By Alicia Brunker
Dec 30, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

The British royal family has a strict rule book when it comes to fashion, traditions, and simple everyday activities that the average commoner takes for granted, such as shutting a car door. Unless you're an avid watcher of The Crown, or are an etiquette expert, royal protocol can be pretty confusing — even Queen Elizabeth hasn't memorized every guideline. 

And this year saw the induction of a new family member, Meghan Markle, aka the Duchess of Sussex, who was expected to follow the royal's longstanding protocol when she married Prince Harry back in May. In her new role, Meghan made several mistakes along the way, however, she wasn't the only one. In honor of the New Year, scroll below for all the palace rules that were broken in 2018. 

Anwar Hussein/WireImage

When Meghan Gave a Fan a Hug

Innocent enough, right? Yes, however, it's against protocol for British royals to give out hugs for safety reasons. But when Meghan met a 10-year-old girl who told her she wanted to be an actress during an event in Birmingham, the duchess couldn't help but give her a huge embrace. Meghan has actually broken this rule a few other times this year after the Birmingham incident, which may or may not be an accident.  Can you blame her? 

When Prince Harry Took a Selfie

During Meghan and Harry's first royal tour, Harry was the one who bucked tradition and took a photo with 6-year-old Otia Nante, who also lost his mother at a young age. Clearly, the future father was touched by Nante's story, causing him to make an exception to the rule. The no-selfie rule was initially created so people would maintain eye contact with the royals at all times, rather than turn their backs to them (another huge breech of protocol) while posing for a selfie. 

When Prince George and Prince Charlotte Opened Presents on Christmas Day

As young as they are, even little Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 3, have broken royal tradition. This Christmas, their mother Kate Middleton let it slip that the children were "up very early" opening presents from Santa on the morning of Dec. 25. While it may seem normal for kids to want to unwrap their gifts underneath the tree on Christmas Day, the royal family exchanges presents the night before due to the Queen's German descent.  

When Meghan Didn't Know If She or Queen Elizabeth Should Get in the Car First

During their first-ever joint royal appearance, Meghan and Queen Elizabeth suffered a minor faux pas when getting into the car to leave the event in Chester. Both women paused, with the queen reportedly, telling Meghan, "You go first." It seems as if even the queen had to ponder the appropriate etiquette and came up with a new rule quick on her feet. The entire awkward exchange was caught on camera. 

VIDEO: The Queen and Meghan Markle Don't Know Who Gets in the Car First

When Meghan Shut Her Own Car Door

Apparently, Meghan and cars don't mix — at least in the royal universe. In September, Markle went to her first solo royal event and shut the car door when she exited the vehicle (gasp!). Needless to say, the internet went wild at the duchess's down-to-earth behavior. But in the process of acting like a completely normal human being, Meghan went against protocol, as royals typically have staff open and close doors for them.  

When the Entire Cambridge Clan Rode in the Same Car

Again, royal guidelines are not so cut and dry when it comes to transportation, leaving Kate Middleton, Prince William, and their children in breech of protocol on the way to the queen’s pre-Christmas lunch. While all the Cambridges gathered in a car together made for a sweet family moment, Prince William, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte are not supposed to travel together in case of an accident, as they're all heirs to the throne. 

When Meghan Wore Dark Nail Polish

Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards earlier this month to present Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller, the designer of her wedding dress, with the Womenswear Designer of the Year award. She complemented her black velvet Givenchy dress with a glossy dark manicure. Back in 2017, OK! magazine reported that it was inappropriate for royal women to wear any non-nude color on the nails — a rule Meghan seemed to be following up until that evening. 

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When Meghan Bared Her Shoulders at Trooping the Colour

For her first Trooping the Colour, Meghan stepped out in a blush Carolina Herrera dress that not only displayed her shoulders, but also her arms. It's reported that royal women tend to steer clear of anything sleeveless, which is probably why Kate went the more conservative route in an icy blue Alexander McQueen number with three-quarter sleeves.