25 weird rules about being a British royal


Getty Images

The queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations imply the royal household shall be within the highlight much more than traditional. Most of the household (and most of London) is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s seventieth year on the throne the primary weekend in June, with a line-up of public appearances, parades and live shows.

Leading a nation for seven tireless a long time is clearly spectacular sufficient, however Her Majesty’s intensive tenure turns into much more exceptional when you begin digging into the traditions related to being a British royal. And by traditions, we actually imply rules — tons and many rules.

Turns out, being any member of the royal household (queen or in any other case) just isn’t as simple and carefree because it seems to be within the films. Read on for 25 of the weirdest rules the royals observe — your non-royal life may begin to look fairly good by comparability.

Everyone will get weighed earlier than and after Christmas dinner


Getty Images

The royal household has a lot of vacation traditions, although some are a little much less charming than others.

One of probably the most weird traditions requires every member of the royal household to get weighed each earlier than and after Christmas dinner — in the event that they acquire weight, it indicators that they honestly loved themselves on the desk.

Not a fan


Getty Images

According to a 2018 Grazia Daily article, the weird ritual dates again to King Edward VII (Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandfather) who “wanted to ensure his guests ate well.”

The custom was depicted in a scene from the 2021 movie “Spencer,” through which Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) expresses her distaste over the whole debacle.

Game on? No!


Getty Images

This might be the silliest (and least strictly enforced) rule on the record, however the queen has reportedly banned the royals from enjoying the board recreation Monopoly.

The purpose? The recreation makes the household a little too aggressive.

“Too vicious”


Getty Images

In 2008, Prince Andrew was gifted a Monopoly board after attending a meeting with Leeds Building Society, a monetary establishment in England.

The Duke of York reportedly turned down the gift, saying “we are not allowed to play Monopoly at home,” earlier than clarifying that when the household tries to play the sport, “it gets too vicious.”

Royals usually are not allowed to vote


Getty Images

The royals are anticipated to stay politically impartial always. This consists of refraining from voting in elections.

While their voting just isn’t strictly unlawful, the U.K. Parliament’s website does say that “it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election.”

Careful neutrality


Getty Images

The palace typically has to disclaim reviews about Queen Elizabeth expressing political opinions in public.

For instance, in the course of the Brexit referendum of 2016, The Sun ran a story claiming that the queen expressed anti-EU views at a dinner. The palace vehemently denied the allegation, and the tabloid was ordered to print a retraction.

The queen’s written approval is required earlier than getting married


Getty Images

Seeking a member of the family’s permission earlier than proposing is a relatively widespread apply, however the royals take it to a complete new stage.

According to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, the primary six folks in line for the crown can’t marry with out the consent of the reigning monarch. Failure to take action would instantly disqualify them (and their descendants) from ever ascending to the throne.

Seal of approval


Getty Images

In April 2011, Queen Elizabeth gave her consent for Prince William and Kate Middleton to get married.

The official notice of approval (often called the “Instrument of Consent”) was written in calligraphy, closed with a purple wax seal, and coated in customized art work that represented the groom and bride-to-be. 

Black ought to be worn solely at funerals


Getty Images

This rule is a little much less official, however positively quirky: According to custom, royals solely put on black throughout funerals.

“Generally it is thought that black is not usually worn unless in mourning, although Diana Princess of Wales did occasionally wear it for evening functions,” Alexandra Messervy, founding father of The English Manner (a well-known London-based ending college), told InStyle.

A giant no-no?


Getty Images

Indeed, Princess Diana precipitated fairly a stir when she wore a black taffeta dress to a fundraising live performance in 1981 — her first royal engagement after getting betrothed to Prince Charles.

Diana spoke about the incident whereas being interviewed for her biography in 1991, claiming Charles noticed her within the dress and exclaimed, “Only people in mourning wear black!”

But they have to pack a black outfit each time they journey


Getty Images

Though they’re discouraged from carrying black in public, it’s protocol that the royals have to every pack a black outfit each time they go on trip. 

