Every January, the royal family releases a list of gifts they received over the past year, PEOPLE reports, and Markle got one this past November when Prince William took a trip to Finland. The November gift list is two-pages long, and Prince William got 12 presents, including a wristwatch, a bottle of gin, and two fabric gnomes (!!). Meanwhile, Princess Charlotte scored eight presents, including a child's baking set and several books, and the Duchess of Cambridge got a necklace. And Meghan Markle got...an apron.
As in, an apron. Not quite the gift you think of when shopping for a royal-to-be. For one, it definitely has some sexist connotations, like it's sending a message that the Meghan Markle belongs in the kitchen. (Note two-year-old Princess Charlotte's baking set, too, although at least she got books and a hobby horse.) For another, to send the only black and biracial member of the royal family a symbol of servitude while giving everyone else jewelry, books, and candy, is a little, uh, dubious to say the least.
Now, there are definitely some arguments that could be made here. Markle had a lifestyle blog before she became the future Princess Henry of Wales, and obviously food was a big part of that. She loves to cook, even going on the Today show to present a recipe. And, after all, Prince Harry did propose to her while they made a roast chicken.
So maybe whoever gifted her the apron is just making a cheeky reference to her proposal. But honestly, that seems to be the sort of gift you give a close friend, where the intentions would be clear. It's definitely not what you get the incoming member of a foreign royal family. And besides, Markle loves lots of other things besides cooking. Like calligraphy, for instance, which she calls a "lost art form." Or yoga, which she loves to do with her mom. Or books, or traveling, or Michael Bublé, all of which she's written about on her lifestyle—not cooking—blog. A fountain pen, a literal roast chicken, even a Michael Bublé greatest hits album would have sent a better message than an apron.
Here's hoping Meghan Markle's next gift is something more befitting a princess.