Who said being a royal was all corgis and tiaras? There are actually quite a few rules and regulations the entire family must follow in order to reside at Buckingham Palace. There are rules about every detail of life, even what food to eat! It seems Meghan Markle is fully ready to abide by any rules she needs to score the tiara. Keep reading to find out why living in the Royal Palace might be a little more strict, and a little less fun than you think!
No Personal Social Media
Meghan Markle had to kiss her Snapchat and Instagram followers goodbye following her engagement to Prince Harry in 2017. It is a rule that members of the Royal Family are not allowed to manage their own social media accounts. Meghan and the others must share updates using only the Kensington Royal account.
The No Selfie Culture
The Royal Family are not supposed to take selfies. The reasoning behind this is a member of the family should always make eye contact and engage in a proper conversation with any person instead of just taking a picture. No more dog selfies for you, Meghan!
No More Autographs
The members of the Royal Family are forbidden from signing autographs! This rule was made due to fear of people forging Royal’s signatures, which they use to sign royal documents of course. This rule has been broken a couple times by Prince William and Kate Middleton. Oops!
From Red to Nude
Even nail polish is regulated by the Queen! According to media reports, Royal Family members must paint their nails nude or a light color. They are only allowed to wear eye-catching colors like red during holidays.
The Queen has many rules about wardrobe. The Royal Family must look the part, after all! According to Vanity Fair magazine, the Queen really hates wedge shoes. Good thing Meghan Markle prefers stilettos anyway.
A Full-Time Royal
Before becoming engaged to Prince William, Kate had a well-developed career. She was a website designer, photographer, and marketing officer for her parents’ planning company. She was asked when she was married, to not work anymore and only pursue royal affairs. She agreed. Meghan Markle was asked to do the same, but she retired from acting when the pair announced they were engaged.
“Normal” homes or places of residence are banned. Any property owned by a member of the family must be approved by the Queen as per a royal protocol which rarely happens. Basically, normal homes are out of the question.
Limited Political Rights
Meghan Markle will get her U.K. citizenship after the wedding. That doesn’t mean she gets all the rights as any other “average” citizen. She and other members of the Royal Family cannot vote, run for office, or state their political views. The reason behind this is to prevent members of the public from modeling their opinions or votes.
PDA is Frowned Upon
Public displayed of affection are rare. The Queen is always seen walking a few steps ahead of Prince Phillip and they are never seen holding hands or touching each other. While there is no official rule banning PDA, it is definitely a tradition that is being followed some of the time. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle often break this rule that royal etiquette experts believe this rule will end soon.
Adult Bridesmaids Are a No-No
There has been much speculation about who will be Meghan Markle’s bridesmaids. She has some beautiful and famous BFFs like Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra. With the Royal Wedding right around the corner, everyone is wondering if she will follow the rule to have her royal entrapment be young children or friends her own age. Kate and Queen Elizabeth broke this rule.
A Bouquet Fit for a Princess
The dress? How about the bouquet? One long-standing tradition is brides of the Royal Family carry myrtle down the aisle. It has been a tradition since Queen Victoria got married in 1858. Princess Diana and Kate Middleton carried it at their weddings. We think a white bouquet with a little myrtle is classy and perfect for the royal occasion.
Marrying Out of the Faith
Meghan Markle is not affiliated with a particular church or religion. She must be baptized before the wedding and confirmed. Back in 2011, the law which banned marrying a Catholic was annulled.
The Duchess Slant
Women of the Royal Family are not allowed to sit with their legs crossed. This isn’t an official rule but it is an accepted and practiced tradition. Princess Diana invented a sitting technique that has been dubbed “the Duchess slant.” She sat with her legs slanted side-by-side and tiled. It was her way to avoid crossing her legs, and it caught on!
No Nicknames at Buckingham Palace
Nicknames are too informal for the Royal Family. That doesn’t mean some of them don’t have nicknames! “Lady Di,” “Kate” and even “Harry” are examples. The Queen herself even has a nickname! She was called “Lilibet” as a child, and Prince Phillip calls her “cabbage.” How cute!
Hats Off; Tiaras On!
