When Meghan Markle made her very first appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the 2018 Trooping the Colour, most fans were expecting to see a bit more of her than they ended up having. Rather than standing in the front row with Prince William and Kate Middleton, the brand new Duke and Duchess of Sussex were shuttled to the back row, directly behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
With the two more senior royals quite a bit taller than Harry and Meghan, (Kate 5’9”, William, 6’3”) it would seem to make more sense that they would be behind the 5’6” Meghan and the 6’1” Harry. But, as with most things to do with Royalty, decisions are often made for reasons other than practicality.
In fact, the main reason for Harry and his bride having to stand behind the other Royals, is simply due to the “pecking order” within the Monarchy. The Queen, of course, will always have the most prominent position at any event, because she is the most senior Royal of all.
Then, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles would occupy the next most prestigious location, since the Prince of Wales will be the next King of the Commonwealth.
Following along the same rationale, William is next because he is the ‘next, next’ King of England, so he is considered to be substantially more important than his younger brother, Harry who is only sixth in the line of succession.
So why then, you might ask, if the royal “pecking order” is so inviolable, are the Queen’s great-grandchildren in the front row? Even Prince George, son of Prince William and Duchess Kate is only third in line to the throne, so he should, technically, be placed behind his father and mother. But he, along with sister Charlotte and cousins Zara and Isla Phillips is right there in the very front of the balcony.
Now, if you are operating from logic (which we’ve already concluded is NOT the reason for positioning of the Royal Family) then it makes perfect sense to have the kids up front where they can see the goings on, unobstructed. But if, as we've been told, the 'pecking order' must be maintained at all times, why would Savannah and Isla Phillips be allowed in front of Harry and Meghan? After all, they are so far down the line of succession that no one ever even talks about what their spots actually are.
So, in light of this very confusing configuration of Royals at the Trooping the Colour, in which exceptions to “royal protocol” were allowed for the sake of the children, why then couldn’t the same concession be made for the Duchess of Sussex in honor of her very first Trooping the Colour.
If the rules can be bent for some of the participants, why not for the newest member of the family, the one figure the world had been dying to see? I know that no answer will be forthcoming - which just goes to show that I will NEVER fully understand the workings of the Royal Family. But as long as the participants are okay with how it works, then who am I to cast aspersions on anything they decide to do?
To learn more about the new Duchess of Sussex' California upbringing, watch the video, below.