When Victoria Beckham Attended Harry And Meghan’s Wedding, Her Appearance Took The Internet By Storm

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Among the celebrity attendees at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding were Victoria and David Beckham. The fashion designer and the football player looked impeccable in their fabulous outfits… but not everyone was impressed, it seemed. The way Victoria looked kicked off a serious amount of debate and discussion on the internet.

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Victoria Beckham was, of course, one of the Spice Girls. She shot to fame in the ’90s with the iconic girl band and hasn’t been out of the spotlight since. And as “Posh Spice” she got to mingle with British royalty. In May 1997 she and the other Spices met Prince Charles at a royal gala and partied with him in a highly publicized event.

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The fashion icon met Prince Harry back then as well. In November 1997, Prince Charles arranged a meeting between the Spice Girls and the then-13-year-old prince in South Africa. That meeting would mark the beginning of a genuine connection, it seemed. BBC News observed at the time that Harry “cut a fragile little figure as he watched his father kiss each of them… but the girls were quick to include him in the fun.”

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An encounter of even more importance occurred in 1997: Victoria met footballer David Beckham at a charity match and they began dating. They became one of the biggest supercouples of the era, even more so when they had their first child and and then threw an extravagant wedding. In 1999 they moved into a house that the media called “Beckingham Palace.” They were almost royalty themselves.

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The Spice Girls split up in 2000 and Victoria embarked on a solo career. Her debut as a solo artist took place that same year at a huge benefit concert for the Prince’s Trust, where she once again chatted with Prince Charles. “I was telling him how I was really nervous about performing because this was the first time I’ve appeared before 100,000 people,” she told the BBC at the time.

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The Beckhams’ connection with the royal family continued into the next decade and beyond. And in 2011 Victoria and David were given an invite to the biggest event in Britain that year: the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. All eyes that weren’t on the royal couple were trained on the Beckhams. Victoria wore a navy maternity dress to the ceremony, as she was heavily pregnant at the time.

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So given the couple’s regular association with the royal family, it was almost a given that the Beckhams would receive an invitation to Prince Harry’s wedding, too. And when actress Meghan Markle officially joined the royal family in May 2018, they were indeed on the guest list. It would be a fashion fiesta. Victoria wore one of the dresses from her upcoming collection: a navy number with split sleeves and a belted neck.

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The former Spice Girl matched the dress with a pillbox hat, designed by Stephen Jones, and bright orange shoes. It was classy look if a little similar to the outfit that she had worn to the previous royal wedding. Clearly, Victoria knew what worked for her and navy blue certainly did. But despite her tasteful outfit the wedding’s audience focused on an entirely different aspect of Victoria’s appearance.

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Many people Tweeting along to the royal wedding did not appreciate that Victoria had seemingly forgotten one crucial aspect of her outfit – a smile. It’s a happy occasion, after all. “Victoria Beckham must have cystitis. It’s the only explanation for how furious she looks,” said feminist writer Caitlin Moran. “Posh spice – SMILE!” wrote somebody else.

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Other commenters were far less restrained. One person called Victoria “a miserable cow”; another said that she had “resting b**** face.” People also made fun of her with memes, comparing her to the unsmiling Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family or the grumpy cartoon character Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants. It seemed that her lack of a smile on such a joyous occasion had touched a nerve.

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For years Victoria has been mocked for never seeming to have a smile on her face. But the royal wedding seemed to bring all of that out in force. Luckily, Victoria didn’t seem too affected. Not long after the wedding, the fashion designer shared on Instagram a picture of herself wearing a t-shirt with “It’s A Dark But Happy Place” written across it. “When you’re smiling on the inside,” she captioned the pic.

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But the ex-Spice Girl had provided explanations for her trademark facial expression long before Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. In March 2017 she appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden. “The question I get asked all the time is ‘Why don’t I smile?’” she told the host. “People think I’m so miserable.” The mom of four explained that she rarely smiled in public to stop people from coming over and bothering her.

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The designer had also answered the question in a “73 Questions with Victoria Beckham” video for Vogue magazine in 2015, although she did mention that she hated being asked it. “I’m smiling on the inside,” she said, before adding jokingly, “I feel that I have a responsibility to the fashion community.”

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And there’s certainly no indication that Victoria wasn’t smiling on the inside all throughout the royal wedding. She positively gushed about it to British newspaper the Evening Standard on May 22, 2018. “It was such a beautiful, incredible wedding. It was just the best day. They looked so happy, and everybody was just so happy for them.”

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And indeed, the whole wedding seemed to be less solemn and more cheerful than previous royal weddings. Bishop Michael Curry gave an energetic speech about “the power of love” which captivated the entire internet. And the whole world ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ at Meghan’s wedding dress and her kisses with Harry.

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There’s no doubt that Victoria smiled at some point. But there’s another question she might wish to ask us one day – why does it even matter if she doesn’t crack a smile? Some commentators have suggested there’s a sexist component to it. “Generally, men escape this annoying and frustrating commentary on being told to smile or to smile more,” wrote the website SHEmazing after the wedding.

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Indeed, “stop telling women to smile” has become something of a feminist rallying cry over the past few years. American artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh created an art project with the same name in 2015. “[Telling a woman to smile] has nothing to do with a man making a woman feel better, it has more to do with power and control,” she told MSNBC news.

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In 2016 the Huffington Post published an article about the issue, too. “It’s overbearing, invasive and slightly eerie for men to tell women (that they’ve never seen or met before) to smile,” wrote Erika Hardison. “I can’t help but wonder if these men commanding women to smile also tell other men to smile?”

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So Victoria could certainly be forgiven for hating the question “Why don’t you smile?” Especially since a quick glance at her Instagram, or any image collection of her, would inform anyone that she does! She’s been photographed smiling with her children, smiling at her wedding, or just plain smiling in general.

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But Victoria clearly doesn’t care if people only choose to see her not smiling. And why should she – she has a great career, a husband whom she’s been married to for almost 20 years and four children. “If I really was as miserable as I look in some of those paparazzi pictures, my children wouldn’t be as happy as they are,” she told Vogue Netherlands magazine in 2017. And they certainly do seem to be happy.

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