Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle went to her first Trooping the Colour on Saturday, which meant she also made her debut appearance on Buckingham Palace's iconic balcony. Her cameo made quite a few headlines for containing some adorable moments—from appearing to ask Prince Harry whether she should curtsy to reportedly whispering that she was "nervous" (who wouldn't be?)—but here's one small detail that viewers may have missed. On the balcony, Markle stood slightly behind her sister-in-law, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, and People has some ideas why.
Joe Little, the managing editor of royal-centric British magazine Majesty, told People that the standing arrangement of the duchesses was all because of a hierarchy involving Prince William and Prince Harry. “She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order,” he said. “There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife.”
“[Meghan] was still in a good position,” Little added. “She was central rather than the alternative of being in the front row and along the balcony to the left or right.” Incidentally, that's where Middleton stood during her own Trooping the Colour debut, in 2011, People reported. As pictures from seven years ago show, the duchess stood to the far right of the balcony (or, from the audience's point of view, to the far left), in front of Prince William and to his right.
While the "pecking order" theory makes sense, a palace source told People that wasn't the case, at least not for Trooping the Colour 2018. The source said Markle's position “would have come from her." "There’s no one laying this out, telling her where to stand," the source told People. "And there were a lot of kids who everyone would want at the front.” Guess we'll never truly know the logic behind the arrangement, but at least we can take solace in the fact that there will be many more royal balcony appearances to come.