If you were one of the few million people who watched Meghan Markle’s wedding in May, you might have noticed that she didn’t have any adult bridesmaids. Per royal tradition, royal brides aren’t allowed to have adult bridesmaids, which is why, instead of celebrity friends like Serena Williams, Markle’s bridal party consisted of children, like her sister-in-law Kate Middleton’s daughter Princess Charlotte.
But what about the opposite situation? Markle might not be allowed to have bridesmaids, but is she allowed to be one? That question was raised recently when news broke that Markle’s close friend Priyanka Chopra is engaged to Nick Jonas. (In case you didn’t know, Markle and Chopra became fast friends after meeting at Elle’s Women in Television Dinner in 2016. They’ve seen seen Hamilton together! So you know their friendship is serious.)
But is their friendship serious enough for Markle to be one of Chopra’s bridesmaids or even her maid of honor? According to royals expert Omid Scobie, there is no rule preventing royals from being a bridesmaid at a non-royal’s wedding. But that doesn’t mean that it happens often. Per Scobie, the scenario is highly unlikely, as it is against tradition for a royal to walk behind a commoner, which would happen Markle was Chopra’s bridesmaid.
“There is no protocol that dictates whether an adult female member of the British Royal Family can take on the role of a bridesmaid or maid of honour at a non-royal’s wedding,” Scobie told Cosmopolitan U.K. “However, it is an unlikely scenario for one simple reason: A female royal would not be expected to walk behind a ‘commoner.'”
Scobie cites Pippa Middleton’s wedding in 2017 as an example of the tradition. Though Pippa was the maid of honor at Duchess Kate’s wedding in 2011 (which also broke tradition, but that’s a discussion for another time), when it came time for Pippa’s wedding, Kate was noticeably missing from the bridal party and instead, read a prayer.
There you have it: Though it’s not impossible for Markle to be a bridesmaid at Chopra’s wedding, it’s unlikely, lest the Duchess of Sussex breaks a serious royal tradition. But, hey, Markle has been known to go against royal rules before, so what’s another broken tradition?