LONDON — First she married Prince Harry, now she’s rocking Givenchy and shutting her own car doors. Is there anything Meghan can’t do?
The answer for many Brits is “no.”
The Duchess of Sussex embarked on her first solo trip as a royal on Tuesday evening, attending the opening of “Oceania” at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. As Meghan arrived at the venue, her car door was opened for her. Seconds later, she was slamming it shut.
All. By. Herself.
While news of a woman closing a door in 2018 doesn’t usually ignite global debate, Meghan’s small-yet-perhaps-rather-large gesture caused quite the stir on social media. Royals generally have someone on hand to take care of opening and closing doors for them, so Meghan’s action not only raised eyebrows but also generated numerous questions.
Did Meghan break protocol, pondered some. Is Meghan the first royal to close her own door, wondered others. Some simply demanded to know what the world is coming to.
Within hours, Meghan’s door-closing went viral with footage of the moment circulating on Twitter. While some praised her for her “humble” and “down to earth” action, others couldn’t quite resist injecting a dose of typical British humor:
“Breaking News: Meghan Markle shut her car door all by her little ole self yesterday. Gasp,” one sarcastic observer tweeted.
“Because I was so inspired by Meghan Markle, as I left the house this morning I shut my own front door,” another wrote.
“A princess who still takes the time to shut her car door. Well done Meghan!” tweeted the royal correspondent for the Sun, Emily Andrews, seemingly impressed by the incident.
For one, more frustrated tweeter, widespread news coverage of Meghan’s door-closing capability became too much to handle: “The UK is careering off a Brexit cliff edge and that’s deemed newsworthy!!!!!!”
So did the duchess break protocol? The answer: no.
“In the royal goldfish bowl, everything is noticed,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
“The phrase ‘royal protocol’ means you mustn’t do selfies and autographs and so on. Yes, there are do’s and don’ts, but, in this case, Meghan was just doing her own thing.”
“Meghan is a star in her own right, even before her marriage. She has a mind of her own and does what comes naturally to her,” he said.
“Prince William and Kate, along with Prince Harry and Meghan, are moving the monarchy into the 21st century with small, important changes. Meghan and Harry are inspired by Diana. It’s clear she [Meghan] is making an extraordinary impression.”
“It’s the doors Meghan will be opening in [the] future that we should focus on,” he concluded.
Meghan is not the first royal to shut her own door. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, also has been spotted doing so in the past.
Meghan’s visit to the art exhibition not only involved door closing that went viral but also nose rubbing and forehead touching. The duchess was spotted practicing a traditional Maori greeting known as a “hongi” ahead of her upcoming visit to New Zealand.
Meghan and Harry’s upcoming commonwealth tour begins next month and includes stops in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
Since marrying into the royal family this year, Meghan has been working closely with those affected by last year’s devastating Grenfell Tower fire to create a community cookbook. The book became an instant bestseller on Amazon.com, with all profits going toward the Hubb Community Kitchen.