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After Meghan Markle closed her own car door – proof Royal Family members have been fending for themselves for years

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The Royal Family have been fending for themselves for years – and here is the solid proof (Picture: Rex – Getty – WireImage)

Meghan Markle closing her car door this week shocked the nation.

Could it really be that a duchess actually stepped out of her chauffeur-driven car and was forced to use her bicep muscles to push her car door shut?

Her protection officer had opened the car door for her initially but stepped back to give her room while she was greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London Sir Kenneth Olisa for her first solo engagement. Given the fact her protection officer was no longer by her side, Meghan didnt think twice about dutifully closing the door for herself.

Meghan Markle closes the door of her car and immediately causes a nationwide debate (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

And so she should. After all, its closing a car door.

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But the furore among some royal fans was instantaneous – why did Meghan close her car door? Why did her protection officer not jump to close it for her? Had she broken royal protocol? Was she ignoring royal protocol to show the world she is an independent, strong woman? Whatever next?

The fact of the matter is Meghan had not broken royal protocol – there are no royal rules stating one cannot close a car door, despite what some royal fans seem to believe.

Historian Ted Powell says the only reason royal protection officers usually open and close car doors for their subjects is to do everything necessary for the safety and security of the Royal Family. It is not a formal protocol rule.

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Despite the apparent belief that actions such as closing doors are too taxing for royals, the shocking truth is: members of the Royal Family have been fending for themselves for years. And its not just shutting car doors either. Its holding umbrellas, carrying bags and even driving themselves around too.

Dont believe us? Heres the proof…

They close car doors…

This is what were used to seeing – royal aides holding doors open for members of the Royal Family.

Kate is used to having her door opened for her (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Why close a car door if you have someone to do it for you? (Picture: TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

But now Meghan has started a new trend. Or has she?

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Not quite. Firstly, Tuesday night wasnt actually the first time Meghan had closed her own car door.

On Thursday 20 September, Meghan invited members of the Grenfell Tower community to Kensington Palace for the Together cookbook launch. As she arrived at the Palace with Prince Harry and her mother, Doria Ragland, Meghan stepped out of her car and, lo and behold, closed her own car door.

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Added to which, Wills and Kate have both been spotted opened and closing their car doors themselves a few times over the years.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge get into Prince Williams new Audi A7 car after Prince William and Prince Harry played in the Audi Polo Challenge charity polo match at Coworth Park Polo Club on May 13, 2012 (Picture: Indigo/Getty Images)

Wait, is that Kate closing the door of Prince Williams Audi A5 car at a Polo game in 2009? (Picture: Getty Images)

Prince Harry famously opened his car door for new wife Meghan Markle on their wedding day as they headed off for their evening reception, too.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex helps his new bride the Duchess of Sussex into the car as they leave Windsor Castle after their wedding (Picture: Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Why the furore?

Historian and author Ted Powell explains why there has been such a furore surrounding Meghans car door antics.

The question of whether Meghan was right or wrong to close her own car door might seem trivial. She is not the first royal to have flouted royal etiquette and its always something royals have struggled with.

Shortly before Edward VIII became King he famously decided to walk the two minutes from Buckingham Palace to the Duchy of Cornwalls offices rather than calling for a car. It started to rain and he put up his umbrella. Inevitably he was photographed doing so and then widely criticised for being caught in the shockingly informal pose of carrying his own umbrella.

The more serious issue underlying this is about the way the Duchess is somehow being disempowered as a member of the royal family. Before she became the Duchess of Sussex we saw Meghan Markle as a modern and empowered woman. The undercurrent here is that now she is a member of the royal family she is very constrained by the role. She is losing the natural force of her personality. If she were a man this would be seen as a form of emasculation. She is no longer able to do the simplest things for herself.

While Meghan is taking time to adjust to her role she is also making important statements in the activities she is pursuing. Maybe she will reinvent royal protocol and silly observations about whether she closes her own car door will fall away.

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They hold their umbrellas…

Even the Queen isnt exempt from this whole fending for oneself lark – shes often seen holding her own umbrella.

Queen Elizabeth II holds an umbrella during a rain shower as she visits Cyfarthfa High School and Castle in Merthyr, Wales in 2012 (Picture: Chris Jackson WPA – Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen doesnt look quite as thrilled about holding her umbrella as she opens Birmingham New Street Station in November 2015 (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 25: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II shelters under an umbrella as attends the opening of the newly developed Jubilee Gardens on October 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II shelters under an umbrella as attends the opening of the newly developed Jubilee Gardens on October 25, 2012 (Picture: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II looks remarkably at ease holding her own umbrella, doesnt she? (Picture: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Even when her umbrella is down and its not raining, the Queen still carries around her umbrella. And everyone knows what a pain carrying a closed umbrella around can be.

