The Queen Etiquette: How a Royal Family Behaves

Royal families have always been subjects of luxury, class, and impeccable behavior. For so many years, they have been following certain protocols that set them apart from the rest of us commoners. Respect and security are mainly the cause of these strict rules imposed on royal families. 

The British royal family, especially, has always set the bar for abiding by these policies. You could tell their actions are even more calculated when in the presence of Queen Elizabeth as she holds the position requiring the greatest protection and respect.

From fashion choices to why we didn’t know about the gender of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby until he was born, read on and learn about what it takes to be part of a royal family.

Dining Etiquette

It’s funny how dining has always been the hallmark of exemplary behavior when it’s basically just us performing a normal human function, which is eating. This is why the royals will always carry distinct characters apart from everyone else–they take dining decorum to a whole other level. 

Your mother’s “no elbows on the table” is not even close to the royal dining practices. One of the most difficult parts of joining a royal family is adjusting to their dining traditions. A few celebrity guests of the royal dining table have already made banquet faux pas no one would want to get into ever again.

F1 star Lewis Hamilton even got scolded during a lunch with the Queen for breaking a royal dining conversation flow. Read on to find out about the dining manners followed by royals and guests alike.

There Is a Set Conversation Flow

When in the presence of the Queen or any royal, it’s normal to feel excited like Lewis Hamilton felt. He was invited to dine with the royals for lunch a year after he received his MBE in 2009 from the Queen.

When interviewed in The Graham Norton Show in September 2019, he shared how the Queen instructed him to speak to the person on his left side first as she speaks to the person the other way. 

The F1 racer did not know that’s what they had to do first before the flow comes back to his turn. Apparently, that was a major mistake on Hamilton’s part. 

So you’re probably wondering how this flow works. It starts with how everyone is seated on the table. The Queen always picks who she wants to sit beside her, making sure that the most important male guest is on her right. 

Prince Philip then has to have the most compelling female guest on his right. The Queen does not sit at the head of the table despite what many assume. Instead, she sits in the center of the table across Prince Philip.

There is also a team dedicated to seating. They are called The Office of the Marshal of the Court. They see to it that everyone is seated accordingly in all royal dinners and official events.

Going back to the conversation flow, it all begins when the Queen starts talking to the person on her right during the first and second courses. Once everyone is served their cheese and pudding and is already eating them, the queen turns to speak to the guest on her left.

Obviously, Lewis Hamilton was not the most important male guest. Otherwise, he’d be seated on the right side of the Queen and would have got the first word with her. 

The Queen Sets the Pace

As made clear from the conversation flow standard, the Queen truly dictates how the dinner goes. Right before the meal takes place, the Queen has to approve the menu book first. 

Of course, they no longer include the foods disliked by Queen Elizabeth such as shellfish, pasta, and garlic. The shellfish is skipped to avoid food poisoning, the pasta is against Her Majesty’s diet, and garlic isn’t good when you’re maintaining conversations over dinner.

Once everything is set and everyone is already seated in their assigned places, the dinner and conversation flow will commence. The dinner stops right when the Queen is finished, period. 

Other people in the table cannot continue eating once she’s done nor can they stop earlier than her. It’s extremely rude to leave the table before Queen Elizabeth is through eating her meal. 

Don’t worry, the Queen is known to save a little morsel to push around while giving the rest more time to finish their meals. But we can imagine how the duchesses and princes have probably mastered the art of eating as quickly as possible. 

Hold Utensils in the Right Hands

There are more specific ways the royals hold utensils, and they can’t violate those rules. It’s a bit ridiculous, but it’s always how it’s been for these people. 

The knives go in the right hand while the forks in the left. The fork should also face toward the plate. It all sounds normal until you find out that the royals use the knives to scoop food onto the backs of the forks.

That means they have to balance that food all the way to their mouths. How challenging for a formal dinner, right? It’s funny how they set these difficult-to-maintain policies for order when they are most likely to result in failure. 

Then again, these are the royals we’re talking about so they live up to such high-standard manners. Still a bit crazy, right?