You know those fancy hats? It is not just a fashion statement but actually a requirement. An outfit is considered incomplete without a hat. If an event occurs after 18:00, married women must sport a sparkly tiara at formal events.
A Royal Beauty Routine
There must be a hairstylist on hand, always, for the Royal Family. The Duchess of Cambridge needed to get her hair done after she gave birth, for example. Good thing there is a hairstylist on staff and on call always!
Free of Fur
In the 12th century, King Edward III banned all men from wearing fur. Some members of the family including Queen Elizabeth have broken this rule recently. Kate Middleton, in particular, received some backlash when she sported an otter fur to a trip to Canada.
A Neon-Colored Dressed Queen
The Royal Family is supposed to dress elegantly and modestly. Casual clothing is not acceptable for them. The men’s most casual look is usually a custom designed polo shirt and khakis.
A Somber Wardrobe Requirement
Whenever a Royal travels, they must bring an all-black outfit. The reason for this is every family member must be prepared in case of a death. They need to wear black in order to attend a funeral. The rule has existed since the Queen was told her father died while she was in Kenya with Prince Phillip.
Two Heirs to the Throne Cannot Travel Together
Those in line to succeed to the throne are not allowed to fly together. So, Prince Williams cannot fly together with Kate and their children. This rule was created due to air traveling being considered dangerous. Over the last few years, the rule has been relaxed a bit.
One age-old rule that is sometimes broken is the “no shellfish” rule. Shellfish is more dangerous than other food because it has a high chance of causing food poisoning. The Queen herself has broken this rule a number of times including asking for lobster to be prepared for the Obama’s visit.
Garlic Breath Prevention
The Queen used her power to ban garlic. She just hates it! She also avoids other foods like onion, pasta, and rare meat. She banned garlic for the entire family so they won’t have bad breath during interviews and when they are talking with people.
Dinner with the Queen
The first and foremost rule of Buckingham Palace is everyone must follow the pace and doings of the Queen. No one can eat unless she has lifted her cutlery to take her first bite. Once she does this, everyone is free to eat as they please.
Small Talk with the Royal Family
Did you think the list is strict so far? Just wait for this one! Even conversations held during meals must follow rules. The Queen will start the conversation with whoever is seated to her right. She will talk with this person during the first course of the meal. She then will talk with the person sitting to her left for the second course. So, the Queen starts the conversations and with people selected to sit by her!
A High Tea at Buckingham Palace
Of course, the Royal Family has afternoon tea! We want to have it with them! Afternoon teas are filled with finger-foods like cucumber sandwiches, parties, scones, and of course a freshly-brewed pot of tea. In order to hold the teacup like a true royal, you must pinch the top handle of the teacup with your thumb and index finger, while the middle finger rests at the bottom of the handle as support. The handle should remain at a 3-0’clock angle so that one can take a sip from the same spot each time. This avoids any unwanted lipstick marks on the cup. Makes sense to us!
Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Conversation Code
After the Queen finishes a conversation, she must be the first to leave. This is to avoid people turning their backs and disrespecting her. She even has some secret codes to warn people when she wants to finish a conversation. For example, if she places her purse on the table the conversation will end within 5 minutes.
Touching a British Royal
One more known rule is to not touch a royal. This rule has been broken more and more as time goes on. For example, Michelle Obama has hugged many members of the family, and LeBron James put his arm around Kate Middleton. Whoops!
The Gift of Giving
The Royal Family must accept any gift that is presented to them. All gifts received by the family ultimately belong to the crown, so the Queen gets to decide what to do with them.
There is an unofficial rule that bans board games from being played in the Royal Palace. This is to stop any arguments or disagreements that might be made public and serve to embarrass the family. We think the rule can be bent for some light-hearted Jenga.
The Life of a Royal Corgi
We want to be a Corgi! The Queen owns many Welsh Corgis that live a lush life for sure. The Queen makes sure they eat homemade gourmet meals prepared by a private chef daily. Pretty lucky dogs, right?
Little Fibs at Buckingham Palace
The Queen often asked staff to lie on her behalf if she was late to a dinner or another event. She was late so often her staff began telling her earlier times but she would still be the last to arrive!
