Meghan Markle breaks royal rule at summer garden party

Meghan Markle is on her first overseas trip with Prince Harry to Ireland and while the Duchess looked stunning in a black, Emilia Wickstead fitted dress, it seems that the 36-year-old has broken royal protocol once again.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at a summer garden party in Dublin, hosted by Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett.

The former Suits actress went against royal protocol by wearing black for the occasion, a colour the Queen and Kate Middleton usually only wear for sombre affairs.

The evening event held at Glencairn House boasted a 300-strong guest list and Prince Harry took to the stage to give a touching speech.

The Duchess of Sussex made her third outfit change of the day and donned a chic sleeveless dress for a summer garden party in Dublin. Photo: Getty Images

According to royal reporter, Rebecca English, the 33-year-old said: “We’re so pleased to be here for our first official international visit together as a married couple and we hope it will be the first of many.”

Earlier today, the royal couple touched down in Dublin via private jet for their first overseas engagement as newlyweds and were greeted by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, at Dublin’s Goverment Buildings.

And it’s been a busy day for the royals, who attended the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in London before packing their bags for Ireland.

For this evening’s engagement, the Duchess of Sussex made her third outfit change of the day and swapped her forest green Givenchy co-ord for a seriously chic sleeveless black dress by Emilia Wickstead. 

But her latest sartorial move is admittedly surprising, as the New Zealand-born designer, whose pieces are regularly worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, reportedly criticised Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown.

According to reports, she claimed the now-famous dress was “quite loose” when the fit should have been “perfect”.

Meghan Markle wore black for the occasion, a colour which the royal family usually reserves for sombre events. Photo: Getty Images
The Duke of Sussex gave a touching speech at the summer garden party. Photo: Getty Images

In response to allegations that the 34-year-old criticised Clare Weight Keller’s bridal design, Wickstead took to Instagram to deny the rumours: “I am extremely saddened by the commentary that has appeared in the press and on-line over the past few days.”

“Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day and I have the utmost admiration and respect for her.

“I do not think that her wedding dress was a copy of any of our designs. I have the greatest respect for Clare Waight Keller and the House of Givenchy – a huge source of inspiration to me.

“I wish Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a wonderful, happy and love filled life together. Emilia.”

Over on the accessories front, Meghan traded in her protocol-breaking $850 Strathberry midi tote for a $2,500 satin Givenchy clutch (yes, eagle-eyed fans will recognise the number from her Royal Ascot debut).

To finish the summer-ready aesthetic, she took sartorial cues from the Duchess of Cambridge and recycled the $870 Aquazzura shoes she wore for the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards.

For a touch of ‘Markle Sparkle’, she showcased loose curls (after having worn her locks in a slick side bun throughout the day) and donned earrings by her go-to Canadian jeweller, Birks.

Despite the couple’s whistle-stop visit, they have a series of engagements lined up over the next 48 hours. Tomorrow, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to visit a Gaelic sports festival at Croke Park before taking a tour of the famous Trinity College.

Harry and Meghan will also pay a visit to DogPatch Labs – a co-working space for tech start-ups – during their flying visit.

According to Kensington Palace, the couple “are looking forward to learning more about Ireland’s history and experiencing its rich culture, as well as meeting the people who are shaping the country’s future.”

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