The Napkin’s Use Is Maximized

The royals fold their napkins in half once at the dining table. The napkin’s use doesn’t end there the way we are used to. 

The inside of the napkin’s fold is used to wipe the faces of the royal clean of food if needed. They can’t afford to stain their fancy outfits, and that napkin trick helps in ensuring that. 

The fold of the napkin also hides the mess the royals made. It’s not so cool for anyone else at the table to see it, as it turns out. 

Leave the Table Quietly

Should you have any urgent reason to leave the table like some uncontrollable bladder issue, you need to do it as quietly as possible. You can’t draw any attention. Do it as discreetly as possible.

We can only imagine how hard it must be for the other royals to leave the table when they need to. After all, they’re all standoffish figures in or out of the palace. The magnetic presence of Prince Harry, for instance, might just be hard to conceal. 

Forks & Knives Are Used to Say They’re Finished Eating

So for example, one of the royals have to leave for a bathroom break, they have to inform the waitstaff that they’ll still be coming back to finish their meal. In this case, the only way to do that is to cross the fork and knife on their plate.

Should they wish to express that they’re done with their meal, they have to point the forks’ handles and knives at the plate’s bottom right. The staff is attentive enough to watch out for these important signals. 

Hold the Teacups Properly

We’re all familiar with how tea is closely associated with the British royal family. They even have strict guidelines on how to properly hold teacups. 

It must be with the forefinger and thumb against the handle’s top part. Now, only if needed should they use their middle finger to support the base of the teacup’s handle.

Another thing the royal women should observe when drinking tea is to sip from the same spot as the teacup. That way, they won’t be leaving lipstick marks all over the rim, which would understandably be a bit gross. 

They Can’t Eat Food That’s Not Under Royal Capacity

Yes, even if you’ve made the royals some delicious celebratory cake and hand it to them, they can’t accept it. When you see them eating in public, then the food must have been royally arranged.

The only exemption in this rule is if they are offered food during formal events. In that case, they have to at least take a sip from the drink and a small bite from the food. 

That’s why we spot these full champagne glasses and single-bite cakes in photos of official events where they’re invited.

Royals Weigh Themselves Before and After Christmas Dinner

This practice dates all the way back to the early 1900s. It’s a tradition set by King Edward VII out of concern that people weren’t eating enough. The royal family continues to weigh themselves before and after all the Christmas shenanigans. 

They step atop ancient scales at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk where the Christmas festivities also take place. Even Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland had to perform the tradition when she was invited over to the royal family’s Christmas in 2018. 

Dress Code

It’s no coincidence that the royals seem to wear the same patterns of clothing in their public appearances. If you thought the Kardashians are already extra with their “glam squad”, the royals have palace-approved stylists and hairdressers that keep everyone in the family chic and dapper.

However, the fashion rules the royals follow are more than just about looking good. It’s about keeping their reputable image of doing everything in good taste. The British royal family has always been the most open and firm when it comes to their dress code.

Here are the clothing guidelines they observe:

Modest Clothing

I think we all associate modest clothing with the royals. You simply don’t expect to see the Duchess wearing plunging necklines or backless dresses. As for the boys, they have to appear formal all the time, no t-shirts. 

You’ve probably also noticed that many paparazzi photos of female members of the royal family show that they’re covering their chests with their clutches. That is to prevent any cleavage from showing. 

It’s also not only Kate Middleton’s signature style to keep her coat on outside even when it’s sunny. It is considered unladylike for female royals to remove their coats, especially at official events.

Wearing gloves is also highly recommended for the female royals, especially if they’ll be interacting with a lot of people. Queen Elizabeth wears gloves to protect herself from germs that she might acquire from shaking hands with different people at public events.

As for the men, they have to stick with blazers or collared shirts and chinos when they’re out for the day. On the same occasion, the women wear day dresses of modest lengths or trousers paired with a cardigan or jacket.

Speaking of dresses, royal women should always make sure to wear pantyhose when they’re wearing dresses. Meghan Markle is guilty of breaking this dress code.

