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Duchess Meghan Celebrates Her First Birthday as a Royal: See All the Rules She’s Broken

Oh, happy day! Duchess Meghan celebrates her first birthday as a member of the British royal family on Saturday, August 4. In honor of her 37th year, Us Weekly is taking a look back at all the rules the former actress has broken since her engagement to Prince Harry.

Related: Duchess Meghan Through the Years

Meghan strayed from tradition right out of the gate, opting not to wear pantyhose when she and Prince Harry announced their engagement in November 2017. From there, her style choices — including her penchant for sleeveless dresses, like the blush confection she wore to the Trooping of the Colour in June — continued to break the mold.

Duchess Meghan First Royal Birthday
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan arrive for her visit to the Nelson Mandela centenary exhibition at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on July 17, 2017. PA Images/

Related: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan: A Timeline of Their Relationship

The Suits alum’s May 19 nuptials to the 33-year-old prince at Windsor Castle had several marked differences from royal weddings of the past, from the speech she gave at the reception to the solo walk she made down the aisle before being joined by father-in-law Prince Charles. The Duchess of Sussex even received her own coat of arms. This honor is typically given to the bride’s father, but Thomas Markle was not part of the festivities because he was recovering from heart surgery.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Making Their Own Rules

The gospel choir that serenaded the bride and groom and Bishop Michael Curry’s lively sermon at the wedding also drew praise from those who saw the moments as modernizing. The lack of kiss from the Buckingham Palace balcony — the ceremony’s location was too far to allow for a trip back — was not as welcome.

Meghan has continued her streak as a royal rulebreaker in the months since she and Harry tied the knot. The newlyweds are known to pack on the PDA, holding hands in public and even stealing a kiss after a charity polo match in July. The duchess — who has shared her political opinions, despite the royal family’s urging against it — gives the same affection to those she meets during her royal outings, and will dole out autographs and hugs on occasion.

Meghan has made the royal experience her own thus far, and she’s bound to bend the rules even more as she settles into her new role.

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