This is why Meghan Markle has stopped wearing cross body bags

(Image credit: 2018 Mark Cuthbert)

If you cast your mind back to when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just got engaged, she used to wear a lot of crossbody bags, like this £171 Oroton bag or this Strathberry tote, however, since getting married and becoming the Duchess of Sussex, eagle-eyed fans have noticed that she's stopped wearing them.

For the past few royal outings, the Duchess has been carrying a clutch bag, or nothing at all, and it's for the same reason Kate Middleton always carries a clutch bag.

Royal expert Penny Junor told Harper's Bazaar, ‘I suspect that when Meghan was an actress and not a member of royalty, she kept money, make-up, and the kitchen sink in her cross-body bags – as we all do. Now that she is a duchess, she doesn’t need anything more useful than lipstick, and possibly her phone.’

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Edinburgh Castle during their first official joint visit to Scotland on February 13, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Karwai Tang/ WireImage)

However, there may be another reason for this. According to etiquette expert William Hanson, the reason Kate, and perhaps Meghan, carries a bag is that it avoids awkward hand shaking situations.

meghan markle coats

Rupert Hartley/REX/Shutterstock

At the time, he said, ‘It is protocol that you do not extend your hand to any member of the royal family (blood royal or those who have married in to the family) unless their hand extends first.’

And actually, since the Royal wedding, Meghan hasn't been on as many meet-and-greet events, which required her to have her hands free to shake hands with royal fans and accept gifts.

So there you have it.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.