Markle seems unconcerned with the expectation - as this isn’t the first time the 37-year-old has closed her own door.
The Duchess of Sussex also shut her car door last week while arriving at Kensington Palace for her first official palace luncheon in celebration of her new cookbook, alongside her mother Doria Ragland.
While Markle has allowed her car door to be closed before on numerous occasions, it appears she has no problem doing it herself if the opportunity arises.
“OMG! She can open and close doors? Doesn’t she know how dangerous that is? #GlobalPanic,” one person wrote.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies