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.

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"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.

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"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.