On Sunday, Nov. 11, all eyes were on members of the British royal family as they stepped out to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and their standing arrangements made me do a double take. Unlike Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles, Meghan Markle didn’t stand with the Queen at the Remembrance Day Ceremony, and it immediately had me freaking out that the pair, who've formerly been called "thick as thieves," were on the outs. But before you start assuming that they've renounced their BFF status, there's a simple explanation that could potentially account for everything, and unsurprisingly, it has everything to do with royal protocol. Elite Daily reached out to Buckingham Palace to inquire about Meghan Markle's standing arrangements during the service, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Prince Charles started things off during the annual service by placing a wreath on the Cenotaph on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, who stood watching the event on a balcony alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall. The expectant Duchess of Sussex — who marked her first time at the official Armistice Day service wearing a black Givenchy coat and red poppies to signify fallen soldiers — was noticeably absent from the group, instead standing on another balcony with the German president's wife, Elke Büdenbender. Considering that the "Fab Four," as Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Markle have come to be called, tend to generally stand together, I found it a little odd that the newest member of the royal family was relegated to a separate area away from her relatives. Could this mean that things might not be as hunky-dory within the group as the public has come to believe?
Luckily, it looks like you don't have to fear for the future of the Queen and Markle's budding friendship, because some research revealed that the arrangement is probably nothing personal. Noticeably absent from Sunday's proceedings was Prince Philip, who announced that he was retiring from public duties last May. At last year's Remembrance Day Ceremony, the Duke of Edinburgh was in attendance and stood by Queen Elizabeth and Parker Bowles on this balcony at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Building, seeming to suggest that the honor is only reserved for the highest-ranking members of the royal family.
This is the first year that Middleton is making the cut to stand on this particular balcony, as she reportedly watched the proceedings next to Sophie Wessex and Princess Alexandra last year. As the wife of Prince Harry, who is currently sixth in line to the throne, it's not surprising that Markle wouldn't be afforded the same honor due to ranking. Even if Prince Harry had been standing beside her and she'd thus taken on his ranking, the dizzying rules of royal etiquette would still dictate that the former Suits actress must always curtsy to her sister-in-law and the Queen and show them the proper respect as her superiors. So yes, there's probably no trouble in paradise, but part of me wonders if it would have really been so hard to move over a little bit and let Megs stand on the balcony too. Just saying.