Meghan Markle is being shamed for her shoulders -- but history says she shouldn't be 

Markle Markle was accused of “breaking royal protocol” by showing off her shoulders at a royal event on Saturday — but there’s nothing unusual about the Duchess’ look.

Fresh off a two-week honeymoon to an unknown location with husband Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex joined the royal family for the annual Trooping of the Colour ceremony wearing a light pink Carolina Herrera dress with a matching Philip Treacy hat. The 36-year-old looked positively classy. However, online critics slammed the new bride for baring her shoulders, calling her dress “inappropriate,” “sexy,” and “revealing.”

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Meghan Markle at the Trouping the Colour ceremony
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Meghan Markle at the Trouping the Colour ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping The Colour, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
(left to right) Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips and wife Autumn with their children Savannah (right) and Isla, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips, Autumn Phillips, Isla Phillips and Savannah Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips, Autumn Phillips, Isla Phillips and Savannah Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at Buckingham Palace, central London from Horse Guards Parade, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex attend Trooping The Colour 2018 at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
The Duchess of Sussex arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London from Horse Guards Parade, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave Buckingham Palace, central London on their way to Horse Guards Parade, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
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“She looked like she was going to a cocktail party rather than the formality of the Queen’s birthday parade,” sniffed a former palace aid to the Daily Mail.

However, Markle’s show of skin was totally acceptable — and history proves it.

While Trooping the Colour is a formal daytime event honoring the Queen’s birthday, showing skin isn’t unheard of. For the 1987 ceremony, Diana, Princess of Wales’ white jacket had a plunging neckline and in 2011, Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s pink top revealed a wide expanse of décolletage.

On other occasions, Diana favored dresses in a variety of one-shoulder, spaghetti strap, or tank styles, wearing them proudly to royal functions.

The Queen dressed just as boldly. To greet actor Rock Hudson at the Royal Film Performance in 1952, she wore a black strapless dress; during a 1954 royal tour of Australia she wore a green dress with flowy, sheer sleeves; and for an official portrait shot in 1958 at Buckingham Palace, she posed in a white, embroidered one-shoulder gown.

So why is Markle getting heat for staying within royal guidelines? Let’s start with the media. “During the earlier reign of The Queen, the press was more respectful and deferred to the royal press office when deciding what to cover,” royal expert Kelly Lynch, managing editor of Dailybreak, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “However in the 1960s and 70s, the public’s relationship with the monarchy changed — people saw them as more archaic — and so, the palace became more media-friendly.”

The monarchy’s growing accessibility invited more public critique. Today, the press is aggressive in its pursuit of the royals and social media invites diverse opinions. So when Markle, who is new to the royal culture, looks fashion-forward — while standing alongside her traditional, buttoned-up sister-in-law Kate Middleton — her shoulders become a news story.

“Meghan is easier to target because she’s still learning the ropes,” says Lynch. “When Kate joined the family, she was equally criticized for her ‘commoner’ look and shorter hemlines.”

26 PHOTOS
2018 Trooping the Colour ceremony
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2018 Trooping the Colour ceremony
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Queen Elizabeth II smiles at Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during Trooping The Colour ceremony at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Queen Elizabeth II during Trooping The Colour ceremony at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Atmosphere at Trooping The Colour 2018 at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Lady Louise Windsor during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham palace during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Countess of Wessex (hidden) and Princess Eugenie leave Buckingham Palace, central London on their way to Horse Guards Parade, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II, waves to the crowds as she in rides in a carriage as it makes its way up The Mall from Buckingham Palace, central London to Horse Guards Parade, ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, to celebrate her official birthday. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Atmosphere at Trooping The Colour 2018 at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Members of the queen's personal troops, the Household Division during Trooping The Colour ceremony at The Royal Horseguards on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Princess Anne, Princess Royal arrive at The Royal Horseguards during Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Coldstream Guards soldier Charanpreet Singh Lall the first to wear a turban during the ceremony at The Royal Horseguards during Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Queen Elizabeth II arrives at The Royal Horseguards during Trooping The Colour ceremony on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
RAF Red Arrows during a flypast over Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Members of the Household Cavalry during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, central London, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Spectators during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, central London, as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge head back along the Mall to Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive at Buckingham Palace, central London from Horse Guards Parade, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
(left to right) Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge heads back along the Mall to Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
(left to right) Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips and wife Autumn with their children Savannah (right) and Isla, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
(left to right) The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Savannah Phillips, Prince George of Cambridge and Isla Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Savannah Phillips, Prince George of Cambridge and Isla Phillips watch the flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
(left to right) Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess of Sussex, Prince of Wales, Duke of Sussex, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince George and Savannah Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Savannah Phillips, Prince George of Cambridge and Isla Phillips watch the flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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The notion that Markle is disrupting royal tradition is unfair, says Lynch. “Meghan is likely more worried about where to stand on the balcony, when to curtsy to the Queen, and not screw up royal events,” she points out. “To believe that Meghan deliberately chose a particular dress knowing it would disrespect the Queen is ridiculous.”

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