Meet Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Queen of Tact.

This week's Order of the Garter service and procession was the usual entertaining reminder that being royal involves a lot of standing around patiently during nonsensical ceremonies while wearing a whopping great hat, reports

This year, the royals on hand to witness the Queen, Prince William, Charles — and the other 24 members of the order — parade about in vaguely ludicrous outfits during the annual Feather 'n' Gold Extravaganza, made up quite the title salad.

There was Queen Letizia of Spain, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.


The two European Queens were in Old Blighty to watch their respective husbands take part in the parade, Queen Elizabeth having bestowed upon both the royal blokes membership of this highly prestigious chivalrous order.

(I suppose it is tough working out what to get a mate when they have their own armed forces, castles a plenty, and individual Netflix logins.)

However, this year, a video from the event of a very fleeting incident involving one Queen and two Duchesses has surfaced and it has accidentally revealed the blatant double standard that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, faces.

In the brief clip, the group of women are standing under the Galilee portico watching the procession. Queen Letizia is seen chatting to Sophie, Countess of Wessex to Camilla's left.

To Camilla's right, Queen Maxima is having a chinwag with Kate. Camilla can be seen gently poking Maxima to get her to stop talking and for her and Kate to face forward to watch the parade.

It is essentially the exact same scenario that played out between Meghan and Prince Harry during the Trooping the Colour earlier this month. Yet the reaction to these momentary, very minor incidents could not be further apart.

Camilla can be seen gently poking Maxima to get her to stop talking. Photo / Supplied
Camilla can be seen gently poking Maxima to get her to stop talking. Photo / Supplied

As has been widely reported, during the June 8 military parade held in honour of the Queen's birthday, Harry was seen telling Meghan to stop speaking to someone behind her on the Buckingham Palace balcony and to "turn around".

Meghan faced nearly immediate global criticism for her alleged gaffe, with much of the coverage suggesting she had deeply erred in her royal duty. Her TERRIBLE behaviour, critics crowed, was proof that the former actor just wasn't royal material.


"Look at her being so disrespectful to the Queen!" they clucked. "The HORROR!" they moaned while clutching their dog-eared copy of Burke's Peerage and a fortified sherry.

(It must be noted that everyone gossips on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Go back and watch YouTube videos from previous years and you will see that Prince Charles spends much of the time cheerfully nattering away, however — tellingly — he has never been castigated by the media.)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the Order of the Garter Service. Photo / Getty Images
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the Order of the Garter Service. Photo / Getty Images

Yet the contrast between the public reaction to Meghan's palace balcony moment and this week's Order of the Garter episode could not be more telling.

There have been zero, as far as I can tell, reports criticising Kate or calling out Maxima for having the temerity to talk among themselves rather than earnestly watching a bunch of middle-aged men march around in co-ordinating purple robes.

Meghan's minor boo-boo however, was covered and debated with the sort of consternation and outrage usually reserved for Middle East peace negotiations or Marvel remakes.

I can guarantee that if the Order of the Garter situation had played out exactly the same way but if Meghan was the person Camilla had poked, she would currently be enjoying a thoroughly public excoriation.

What all of this clearly illustrates is that there seems to be a standard that applies to Meghan and then another for all non-American, former Deal or No Deal stars who have titles.

It is impossible to not wonder what Meghan must be making of this as she watches and re-watches (I'm guessing) the video of this cursory Garter procession interaction while she reclines on her off-white perfect linen sofa at Frogmore Cottage, Diptyque candle burning softly nearby, a pot of fresh green tea steeping.

At least it must be reassuring for her to know that no royal, no matter how huge their tiara, is perfect, not even a Queen.