The Duchess of Sussex dove headfirst into her royal duties this fall, with back-to-back appearances this week. But when Meghan stepped out on Tuesday (Sept. 25) to take in the Oceania Art exhibit in London, there was one small thing that royal watchers noticed – that she closed her own car door. As the video above shows, upon arriving at the Royal Academy of Arts for the exhibition opening, someone opened the door for Meghan, who stepped out, greeted an official — then closed the door behind her. But is it really that big a deal?
While traditionally car doors are both opened and closed for members of the royal family, this isn’t the first time Meghan has taken it upon herself to do the deed. And many are seeing this as a positive attribute of the newly minted royal, showing off her down-to-earth and confident personality. Others, however, seem to see her behaviour as the breaking of royal protocol.
William Hanson, an etiquette expert, explained to the BBC that it’s no big deal after all. “Usually, if you are a member of the royal family or a dignitary, you have a member of staff to open and close a car door for you,” he said on Radio 1 Newsbeat. But it’s not at all because royals are too posh to close their own doors – it’s simply for security purposes.
The duchess, who’s set to embark on her first-ever official overseas tour with the prince on Oct. 16, has been praised for her charm. Royal correspondent Emily Andrews even tweeted: “A princess who still takes the time to shut her car door. Well done Meghan.” And this isn’t the first time, either – she did the same when she stepped out with her mom, Doria Ragland, and Harry for the release of her first charity project, Together: Our Community Cookbook. As an official at the event was opening her mom’s car door, Meghan closed her own.
Whether she broke a royal rule or not, there’s no question in the minds of royal family fans that Meghan is a wonderful addition. “Now that Meghan is a member of the royal family, there’s no more selfies, no more autographs, she can’t vote and all public social media must be deleted,” William went on to tell Newsbeat. So, there are a few changes made to her former life as a Hollywood star – but closing her own car door isn’t one of them.