'Disrespecting' the Queen: Photo of Meghan sparks outrage
PEOPLE on social media have slammed the newest royal, Meghan Markle, for "breaking" royal protocol at an event hosted by the Queen.
While posing for a photo at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards at Buckingham Palace, the Duchess of Sussex crossed her legs as she sat next to her husband, Prince Harry and the Queen.
Instagram users expressed outrage at the "disrespectful" way Meghan is sitting.
"Duchess of Sussex has her legs crossed wrong. What a disrespect to the queen. All royal ladies cross at the ankles or put both legs off to the side," one Royal Watcher wrote on Facebook.
"She's still in training. They should be crossed and slanted at the ankles not over. I've never seen Duchess Catherine with her legs crossed over," an Instagram user added.
However, fans of Meghan promptly hit back.
"The bottom line is this: Legs crossed or uncrossed, The Duchess of Sussex looked simply gorgeous and perfectly regal today," an Instagram user commented.
While on Facebook, Gen Dye wrote: "There isn't a mandatory way for them to cross their legs but there is a better way to cross them so that the evil paparazzi don't get an awkward picture."
Other social media users pointed out something much "more important" than how the Duchess was sitting - the diversity of the people in the photo.
"It's sad when some of you feel the need to criticise and/or point the way Megan has her legs crossed instead of focusing on what this event is about," another said.
"Kudos to the UK for embracing diversity in this photo. That's more important than how the Duchess sat," the Instagram user wrote.
Although female royal family members tend to adopt the "duchess slant" when seated (knees and ankles together, knees slanted to one side), Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Diana have also been pictured crossing their legs.
"Typically the 'Duchess slant' is used when a lady has to sit for an extended amount of time while keeping poise and posture," etiquette expert Myka Meier told GoodHousekeeping.com.
Meanwhile, two exceptional young Australians were recognised by Queen Elizabeth at the awards for their leadership and work within the community.
Hunter Johnson, 26, of Melbourne, and Caitlin Figueiredo, 22, of Canberra, received Queen's Young Leader Awards from Her Majesty at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The pair was also able to meet Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, as young leaders from across the Commonwealth were honoured for their outstanding leadership within the community.
Mr Johnson co-founded The Man Cave, which works with boys and young men by providing programs which explore healthy masculinity, respectful relationships and men's role in gender equality. He works to end the stigma around mental health and reduce domestic violence.
He is aiming to introduce a Man Cave curriculum to every school in Australia in an effort to reduce suicide rates in young men and develop respectful relationship skills. He had earlier co-founded Kids in Philanthropy (KiP), which aims to develop empathy and the culture of giving among children, by encouraging them to raise money for other youngsters in need.
Ms Figueiredo works to improve opportunities for women and young people.
At 19 years of age, she founded World Vision's youth organisation VGen ACT, and co-founded the Peshawar School for Peace, which encourages peace-building and provides education and gender-inclusive career opportunities for 300 women and girls.
Ms Figueiredo has spoken to governments and at the United Nations about bullying and ending violence on children, and organised the world's largest Girls Takeover Program with the Australian federal Parliament to increase female representation and leadership.
In 2016 she became the CEO of Lake Nite Learning, a social enterprise specialising in helping young people improve their skills to gain employment and become community leaders.
The Queen's Young Leaders Program, now in its fourth and final year, identified 60 young leaders a year from across the Commonwealth, in honour of the Queen's 60 years on the throne during her Diamond Jubilee year in 2012.
The 240 young leaders will now be supported to continue their efforts at introducing change and tackling issues such as mental health, equality, climate change and reducing poverty.
Guests at the function at Buckingham Palace included the chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Sir John Major, and the football star David Beckham.
Prince Harry, who in April was named by the Queen as a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, will be joined by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, of a tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in October this year.
The young leaders have spent the past week in the UK undergoing training and mentoring, meeting the Prime Minister Theresa May, attending workshops at the University of Cambridge and visiting the UK headquarters of organisations including Facebook and the BBC World Service.