By Alexandra Whittaker
Jun 14, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

While Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth seemed to have a very professional Prince Harry-free outing Thursday, they did hit a hilariously awkward snag when it came to car etiquette and who should enter the vehicle first. Naturally, they laughed it off and continued about their business, but the reason behind the confusion might not have been as light and jovial.

Samir Hussein

InStyle reached out to the etiquette experts at The English Manner to learn more about what might have happened there, and, well, it really was strange compared to normal royal protocol ... and could be related to security and terrorism concerns.

"Usually the car would draw up curbside for the monarch to step out and be escorted, with whoever was with her getting out of the other side and going around the car," said The English Manner Chief Executive Alexandra Messervy.

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"Nowadays with terror attacks and security so prevalent, it may be that it was deemed less safe for the duchess to go around to her side, in which case it would be right for her to precede [Queen Elizabeth] and get in first, as the queen certainly would not expect to clamber over the seats to the other side, and would always be curbside to depart."

Regardless of whether or not security concerns were behind the fumble, it still admittedly looked odd to have royals not know their cues for once.

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"It does seem strange though, as normally the duchess would have been escorted around to her side of the limo and the door opened for her whilst [the queen] got in to her side, and they then drive away," Messervy added.

While we'll probably never truly know if the confusion stemmed from security changes or simple forgetfulness, at least we know that Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle thankfully stayed safe throughout their royal visit.