She and Prince Harry were attending the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s charity event, a performance of Hamilton at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre. She wore a black tuxedo dress that was shorter than most dresses she had worn since her wedding. 

That prompted the public to notice how she hadn’t been wearing pantyhose with her other outfits, too. Since then, The Duchess of Sussex started wearing stockings, although many people still have opinions on her selection (now, that’s probably a topic for Vogue). 

When to Wear Jeans

There are rare sightings of royal family members wearing denim pants at some official events. Still, it hasn’t been clear to the public when they’re allowed to wear jeans. 

Sporting events or whenever the royals have to get their hands dirty in public is the only time jeans are allowed. Denim pants are more of an off-duty outfit for the royals. 

Why Queen Elizabeth Always Wears Neon Outfits 

Bright colored outfits are just so Queen Elizabeth. But did you know that there’s a deeper reason as to why she opts for those neon shades? 

The purpose of the Queen’s vivid-hued outfits is to make her stand out. That would make it easy for the public to spot her and go all like, “I saw the Queen!” The Queen has always known that she has to stand out from the crowd at all times. 

The public must easily recognize her, and of course, her security must be able to keep track of her in packed events. So you won’t catch any member of the royal family wearing the same signature colors as the Queen. 

The Tiara Protocol

We don’t always see the duchesses or princesses of the royal family with their tiaras on their heads. So when should royals wear tiaras?

Only a married female royal is allowed to wear tiaras. It all starts on their wedding day. The bride can select a tiara from her family collection if they’re already part of a monarchy, but they’ll have to start wearing one from the groom’s family once wedded.

However, they can’t just wear tiaras once they’re married, too. The diamonds in the tiaras are considered formal wear, so they can’t be worn before 6 PM. 

In general, wearing a tiara depends on the attire required for the event. The wearer’s preference is also a big deciding factor as wearing a tiara means additional responsibility and extra work on the hairstyling and outfit selection.

The social implication in wearing a tiara is to signify that the wearer is already married and is no longer looking for a husband. It’s an indicator for men to stay off the married lady as well. 

Be Wrinkle-Free

Princess Diana’s wedding gown designer received criticism when the Princess’s wedding gown appeared to be wrinkled on her wedding day. Her gown was so big that it was cramped during the carriage ride. 

The royals follow a strict fabric selection -stick to silk and wool to avoid creased outfits. They must simply look their best, so they have designers and stylists working on that, too. 

During Princess Diana’s time, the designers weren’t too careful yet. That big public event was enough to make them adapt to the wrinkle-free clothing demands, though.

Formal Events Require Women to Wear Hats

During royal weddings, we see a lot of women wearing various kinds of fabulous hats and fascinators. The accessory is required during formal events like that. 

The tradition dates back in the 1950s when the upper class and royal women weren’t allowed to show their hair in public. Nowadays, wearing hats has become a status symbol, showing that you’re part of the elite.

Young Princes Should Only Wear Shorts

So you’re probably wondering why Prince George always wears shorts. Well, that’s no paparazzi coincidence. The British aristocratic tradition follows a rule that the boys are only allowed to wear long pants once they turn 7 or 8 years old.

That specific styling is apparently due to a royal perception that young boys wearing long pants are suburban. So they leave the trousers to the men of the family. After all, we think that maintains the youthfulness of the young princes, making them more adorable to the people.

No Fur

Wearing of fur garments within the royal family and the “men of the Church” has been banned by Edward III as early as 1137. Fast forward to the current times, the palace still doesn’t allow its members to wear fur as a sign of support to movements like PETA, for instance.

Fur clothing has become controversial over the years. Clearly, the last thing royals need is involvement in yet another social scandal.

Natural Nail Polishes Only

The reason for clear, natural, or practical shades for the royal ladies’ nails is to give way to the queen’s bright colors. Remember, the Queen must stand out at all times. 

Also, rules simply narrow down the royal women’s choices of nail polishes to keep them looking chic and proper. Pale pink and clear polishes have been the standard for the likes of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. 

Hair Rules

Remember when Prince Harry sported a full facial hair at a Remembrance Day parade? Boy, did he spark quite the controversy, with people saying that he violated the rules?

However, it is actually allowed for the royal men to grow beards. As long as it’s kept neat, then it’s okay. It’s just the Queen who isn’t a huge fan of facial hairs, hence why Prince Harry got rid of it soon after that appearance. 

For royal women, their hair should be styled naturally and tamely. They must also keep their hair tidy (perfect) at all times, especially in public. That’s why hairspray is a royal beauty must-have.

Light Makeup

Can you imagine if the royals wore drag queen makeup looks? It would be such a horror! 

The way royals wear makeup is not just supposed to make us feel like natural only works for these non-mortals. Their makeup shouldn’t be overdone simply because they have to look elegant, not superficial. 

Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter and Olympian Zara Tindall didn’t even wear any makeup during her wedding. She looked stunning anyway!

6-Inch Limit for Heels

If you were wondering why women in the royal family only wear heels that are around 3 inches high, it’s because they can’t go past 6 inches. They can’t risk looking like strippers or awkwardly towering over their husbands, of course.

The Wardrobe Malfunction Hack

Did you know that the royals have actual wardrobe malfunction hacks to avoid incidents like when Kate Middleton’s dress pulled a Marilyn Monroe? Stuart Parvin, the Queen’s go-to designer, puts small weights in the hem of all the skirts and dresses he made for the royal family.

Isn’t that such a clever trick to resist the wind from blowing the royal women’s skirts up? Stuart Parvin was also the one to reveal that the Queen has her shoes broken in for her first before she wears them. 

The Social Signals of the Queen’s Purse

Queen Elizabeth is indeed a fascinating figure with all her preferences turned into rules, especially in the fashion aspect. She even uses her purse to send secret signals to her staff.

The signals her purse gives is usually to end certain events or encounters. When she moves her handbag from its normal position on her left arm to her right arm while conversing with someone, it means she wants to wrap it up already.

If during dinner she places her bag on the table, it means she wants to end it in five minutes. When she puts her bag on the floor during social interactions, that means she feels uncomfortable and wishes to be saved out of the situation.

Don’t you just wish you could have staff doing that saving for you at one signal when let’s say you’re on a bad date, perhaps?

The Clutch Excuse

The female royals don’t only use their clutches to cover their chests. Like the Queen’s handbag, their clutches also have a social implication. 

Since clutches can be held with both hands, they keep people from attempting to shake hands with the ladies. It’s not about being a snob but about avoiding awkward handshakes, which the royals happen to be prone to encounter.

Public Appearances

When you’re royalty, there simply isn’t any basic way to enter or exit a room. It always has to be grand and fabulous. A royal’s presence must also be made known. 

Everything’s choreographed in a way that the royals follow a certain order when they’re entering the room. They exit in the most graceful way possible, embodying the image that has always been linked to their positions. 

They should also behave in certain ways when out in public whether they’re just sitting or interacting with some people. Here are the ways the royals have to follow when they’re out in public from the entrance to the exit:

Enter the Room in Order

If the royals are invited in an event and must be part of a procession, they enter and are seated according to the order of precedence or who’s next in line to the throne. Here’s the beginning of the order they follow:

  1. Queen Elizabeth II
  2. Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip, Her Majesty’s husband)
  3. Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla)
  4. Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton)
  5. So on….

Go Down the Stairs with Grace

Many formal events where the royals are invited to have these elegant staircases that just top the whole royal vibe. That means the women, especially, have to descend the stairs with utmost grace.

Us commoners don’t even watch how we walk down flights of stairs. If we did, we bet we’d be all disappointed in ourselves for the lack of any grace. 

So when walking down the stairs, the men in the royal family must assist their wives. The female royals then have to maintain that their chins are parallel to the ground, their hands at their sides, and toes pointed toward the railing while walking. 

