While many women have been guilty of opting for flats at an event that would be better suited for heels, sometimes – as Queen Elizabeth II knows – comfort is more important than style.
But you won’t see the Duchess of Sussex wearing flats when she’s with her new husband Prince Harry. Or not often, at least.
On Wednesday, the internet was surprised when Meghan Markle stepped out at Croke Park in Dublin wearing Sarah Flint stilettos, rather than something more suitable for pitch grass. It turns out the Duchess is devoted to her towering heels for one reason – the height difference between herself and Prince Harry.
Meghan, who is 17 centimetres shorter than her husband, sports stilettos to avoid an “unbalanced” appearance between the two. One celebrity photographer told Daily Mail this concern is common among couples with a significant height difference.
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“Couples with a big height difference look slightly unbalanced in pictures and often the smaller of the two ends up looking even smaller and is constantly looking up at their partner,” said Glenn Gratton.
“Rod Stewart and his wife Penny have a large gap but this is minimised by Rod wearing Cuban heels, and Penny not wearing super high heels… In the case of Harry and Meghan, she will be wearing high heels to maximise her height and shorten the gap if possible.”
Measuring in at 5’6″, the Duchess comes in short with Prince Harry standing at 6’1″. Another trick she uses to appear taller? Meghan often wears high-waisted, midi pencil skirts. While it’s an optical illusion, it’s another common trick according to photographers.
“Careful use of wardrobe choices will be important for Harry and Meghan to make the couples height difference minimised… T shape of skirts will also give the optical illusion to make her look taller than she actually is,” said Gratton.
When it comes to Prince William and Kate Middleton, there is less of a height difference with Princess Kate coming in at 5’10”. The Duchess of Cambridge is well known for donning loafers and sneakers when attending casual events.
While Meghan is less likely to trade in her heels for a pair of trainers anytime soon, she isn’t always balancing on towering stilettos. In fact, when the former actress made her first official appearance alongside Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, she wore a pair of cognac-colored Sarah Flint flats.
Either way the Duchess is always a style icon, whether she’s sporting heels on the green or flats and ripped jeans.
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