This ensures they’ve one thing applicable to put on in case they need to attend a last-minute funeral or seem in mourning if somebody passes again at residence.

Get prepared, keep prepared


Getty Images

This rule is believed to have arisen out of Queen Elizabeth’s personal experience of listening to the information that her father, King George IV, died whereas she was vacationing in Africa. 

She did not have any mourning attire together with her, however she knew that her aircraft could be swarmed by photographers when she arrived again within the U.Ok., so she needed to ship an aide to fetch an applicable outfit for her earlier than she disembarked. (This ought to all sound acquainted if you happen to’ve seen season 1 of “The Crown.”)

Nude pantyhose ought to be worn to formal occasions


Getty Images

There have lengthy been rumors floating round that carrying nude hosiery is a royal requirement when making public appearances, however that is solely partially true.

There is not any official written edict about pantyhose, although a royal style journalist told E! Online that “they are generally a rule for more formal or conservative royal events.”

Embracing the code?


Getty Images

Meghan Markle made headlines in 2018 when she confirmed as much as her first official occasion with the British monarch carrying — you guessed it — flesh-colored pantyhose beneath a navy dress and cream coat.

Markle had been sporting a lot of pantsuits up till this level, so her hosiery-centered style alternative had folks speculating that she was lastly embracing the unofficial dress code of the British royals.

Women should additionally put on hats to formal occasions


Getty Images

It’s a long-standing royal custom that the ladies within the royal household all the time put on hats to formal occasions.

“Up until the 1950s, ladies were very seldom seen without a hat as it was not considered ‘the thing’ for ladies to show their hair in public,” stated Diana Mather, a senior tutor for The English Manner, to the BBC. “But all that has changed and hats are now reserved for more formal occasions.”

Fascinating fascinators


Getty Images

But formal definitely does not imply boring. The hats donned by the royal girls over time have remodeled extra into wearable artwork than conventional headwear.

The pink pretzel-esque fascinator Princess Beatrice wore to William and Kate’s marriage ceremony in 2011 is proof sufficient.

Tiaras are to be worn after 6 p.m.


Getty Images

Another unstated rule dictates that tiaras have to be worn at indoor formal occasions in the course of the night.

“The old rule is that hats are never worn indoors after 6 p.m., because that is when the ladies changed into evening dress, and tiaras and the family jewels would come out,” Mather told the BBC.



Getty Images

The one exception: A bride might put on a tiara on her marriage ceremony day whatever the time.

In reality, many royals put on their first tiara once they get married — together with Kate Middleton, who rocked a Cartier tiara when she walked down the aisle in 2011.

Royals do not signal autographs for followers


Getty Images

If you are hoping to snag an autograph from one of many royals, we have now some unhealthy information. 

Royal protocol prohibits members of the family from providing their signature to followers, lest somebody attempt to forge it.

Breaking a rule


Getty Images

In 2010, Prince Charles surprisingly broke protocol to signal an autograph for victims of the Cornwall floods.

According to The Telegraph, after a couple requested Charles for his autograph, he received a piece of paper from his bodyguard and signed it “Charles 2010.”

Dark nail polish is usually frowned upon


Getty Images

Yet one other unofficial dress code rule, it’s rumored that the queen prefers royals solely to put on clear, nude or very mild pink nail polish. 

Given how fashionable the fashionable royal girls are, it ought to come as no shock that this rule will get damaged relatively regularly.

A tiny tizzy


Getty Images

Meghan Markle precipitated a tiny tizzy when she wore darkish opaque nail polish on the British Fashion Awards in 2018. Kate Middleton has additionally painted her toes for red carpet appearances.

And Princess Diana, royal rule breaker that she was, regularly sported purple nail polish in public — together with the identical day she wore her now-iconic black “revenge dress” in 1994.

Two direct heirs can’t fly in a aircraft collectively


Getty Images

According to royal protocol, two direct heirs to the throne should take separate flights whereas touring — a failsafe in case one thing tragic occurs en route.

That signifies that Prince Charles and Prince William can’t fly collectively, and Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth can’t fly collectively.

Flying solo


Getty Images

When Prince George turns 12, he may even have to start out flying individually from his father.