The women in the royal family may use the banister for assistance as well if there’s any. They just have to make sure that they only rest their hand on it rather than grab it. 

Walk Two Steps Behind the Queen

Anyone who’s walking with Her Majesty should be at least two steps behind her, and that doesn’t exclude Prince Philip. It’s how the British royal traditions uphold their values of respect towards the monarch. 

There are many reports that even cite how it was hard for the royal couple to adjust to such rules when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned queen. Still, even during their formal appearances, you can see how the Duke of Edinburgh adores the Queen regardless of the protocols.

Sitting Etiquette

Remember when Meghan Markle was all over the news because of sitting improperly in public? One of the worst violations you can do, etiquette-wise, as a female member of the royal family is to sit with your legs crossed at the knee.

The proper way to sit is to have both legs and knees kept together. Crossing the ankle is fine. The best sitting position termed by the Beaumont Etiquette and named after the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is The Duchess Slant. 

It’s the exact same manner Princess Diana was known to sit. The knees and ankles are tightly kept together while the legs are slanted to the side, elongating the legs and making a more modest posture.

No Autograph Signing

Autograph signing is not allowed for the royal family as it only risks their signatures to be forged. However, some of the members of the family have been known to break the rules on some occasions.

Shake Hands the Royal Way

Handshakes are not lightly taken by the royals. There is an exceptional formula for how they do it. We think it’s something most of us should take notes from. 

They keep direct eye contact with the person they’re shaking hands with and grasp their hands in a firm but absolutely not painful manner. They shake for one to two pumps only as more is of bad taste already. 

Then they top it with a smile. How warm is that, right?

How The Royal Family Interacts with the Public

The royal family expects a lot of things from the public when they interact with them. Don’t worry, they don’t mean material offerings. They just need to be shown the respect they deserve as the highest members of society.

That’s why when President of the United States Donald Trump met Her Majesty, people were observant of his actions. Alas, he actually made several offenses including shaking the Queen’s hand instead of bowing. 

Here are the royal protocols to follow when meeting the royal family, especially Her Majesty:

The Subtle Curtsy and Bow

We’ve seen a great variety of curtsies in period movies, and they didn’t really set the best examples. Royal curtsies should be subtle. 

Put one leg behind the other, bend the knees, and slightly bow altogether without reaching the floor. When royal members of the family and commoners alike meet the Queen, the deeper curtsies and longer pauses are done to show utter respect.

For the men, they must bow only with their heads. Otherwise, they’d look awkward as if trying to mash up a curtsy and bow together if they do more than that. 

The Royal Babies Are Not Allowed to Meet World Leaders 

Yes, you heard that right, the royal babies are not allowed to meet the likes of Donald Trump. It’s simply a rule that the children of the royal family must not meet heads of states. 

The only exception to this rule was Prince George back in 2016 when he met then US President Barack Obama. The policy has something to do with how at a young age, the royal children might not realize the significance of such special encounters.

Travel Rules

We see a lot of pictures of the royals getting out of the airplane and making appearances in foreign countries. Behind their glamorous travel snaps lies a lot of work, though.

The royal family takes itineraries and packing to a whole other level that your mother would be shy to impose her strict rules on your next family trip if she reads this. From the budgeting and what to pack, we have all the travel secrets that will shock you even more about this family. 

Two Heirs Can’t Travel Together

Two direct heirs to the throne can’t travel together. This is obviously for the reason that the royal family doesn’t want to lose two heirs at once, should there be any accident on the plane, for instance.

You got it right -the royals indeed think about these possibilities wildly. We can’t blame them, the crown comes with huge responsibilities, and having that position given to someone not mainly groomed to take on the role is a big issue.

That’s why it was quite a controversy when Prince William decided to travel with Prince George. However, Her Majesty gave her blessings on this rule-bending. After all, she has a say on anything in the end, and that choice was also in consideration of travel expenses.

Six-Figure Travel Budget

The family observes a travel budget, of course. It’s a six-figure travel budget, so you’re probably wondering why the family worries about the cost of flying out the two princes apart.

