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We love Meghan Markle for her low-key—yet chic—style, humanitarian efforts and penchant for rocking a messy bun. But the real reason the future duchess stole our (and probably Prince Harry’s) heart? She isn’t afraid to shake up the royal family’s strict protocol. Here, 12 ways that Meghan is creating her own set of royal rules.

RELATED: 21 of the Most Ridiculously Strict Rules the Royal Family Must Follow

Meghan Markle holding hands with Prince Harry
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images    

She’s Not Afraid of a Little PDA

Yep, the happy couple has been photographed holding hands, hugging and even kissing. And while there’s no formal rule that forbids members of the royal family from doing so, Queen Elizabeth II has set a precedent that encourages royals to keep public displays of affection to a minimum. Guess these two lovebirds just can’t help themselves.

RELATED: The One Reason Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Can Hold Hands in Public but Kate Middleton & Prince William Can’t

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry engagement shoot
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

She Ignores the Pantyhose Policy

Meghan ditched the tights for her engagement shoot—apparently an unspoken rule in the royal family.

Meghan Markle and the Queen
BRAD BARKET/GETTY IMAGES & SAMIR HUSSEIN/GETTY IMAGES

She Spent Christmas with Her Majesty

The future royal was the first fiancée to spend Christmas with the queen at her Sandringham estate. (Even Meghan’s soon-to-be sister-in-law Kate Middleton didn’t receive this honor when she was engaged to Prince William.)

Meghan Markle wearing all black outfit
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images  

She Dresses in Head-to-Toe Black

This dark hue is normally reserved for more somber occasions (like funerals or Remembrance Sunday), but Meghan looked ultra chic in her ensemble during a visit to Cardiff Castle in Wales.

Meghan Markle signing autograph in Cardiff
Chris Jackson/Getty Images  

She Gave an Autograph

Royals aren’t allowed to give autographs for security reasons, but Meghan cleverly worked around protocol to make a ten-year-old girl’s day by simply writing “Hi Kaitlin” instead of signing her own name.

Meghan Markle hugging public
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

She’s a Hugger

Meghan frequently hugs children (and adults) at public events even though royals typically keep their hands to themselves (again, for security reasons). Aww...

RELATED: Prince Harry Encourages a Group of Children to Hug Meghan Markle & Jealousy Ensues

Meghan Markle in black evening dress
Chris Jackson/Getty Images  

She’s Giving a Speech at Her Wedding

In British weddings, it is traditionally the groom, father of the bride and best man who make a speech. But Meghan will reportedly be breaking centuries of tradition by delivering one of her own at her wedding to Prince Harry, thank you very much.

Meghan Markle in pant suit
MAX MUMBY/GETTY IMAGES

She Wears the Pants (Literally)

Meghan proved that she’s a fashion force to be reckoned with when she donned a structured Alexander McQueen tuxedo during an evening appearance with Prince Harry, instead of the traditional ball gown. The result? Flawlessness.  

RELATED: All the Times Meghan Markle (Literally) Wore the Pants

Meghan Markle attends the first annual Royal Foundation Forum
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

She Doesn’t Shy Away From Politics

While royals aren’t supposed to express their political views (which is why Kate Middleton wore a green dress for the BAFTAs), Meghan, a longtime activist, didn’t mince words when discussing Time’sUp and the #MeToo movement at the Royal Foundation Forum. 

RELATED: The Royal Gang’s All Here: Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan Make First Royal Appearance Together

She’s Having a Modern Wedding Cake

Forget the traditional vanilla-cake-and-white-icing confection—the couple will be tucking into a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers on their special day. Um, can you save us a slice, please?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Christmas Day service
Joe Giddens - PA Images/Getty Images

She’s a Divorcée Getting Married In a Church

A church wedding is fairly standard for the royals, but the Church of England only decided that divorced people could remarry in church in 2002. (Come on guys, what took you so long?) That means Prince Harry will be the first family member to have a church wedding with a divorcée. (Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson.)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry smiling together
Pool/Getty Images    

Her Hair Isn’t Always—Gasp—Perfect

Kate may be known for her signature blowouts and pristine updos, but Meghan favors a perfectly-imperfect style. (And totally rocks the look, if you ask us.) 

RELATED: 9 Beauty Products That Meghan Markle Swears By

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