The Cambridges have regularly flown with their kids prior to now, however usually acquired special permission from the queen to take action.

Shellfish ought to by no means be ordered at eating places


Getty Images

There are a few protocols centered round what royals can and can’t eat at eating places, however the greatest menu no-no is shellfish.

The purpose? Shellfish poses a larger threat of meals poisoning than most different meals, and the household must all the time stay in good well being.

Food restrictions


Getty Images

For that very same purpose, the household can be suggested in opposition to ordering meat cooked uncommon, ingesting faucet water in overseas international locations, and consuming meals that’s overly spicy.

While the queen strictly adheres to those pointers, Prince Charles reportedly skirts the rules and enjoys a shellfish dish each as soon as in a whereas.

A rule in opposition to carrying fur


Getty Images

This rule goes method again — about 685 years again, in reality, when King Edward III handed The Fur Act of 1337.

The act successfully banned everybody aside from knights and clergymen from carrying fur as a part of their outfits.



Getty Images

This is one other rule that’s damaged comparatively regularly. Both the queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall had been seen carrying fur hats on Christmas Day in 2010, a lot to the chagrin of animal rights teams throughout the U.Ok.

According to her royal dresser, the queen stopped carrying new garments that includes fur in 2019 and now asks designers to solely use fake fur.

They should preserve a document of each present they obtain


Getty Images

The royals have a lot of rules to observe relating to giving and receiving presents, starting from folks they have to refuse presents from, to the financial worth of presents they’ll preserve.

But whatever the current itself, all objects have to be entered into a log. According to the Royal Household’s gift policy, “Official gifts should be acknowledged wherever possible, recorded and be traceable at all times.”

Yep, there’s a record


Getty Images

Keeping observe of each current you obtain sounds tedious, however the information typically make for some fascinating dialog.

Buckingham Palace regularly releases a record of official presents the royal household receives every year, and the entries are stunning, to say the least. Some of the strangest items have included an computerized rifle, 12 packing containers of mangoes, a PhD thesis, and dwell sloths from Brazil.

When the queen stops consuming, you cease consuming


Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of rules to observe when eating with Her Majesty.

One of the largest rules is that dinner companions should echo the queen’s habits all through the meal — so if she places down her knife and fork, meaning you are completed consuming, too. 

Lipstick etiquette


Getty Images

Other eating etiquette for royals consists of holding silverware within the right arms (knife in the precise hand, fork within the left) and solely speaking to folks sitting immediately subsequent to you.

Royals carrying lipstick should additionally attempt to all the time drink from the same spot on their cup, in order to not smear their make-up on the glass any greater than completely needed. 

No sleeping whereas the queen is awake


Getty Images

Similar to the dinner desk rule, the royal household should additionally mirror the queen’s actions relating to bedtime.

In different phrases, nobody can retire for the night time till Her Majesty does so first.



Getty Images

According to Sir William Heseltine, the Queen’s former personal secretary, Princess Diana discovered these lengthy stretches of sitting round and ready for bedtime to be “agony.” 

“There’d be an hour or so in the sitting room of everyone sitting around making conversation,” Heseltine instructed writer Juliet Rieden in her ebook, “The Royals in Australia.” “And Diana was driven to such extremes that she’d excuse herself and go to bed, which was thought to be rather bad form, going to bed before the queen.”

The queen can drive with out a license


Getty Images

An instance of the royals getting a little extra freedom versus inflexible pointers, the queen is the one particular person within the U.Ok. who doesn’t need a driver’s license to get behind the wheel of a automotive. 

Additionally, she by no means needed to take a driving take a look at and would not must put tags on her automotive.

And nonetheless she skilled


Getty Images

That’s to not say the queen would not know methods to function a automobile.

On the opposite, she skilled as a navy driver and mechanic throughout World War II and, up till a couple years in the past, beloved driving her Range Rover when she wasn’t in public view.

PDA is strongly discouraged


Getty Images

There are not any official rules forbidding public shows of affection, however Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip set a precedent encouraging royals to maintain touching to a minimal.