Well, the flight cost alone is worth six figures already. They use private helicopters and aircraft charters when they go on overseas visits. 

Prince Charles carries the record of the most expensive royal trip ever. It was a total of just a little below $200,000 for his visit to Italy, Romania, and Austria in 2016.

Also, you can imagine the price of the entourage, outfits, accommodations, and other mandatory royal travel treatments the family requires.

An Entourage is Brought in All Travels

Did you know that the Queen has a total of 34 people in her travel entourage whereas Kate Middleton and Prince William are already modest with just 12 royal staff members?

The royals must simply have in all their travels, the following people:

  • Press officers
  • Secretaries
  • Hairdressers
  • Bodyguards
  • Valets
  • Professional stylists
  • Royal nannies
  • Royal Navy doctor

As acknowledged in almost all the sections of this etiquette guide so far, they should stand out! 

There is a Royal Luggage System

Staying organized is not the only concern of having the royal luggage system. Each royal luggage is monogrammed. A good example is Prince William’s luggage, which had a W and a crown printed on it. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton even have an organized luggage tag system. Each family member has a different color label assigned to them so their belongings won’t get mixed up during travels.

With their hectic schedules and much more challenging on-tour outfit changes, they really need a structure like that. They can’t risk losing something in their travels. 

Outfit Duplicates Are a Must

Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant and curator of the royal wardrobe, attends to making sure Her Majesty’s outfits are all packed with duplicates. Obviously, the attire for royal trips is all carefully selected.

That means they have to make sure that the Queen gets to wear those outfits she approved no matter what happens. Cases like stains and accidental spills are not an excuse for the Queen.

Always Pack a Black Outfit 

This sounds a bit morbid, but the royals must be prepared for if they suddenly receive news that someone in the family passed away while they’re overseas. This travel requirement is traced back to 1952 when the Queen had to return to the UK after learning of her father’s death.

She had to wait on the plane for the staff to get her the proper mourning attire before she could go out and be with the rest of the family. Such preparedness carries the right intentions after all. 

Fly with British Airways

The royals also travel on commercial flights sometimes. Their most preferred airline is British Airways. That’s why it caused a big commotion when Prince William and Kate experienced the common air travel issues we are all used to.

In was in 2011, and the Duchess was very disappointed with the incident. She’s very comfortable with flying with British Airways since her father and mother both worked for the airline, after all.

Senior Royals Travel with Bags of Their Blood Type

We’re guessing the black outfit travel must-pack wasn’t that morbid yet. The Queen and Prince Charles are known to always bring their personal bags of blood with them when they’re visiting countries that are not that reliable with blood supply.

Since the blood would be useless without proper transfusion, they need a doctor on hand. That is why the royals always travel with a Royal Navy doctor.

Learn the Basics of a Language

The royals are not just public figures or VIPs when they visit other countries. They also represent the British monarchy, which means they have to learn basic greetings in each country’s native language.

That sets the best first impression, shows respect, and expresses admiration for the country’s culture. So before they visit, they probably have coaches for the languages they have to learn. We all know Google Translate isn’t enough.

Everything is Scheduled

The royals cannot go on spontaneous wanderings when visiting other places. They have to stick with the calculated itineraries for them. They can’t afford to have anything left out in their purposeful visits.

Their assistants of the royals during the tour have spiral-bound notebooks filled with detailed activities and schedules for each day. Even the seconds of these royals day are not spared. 

Royal Tours Can’t Last More Than 2 Weeks

This is one of the major reasons everything is planned out for each day on a royal trip. Shortening the allowed time for the royal tours from what used to span months is an economic decision. 

The six-figure budget for royal travels are allotted only for 2 weeks, so you can imagine the extra costs for months of visits or vacation. This maximum travel period has at least made visits productive for the royals. They attend around four engagements each day of the trip.

Royal Weddings

The royal weddings we so anticipate on television all the time are not as easy as they are on the eyes. The much-awaited wedding gown and the bridal bouquet are not just dream wedding items many young girls fantasize about having someday.

