The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to announce their pregnancy to family and friends at Princess Eugenie’s wedding has been branded a “faux pas” by Britain’s leading etiquette expert.
Harry and Meghan are reported to have confided in their nearest and dearest after Eugenie married her long term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle on Friday - prompting mixed reactions on social media.
Etiquette expert William Hanson said: “Whether they are royal or not, they committed a faux pas. They did slightly upstage the bride and that is a complete no-no.
"I’m quite surprised as Harry and Eugenie are supposed to be quite close. Perhaps she realised what was going to happen and was relaxed about it on the day but many will think that the timing was off.
“From a strict etiquette point of view, they should not have done it, regardless of the convenience of having all the family under one roof.”
Mr Hanson, who is a tutor for the international protocol and hospitality consultancy firm The English Manner and works with The Ritz, said it would have been better if the couple had spread their baby news at the evening reception rather than at the ceremony at St George’s chapel or immediately afterwards.
However, as the Sunday Telegraph exclusively reported, Harry and Meghan did not attend the black tie dinner at Royal Lodge, the York family home in Windsor Great Park, meaning the couple most likely informed relatives at the earlier champagne reception at St George’s Hall, hosted by the Queen.
Mr Hanson added: “The best worst option would have been to tell everyone in the evening when the main events of the day were over.”
A source close to Eugenie told the Telegraph she was “a little bit upset” that Harry and Meghan could not make the evening reception but she “understood they have got a lot on.”
The couple flew to Sydney late on Saturday afternoon ahead of their 16 day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand, which starts tomorrow (Tuesday).
Meghan’s choice of wedding outfit immediately fuelled pregnancy speculation online after she appeared in a buttoned-up navy blue Givenchy coat - designed to hide a baby bump - and wasted no time in heading straight into the historic 15th century church without stopping to speak to wellwishers.
News that the couple had broken the news at the wedding receive a mixed reaction on Twitter with some accusing them of “poor form” and “thunder stealing” and others congratulating them on the timing.