The Art of Folding Diapers
In order to become a Royal Nanny, you must be educated. A three-year college degree from Norland College in Early Years Development and Learning is a requirement for the job.
The Super Nanny
Being a nanny for the royal family is no easy job! They have to care for the children and coordinate very crazy schedules. They also must ensure the privacy and safety of the children. This means they must safeguard the children against paparazzi, and also walk the dog.
Out of Sight; Out of Mind
The Royal staff is to not be seen or heard while they are on their way to work to avoid distracting the Royal Family. They must be very quiet and unnoticeable, and even sign a document that swears them to secrecy. No one outside the castle can know what their jobs are.
Jobs at Buckingham Palace
Looking for a job? You can search vacancies on the British Monarchy website. Once there was a posting for someone to polish the queen’s paintings and cases for 20-hours a week. Did you know that kind of job existed?
Until Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William, all members of the royal family were born at Kensington Palace. Princess Diana and Kate Middleton chose to give birth to their children at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital instead.
Royal Birth Rules
The Queen must be the first to know of a royal addition to the Royal family. When Prince Louis was born, Prince William made an encrypted phone call to tell her. After the Queen knows, the rest of the family is informed, and the official Town Crier makes the announcement to the public.
Royal Gun Salute
A royal baby is kind of a big deal! A new birth is traditionally marked with a gun salute near Buckingham Palace.
Traditionally, the royal women have their childbirths at home. Princess Diana was the first to break this rule. One rule that has remained for centuries is that only women can be present during the birthing process. Sorry royal guys!
Children At The Royal Wedding
Every royal wedding must have tons of adorable children! In fact, royal wedding parties are usually made up of young children. Kate had Pipa as part of her wedding party, and we are all anxious about what Meghan Markle will do!
Guests Must Be Organized
Whenever there is an event at Buckingham Palace, every detail must be organized. Even the seats for dinner are picked in advice. Did you know there is an entire office for the purpose of organizing guests? It is The Office of the Marshal of the Court.
Tiaras Must Be Angled
Another rule all married women must follow is the proper angling of their tiaras. They must be worn at a 45-degree angle.
Corn Flakes For Breakfast
The Queen has had the same breakfast since she was a child, and she doesn’t want anything else! Every morning the Queen has English breakfast tea (surprise, surprise) and then a big bowl of Corn Flakes. No other breakfast is acceptable!
No Presents on XMas
Sorry, no presents on Christmas if you are a member of the Royal Family. Instead, they exchange and open gifts in the Red Drawing Room during tea time on Christmas Eve.
Royals Should Be At Least Bilingual
All members of the Royal Family are expected to study multiple languages. The Queen is wonderful at French and even Prince George is already learning Spanish.
The Queen Ends Conversations When She Pleases
The Queen has a secret signal when she wants to end a conversation. If she moves her purse to her right arm, it’s her hint to her staff to end the conversation. Can we have this power?
Utensil placement is a matter of extreme importance for the Royal Family. If a royal needs to exit the dining room but wants to keep their plate, they cross their utensils. If they have finished a meal they put their utensils at an angle. Once the Queen finishes eating, no one else can take another bite.
All royal women need to pose with their chin parallel to the ground. No detail is overlooked!
Walking In Proper Order
Since their marriage, Prince Philip must walk a few steps behind the Queen at all times. This is due to the line of succession, but also respect. We think it is cute!
Etiquette is obviously very important at Buckingham Palace, especially in regards to meals. All napkins must be folded in half after use.
Church of England
All Royal Family members must be faithful to the Church of England. Meghan Markle was recently baptized because of this rule. Before 2011 no royal family member could marry a Catholic, but now they are free to marry anyone.
Entrances must be done in order. It starts with the Queen and continues in order of who will succeed next to the throne.
Women are required to wear hats at royal events. If they are married and it is after 6 p.m., they must wear a tiara.
Tailored Shorts Please And Thank You
Prince George can only wear tailored shorts. This is customary with royal tradition, for the prince to wear shorts instead of pants.
Modest Dress Only
All royals must dress modestly in public. Princess Diana used to use a bag to hide her cleavage as she exited cars.
No Paid Work
Buckingham Palace and the Royal Family is supported by tax money and the family fortune. While they enjoy doing other work, they are not allowed to be paid for it. Prince William, for example, is an ambulance pilot for fun.
