The significance behind Meghan Markle’s Commonwealth reception bag

Since announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has proven time and time again that she is set to break the royal rulebook when it comes to style.

And on a recent Commonwealth engagement, Meghan once again showed the world that she was keen to carve out her own look as she embarks on her journey to becoming a full-time royal.

As she and Harry met delegates on Wednesday afternoon, Meghan broke from royal tradition, by optig for a smart £171 cross-body bag, by Australian designers Oroton, as opposed to a clutch.

The females in the royal family famously carry a clutch, in order to ensure that there isn’t any awkwardness when shaking hands.

Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, told Stylist, “When the [Queen or] Duchess is at an event, she holds her bag in front of her in both hands, when shaking hands might be awkward.”

However, on almost all her initial royal engagements, Meghan has opted for cross-body or small handbag, in order to free up her hands to greet anyone she’s meeting.

Speaking to Glamour magazine, body language expert Kathryn Hendricks, explained that her decision proves how open and independent the royal-to-be is.


She told them, “Pair the carry with a wide stride and loose limbs and you find ‘an urban warrior with a clear goal’.

“The bag is incidental to her independent self-image, flung on for its functionality.”

Of her own style, Meghan has previously admitted that she prefers to opt for a put-together, but relaxed look – just like her outfit at the Commonwealth reception.

In 2015, she told Matches Fashion, “The way I dress is really monochromatic or tonal, and I like really classic pieces. I also love that French way of styling, where if your outfit is pulled together, then something’s got to be dishevelled – your hair, your make-up.”

At the event, Meghan paired her bag with a summery, striped dress by Altuzarra – and a pair of sky-high Tamara Mellon heels.

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So far, almost every aspect of Meghan Markle’s royal style has proven to be a contrast to the typical royal way of dressing. Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan has regularly favoured trousers for engagements. In the chillier winter months, she’s also show that she’s partial to a stylish, long, knee-length coat – something Catherine, or Camilla in fact, has rarely been seen in.

However, it’s clear that Meghan Markle is also aware of the diplomatic signifcance her choice of outfit can hold. During her first Commonwealth engagement of this week, she opted for items from designers of Commonwealth countries only.

And on a previous visit to Cardiff, the royal-to-be chose jeans from a little-known Welsh designer.


The former actress has also proven that she’s keen to promote good causes with her fashion choices. Meghan has previously worn Stella McCartney jeans – which are famously, ethically produced.

It seems Prince Harry’s fiancee really is keen to do things her own way as she continues to get to grips with royal life.