Everyone knows Meghan Markle isn’t the best when it comes to royal traditions, from her love for messy buns to the time she took a selfie with a fan. And though, in recent months, the Duchess of Sussex has become better at following the rules, she still has her tradition-breaking moments, as seen by her recent not-so-royal nails.
The 37-year-old mom-to-be made an unannounced appearance at the British Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where she wore a black one-shoulder dress and a tight, not-messy bun. But it wasn’t Markle speech about the correlation between fashion and feminism that got royal traditionalists talking—it was her nails. For the occasion, Markle sported black nail polish on both of her hands. For anyone else, the color wouldn’t seem out-of-the-ordinary. But for Markle, black nail polish—or any non-natural-looking nail polish color, for that matter—is a huge no-no.
As seen in the nails of royals like Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth II, who favor more delicate and translucent nail shades (such as pale pinks and nudes), natural-looking nail polish colors are preferred for royal women. Though not an official rule, it’s known that Queen Elizabeth finds bold and colorful nail polishes distracting, which is why royals are often seen in nude shades, especially for royal engagements.
This isn’t the first time Markle has broken royal tradition with her nails. In June, the duchess was seen in white nail polish on a royal engagement in Cheshire with Queen Elizabeth II. In July, she was seen with a bright pink manicure at an event in London with her husband, Prince Harry. Though it’s debatable that Markle broke royal tradition with her previous nail colors, there’s no doubt that her black nails on Monday went against the Queen’s number-one beauty rule.
But hey, Markle wouldn’t be the duchess we know and love if it wasn’t for her rules-breaking ways.