Everything is up for the Queen’s approval or has to live up to long-running royal traditions. Here are the wedding policies all members and joining members of the royal family must observe:

British Royals are Prohibited to Marry Roman Catholics

The British royal family is the only monarchy that’s prohibited to marry a Roman Catholic. The Spanish and Belgian royal families, for instance, are expected to have spouses who carry the Catholic faith.

This limit on who the British Royals can marry date back to when King Henry VIII split from the Roman Catholic Church due to divorce and political motives. Ever since the Church of England came up with a doctrine that forbids royals from marrying a Catholic. 

It’s not that they can’t really marry a Catholic, but they have to face the consequences of leaving the line to the throne. The British monarch has to keep its Anglican line of succession. 

Marriage Proposals Need the Monarch’s Approval

The Royal Marriages Act 1772 states that any potential bride or groom marrying a senior royal should seek an official stamp of approval from the Queen. That’s why the still controversial marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drew discussions during the wait for their official engagement announcement.

Prince Harry is one of the first six people who are in line to inherit the throne. That means Her Majesty’s permission for him to marry and on who he was to marry was required.

The Couple Always Sits for an Interview Following the Engagement Announcement

Remember that post-engagement-announcement interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry that touched everyone in the world? Well, that’s part of the pre-wedding protocols of the royal family.

They must sit down for an interview following the announcement of their engagement. This is to let the public in on their love story, to make them feel like a big part of it. 

As seen over the years, weddings and romantic affairs of the royals have been opened to the public. So the interview allows the people to witness significant matches that also play a part in how they’re monarchy is going to be.

Children Bridesmaids and Page Boys

It’s a tradition for the royal children to be the page boys or groomsmen and bridesmaids in a royal wedding. It’s no coincidence that all royal weddings have the children in the bridal parties.

There is no clear history of how the tradition came to be. However, we think we can all agree that the kids make royal weddings even more adorable.

Myrtle Should be Part of the Bridal Bouquet

Myrtle is known as the “herb of love”, which is why it has been a royal custom to have myrtle in the bridal bouquet since Queen Victoria. The flower adds a certain elegance despite its simplicity in the bouquet, too.

Wedding Dresses Should be Approved by the Queen

Although the Queen hasn’t really vetoed on any bride’s wedding dress before, it still has to go through her approval. This is to ensure that the dress is modest and aligned to the royal standards. 

Did you know that Her Majesty wasn’t a fan of Meghan Markle’s wearing a white wedding dress? The monarch thought so due to the fact that the former actress had been married before. Still, the design was approved. 

Mail out a Piece of Cake to the Guests

One of the least known traditions in royal weddings is that a piece of cake is mailed out to the guests. It’s placed in an elegant box with the names of the couple and the date of their wedding day engraved on it. 

It may just seem like a cool wedding souvenir, but it’s actually more of a sign of gratitude. After all, it’s even mailed out and not handed out during the wedding. 

The traditional cake flavor for a royal wedding is a fruitcake, so it’s definitely a delight to receive a slice. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry broke this tradition by having a spring-inspired lemon elderflower cake instead. We would still like a piece!

Societal Duties

The proper decorum observed by the royals above shows how many duties they already have on their plates. Still, those are still categorized as proper conduct. 

The Royals have a couple of important duties they are committed to once they are born into the family or are officially part of it. Here are those two fundamental societal obligations they have to pledge to:

Expected Military Service

The royals are expected to enlist in the military to serve their country. It’s not a requirement, although it’s presumed by everyone, especially the public. Those who enlist and serve in the military also wear their uniforms on their wedding day.

No Political Involvement

Voting is unconstitutional for the royal family. That is to maintain political neutrality. The royals can’t afford to cause instability in the public’s opinion.

That’s why even the commoners who married into the family were also required to pledge to this. The moment they say “I do” is where it all starts. However, the family remains active in charitable deeds to show their dedication to the public without political involvement.