Queen Elizabeth II carries her closed umbrella during a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 16, 2017 (Picture: Victoria Jones – WPA Pool /Getty Images)

In fact, the Queen Mother was often seen shielding herself from the rain, too.

The Queen Mother holds her own umbrella at an event in August 1992 (Picture: UK Press/Getty Images)

Here, the Queen Mother is seen holding her umbrella again at Ascot (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Good enough for the royals… but not Rafael

Isnt it ironic that while the Royal Family arent too posh to hold an umbrella, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal does require a ball girl shielding him from the rain? (Picture: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Prince Philip has also been seen shielding himself and the Queen from the odd shower in times gone past.

Queen Elizabeth II is shielded by Prince Philips umbrella during an official visit to Hungary in 1993 (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

And Prince Charles is no stranger to umbrella-holding, either.

Prince Charles hides from the rain at Ascot in 2015 (Picture: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images for Ascot)

In fact, it seems holding your own umbrella is fairly standard practice in royal circles, as Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry will testify.

Kate, William and Harry pictured in the Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace gardens, which was transformed into a White Garden dedicated in the memory of Princess Diana in 2017 (Picture: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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They carry their own bags…

Occasionally, royals are seen carrying their own baggage, too. While those that found Meghan having to close her own car door shocking might also find this a head-turner, Harrys been doing it since he was a child.

Prince Harry carries a kit bag after competing the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club Charity Cup at the Beaufort Polo Club on June 16, 2013 – did he not have an aide to do that? (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

A six-year-old Prince Harry carries his suitcase off his airplane as he arrives at Aberdeen Airport in the Summer Holidays in August 1991 (Picture: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

This is more like it.

The assistant to Kates Private Secretary Sophie Agnew and the Duchess of Cambridges PA and Stylist Natasha Archer carry items of luggage as they arrives at Tezpur Airport in April 2016 in Assam, India, where the Duke and Duchess were on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan.

Kate knows how to carry baggage (Picture: Dominic Lipinski – Pool/Getty Images)

They open doors…

The Queen and Prince Philip might have still had the door opened for them, but it was Prince William who was doing the manual labour.

William and his grandparents were having a tour as they opened the East Anglian Air Ambulance Base at Cambridge Airport in July 2016 and during the tour, William was seen holding open the door for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

All of this fuss over Meghans car door-closing is starting to seem overzealous, no?

Prince William opens the door for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (Picture: Danny Martindale/WireImage)

Prince William was opening doors long before Meghan was (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

And Prince Harry is getting in on the act too, here opening a door at an engagement earlier this month.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex holds open the door for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they depart the “100 Days of Peace” concert to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War at Central Hall Westminster on September 6, 2018 (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

They hold their own drinks…

Yep – as well as closing car doors, the royals even hold their own drinks, as Kate proves here holding her own mug of tea.

Kate drinks tea during a visit to the Robin Hood Primary School to celebrate ten years of The Royal Horticultural Society campaign for school gardening in November 2017 (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

They even wipe their own faces…

No, the Royal Family do not have assistants who follow them around wiping their faces if they spot beads of sweat.

Harry wipes his face after a live-firing exercise with the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp on March 7 2012 (Picture: John Stillwell – Pool/Getty Images)

Harry wipes his face ahead of the Prizegiving at Cirencester Park Polo Club (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

They drive themselves around…

For those that think a royal cant even close a door, what about driving?

Monarchy fans will know the Royal Family love a jolly good drive – with the Queen regularly spotted driving her Range Rover around her estates.

Prince William drives himself and Kate Middleton from Buckingham Palace on their wedding day (Picture: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Queen Elizabeth Ll Driving Her Range Rover Four Wheel Drive Car To Watch Her Husband Competing In The Cross Country Section Of The International Carriage Driving Grand Prix Championships At The Royal Windsor Horse Show. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth drives her Range Rover Four Wheel Drive car at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Picture: Tim Graham/Getty Images)

They cook…

The royal households do come with dedicated chefs but even Prince William cooked his own dinners while studying at Eton College during his boarding school days.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 17: Prince William Cooking Chicken Paella During His Boarding School Days At Eton College (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

Prince William busies himself in the kitchen cooking chicken Paella at Eton College (Picture: Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

They clean their own glasses…

What the Queen does or says goes. It just does. So if the Queen can stop in her tracks and clean her own glasses without having the need to call one of her aides to assist, were guessing the Royal Family members can be as independent as they wish.

Queen Elizabeth II cleans her glasses as she watches one of her horses compete in the Small Riding Horse class during day 2 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2010 (Picture: Indigo/Getty Images)

Here she is again cleaning her glasses at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2013 (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

You see – theyre just like us really. Keep closing those doors, Meg.

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew to Amsterdam for secret weekend partying with Eddie Redmayne and Jenna Coleman

MORE: What will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle do on Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga tour?

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