On Saturday, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton attended the Ladies' Singles Final at Wimbledon, where they watched Markle's pal Serena Williams, sadly, lose her match to German player Angelique Kerber. For their day at the All-England Club, the two duchesses dressed in chic summer ensembles: Middleton in a black and white polka dot Jenny Packham dress, and Markle in a blue and white striped Ralph Lauren oxford tucked into crisp white palazzo pants. In her hand, Markle carried a white straw hat by Maison Michel that looked a lot like the one she wore to Wimbledon back in 2016 — but this time around, she wasn't allowed to actually put the hat on her head.
As The Sun reports, Markle was forced to keep her hat in hand the entire match, rather than using it to block out the blazing London sun, in order to abide by royal protocol. Attendees who sit in the Royal Box are reportedly required to "dress smartly," which means suits and ties for men and, apparently, no hats allowed, so as not to block anyone's view. Since Markle was presumably made aware of the dress code ahead of time, perhaps she chose to carry the hat with her as something of a good luck charm, since the last time she wore it to a tennis match, while sitting in the players' box in 2016, Serena Williams ended up taking home the trophy.
Though Markle has been known to push the boundaries of royal fashion rules before — see: the off-white nail color she sported during her recent solo trip with the queen, and her off-the-shoulder gown at June's Trooping the Colour celebration — she seems to have deemed wearing the stylish hat not worth the drama of breaking yet another bit of royal protocol. Plus, this way, her perfectly imperfect messy bun was able to stay on full display.
Here she is wearing the hat in 2016, mere weeks before meeting Prince Harry and embarking on her journey from American Suits star to British royal.
And here she is sans hat in 2018, gabbing with her newly minted sister-in-law.