Prince William and Kate have adopted within the queen’s footsteps, maintaining issues strictly skilled in public — aside from the occasional Olympics embrace, that’s.



Getty Images

On the opposite hand, Prince Harry and Meghan clearly do not feel as a lot strain to stick to this explicit rule.

The couple regularly share some cute PDA moments, they usually even — gasp! — kissed on stage when Meghan launched Harry in the course of the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in 2022. 

Royals enter the room in a particular order


Getty Images

When the royal household is a part of a procession, they usually enter and are seated so as of who’s subsequent in line for the crown.

That means the order normally begins with Queen Elizabeth, then continues with Prince Charles and Camilla, then Prince William and Kate, and so forth.



Getty Images

You can think about folks’s confusion, then, when members of the family had been seen strolling into a room in fully random order at Buckingham Palace in 2019.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, this lack of ritual is kind of traditional at low-key occasions. “A true order of precedence really only takes shape at state and diplomatic events,” stated royal historian Marlene Koenig.

Wedding bouquets should comprise myrtle


Getty Images

Myrtle flowers symbolize good luck in love and marriage, so it is smart that the royals would need them integrated into their wedding bouquets.

The custom of together with sprigs of myrtle in a single’s bouquet began with Queen Victoria, and prominently resurfaced with Kate Middleton’s marriage ceremony in 2011.

Lucky myrtle


Getty Images

Princess Beatrice additionally adopted this charming rule when she received married in 2020.

Along with the sprigs of myrtle, her floral piece featured jasmine, candy peas, roses and different blooms.

Handshakes ought to include two to 3 pumps


Getty Images

When you are a royal, even one thing so simple as shaking somebody’s hand is very regulated. 

According to Grant Harrold, director of the Royal School of Etiquette, the royal members of the family are taught the proper shake from a younger age: “A royal handshake should consist of two to three pumps, with your palms open and thumbs down.”

Don’t attain out


Getty Images

As for us commoners, we must always by no means provoke a handshake with a royal — we must always watch for them to come back to us.

There have been a number of harmless situations of celebrities mistakenly initiating contact with a member of the royal household, from Michelle Obama touching the queen’s upper back in 2009 to Ed Sheeran clasping Prince Charles’s arm in 2017.

Boys put on shorts till age 8


Getty Images

It’s an unwritten royal rule that boys should put on shorts for many of their childhood years, graduating to longer trousers once they flip 8.

The aristocratic apply of dressing younger boys in robes after which shorts dates back to the 16th century, and we all know the British royals like sticking to long-standing traditions.

But what about winter?


Getty Images

While the general public has discovered to affiliate this custom with Prince George — he simply turned 8 in 2021 so we have principally seen him in shorts up so far — his father and grandfather had been additionally topic to this rule.

Prince William did not put on lengthy trousers till he went to prep college, and Queen Elizabeth put Prince Charles in toddler attire and shorts earlier than he transitioned to pants.

Avoid phrases like “toilet” and “perfume”


Getty Images

In her ebook, “Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior,” writer Kate Fox revealed that there are greater than a dozen phrases which are banned from the royal household’s vocabulary.

For instance, one ought to by no means use the phrase “toilet” within the presence of a royal on account of its French origin. “Lavatory” and “loo” are much more acceptable choices.

No dessert for you


Getty Images

Another instance: The royals don’t use the phrase “dessert” to discuss with the meals served on the finish of a meal. When they’re craving one thing candy, they ask for “pudding.”

Some different phrases saved out of the royal vocabulary embody “patio,” “perfume,” “lounge” and “couch.”

They all need to get baptized


Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth isn’t just the pinnacle of her household — she can be the pinnacle of the Church of England.

As such, each member of the British royal household have to be baptized to suggest the start of their membership to the church.

Baptisms for everybody


Getty Images

Baptisms are a fairly large deal for royal infants, however even the grown-up additions to the household need to endure this ceremony of passage.

Before she received married to Prince Harry in 2018, Meghan Markle was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a secret, closely-guarded ceremony.

Back to top button