Fun Things Royals Have to Miss

At this point, you’re still probably 50/50 on whether being a royal is worth it or not with all those strict protocols they have to follow. You might want to rethink that though as there are certainly many fun things these royals have to sacrifice.

For various security and image-keeping reasons, the Royals can’t enjoy little yet common pleasures us regular people treasure. Here’s a list of things the royal family can’t enjoy that would make you appreciate not being rich and royal:

They Aren’t Allowed to Play Monopoly

Competitiveness seems to run well for the British royal family. They come from an athletic lineage. Prince Harry and Prince William themselves are known to be skilled polo players. However, there’s one game they can’t play.

The Royals can’t play monopoly not because they don’t know how to play it but simply because they are forbidden to do so. The real estate-themed game that has been a hit since 1935 was given as a present from the Leeds Building Society to Prince Andrew, Duke of York in 2008.

However, he admitted that they weren’t allowed to play the board game within the royal family as the competition would be intense. They fear that the friendly game might turn into something “too vicious.”

We have to hand it to this well-mannered family–they make efforts like that in keeping peace within their palace. Sacrificing a game of monopoly is indeed extreme for the likes of us!

Social Media Is Off-Limits

This rule only applies strictly to the British royal family. Other monarchy members like Princess Olympia of Greece and Princess Madeleine of Sweden even have public Instagram profiles. 

Social media updates about the British royalty are only covered by official accounts like @TheRoyalFamil, @ClarenceHouse (for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall), and @KensingtonRoyal (for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge).

Still, there’s Princess Eugenie and her sister Princess Beatrice who are present on Instagram and Twitter, respectively. They are exempted from the rule because they are non-working royals.

They don’t make public appearances on behalf of the family so they are permitted to post whatever they want on social media. They simply have no one coming against them for criticism like what Meghan Markle receives a huge amount of.

No Selfies

The primary reason for the no-selfie rule in the British royal family is simple. It’s disrespectful for people to turn their backs on the royals, which is inevitable when taking selfies.

Security reasons are also an important factor in the explicit ban on taking selfies with the royals. That’s why you also don’t see photos taken by themselves, except for the non-working royal family members.

They Can’t Have Gender Reveal Parties

The intention of this tradition is to have a fun event for the public. This way, the public will keep guessing the gender of the royal baby until he or she’s finally born. 

The paparazzi and news sources surely enjoy getting clues from what the pregnant royal is wearing, how she acts, how her belly is shaped, etc. At least this one policy provides some entertainment we all love even though as a guilty pleasure.

They Can’t Have Nicknames

The Royals can’t have nicknames for the sole reason that they must be addressed properly by their full name, especially on formal occasions or when out in public with other members of the society. 

They do have their private nicknames though, for sure. However, that’s never to be used by the royal family members themselves or the people in public.

After all, naming a royal is not an easy task. The British royals must be named in alignment with historical figures like Prince George’s name that echoes back to the great King George VI.

In Denmark, they have to stick with the names Frederik and Christian. The tradition is ancient, yet the Danish royal family maintains alternating between the two names for newborn males. 

Queen Margrethe broke this rule when she named her second son, Prince Joachim. The rest of the family continues to follow the naming custom.

Our Final Say

We think that as much as the Queen etiquette borders on ridiculous sometimes, these rules still uphold the values and observe the security a family of such a position requires. They may not be for us, but these royals are born into this world of semi-perfection.

The commoners who become part of the family also work hard in living up to these standards, as well as the guests who visit the royal family. This just says that even if we aren’t royals to strictly adhere to these rules, we could always apply some of them in our lives.

It’s noticeable how this generation has almost completely forgotten about proper manners and respectful interactions with others. The rise of the social media “royalty” lifestyle has erased the good influence of the royal etiquette, and we think we could use some of it in healthy measures. 

Matthew Ryan

I'm Matthew Ryan, one of the guys behind MannersAdvisor.com I am passionate about the world of good manners, etiquette and proper behavior to have on any special occasion. Here I decided to share my passion with you!

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