You Can’t Buy Them A Drink
Unless it’s at an official function, Royal Family members are not allowed to accept food or drinks from anyone.
And 6 Ravens At the Tower of London
There must be 6 ravens Tower of London at all times. They believe the future of the country and kingdom relies on the presence of these birds. Seems like an Edgar Allen Poe poem to us!
If you are married you can only be referred to as your formal title. Kate Middleton should always be called “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.”
At Least 2
For over 60 years, royal families have no less than 2 children. A couple can have more, but no less. So far, the only couple who decided to have more is Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Royal Baby’s Gender
It is strictly forbidden to announce the gender of a royal baby before they are born. The public likes to analyze every detail of for instance the duchess’s dress to make a guess, but no one knows until the birth!
In general, royal brides are supposed to read traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayers. At the recent wedding, Harry and Meghan did this. Meghan, like Princess Diana, didn’t say the word “obey.” Actually, Kate Middleton followed suit when she got married in 2011.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Meghan stuck to tradition on this one. Her “something old” was Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, which was lent to Meghan by Queen Elizabeth II.
After The Queen
The Royal Family has a rule that no one is allowed to eat after the Queen has finished her meal. When they’re dining together as a family, everyone needs to stop eating once the Queen has taken her last bite. While at a royal dinner, always make sure to have one eye on your food and the other on the Queen.
If you just so happen to be around the Queen, remember this: when she stands up, so do you. Everyone in the Queen’s presence had to stand when she stands up, or whenever she enters or exits a room.
When it comes to marriage proposals, it has to go through the Queen first. A royal cannot propose before getting her approval. As of now, the Queen has approved all her children’s and grandchildren’s marriages.
Another thing that has to first be approved by the Queen is a wedding dress. Even though royal brides do have some say in the style and silhouette of their wedding gowns, it’s said that the Queen always has the final say.
When eating with the royals, things like pasta, potatoes, and rice will never appear on the menu. It turns out that the Queen isn’t the biggest fan of starch. She prefers a nice grilled fish and veggie combination for dinner instead.
No matter how close you might be with the Royal Family, formal wear is always required for dinner. If you think you’ll be fine wearing jeans and a t-shirt to dinner with them, be prepared not to be invited back.
Strangely enough, stepping away from the dinner table is encouraged. Royals shouldn’t give a reason for stepping away. Instead, they simply say ‘excuse me’ and get up to leave. There’s no need to ask for permission.
Most of the time, Christmas with the family is a mandatory thing for the Royals. It’s a must for the Royal Family to spend Christmas at Queen Elizabeth’s private country estate. However, we do know that Will and Kate have managed to go to the Middleton house at least once on the holiday.
Naturally, there are rules for shaking hands with the Royals as well. Eye contact must be maintained with them throughout the firm handshake. Also, two pumps max, otherwise, it looks bad to people.
If you weren’t confused enough yet, just wait. Royals aren’t allowed to bow down. They tend to play their curtseys cool. Just a subtle bend in the knee will do for them. But don’t worry, there’s more.
As it turns out, the Queen can drive whenever she wants to – even without a license. If she wishes to drive, there’s nothing that can stop her. The rules of the road simply don’t apply to her – literally.
No matter if you’re a royal or not, you must always curtsy or neck bow to the Queen, and be subtle about it. It doesn’t need to be dramatic at all. On the contrary, it needs to be as quick as possible in a subtle and respectful way.
As a royal, never say ‘pardon’. Ever. The word is completely off-limits in the Royal Family. If someone in the Royal Family can’t understand or hear something, they simply say ‘What?’. No ‘pardon’. You have been warned.
Even the simple act of walking down stairs has rules in the Royal Family. Descending stairs while wearing a ballgown and heels can be a risky move. Fortunately, members of the Royal Family have been trained to walk down stairs with poise. To add more stability, men usually put a hand out for their spouses.
Specific words in French are off-limits for members of the Royal Family. As a result, you’ll never catch Kate Middleton asking to use the ‘toilet’. Also, she’ll never share her favorite ‘perfume’ with you or anyone else.