Being a princess in the Royal Family is every little girl’s dream. They dream of a day when they get to wear a tiara and get to wear designer fashions made exclusively for them. They dream of becoming princesses because princesses have access to oodles of cash and get to live happily ever after in a castle straight out of a fairytale. So, as many girls know, being part of the Royal family means having countless privileges.
But what they may not know—and what many of us plebeians don’t know—is that Royal women have to adhere to all sorts of protocols as they are under scrutiny and in the public eye every day. If you are part of the Royal family, you can no longer do the normal things that everyday people are accustomed to, but instead have to follow rules dictated by the customs of Queen Elizabeth, rules that have been passed down to her. For Kate Middleton: she can’t ever break from the decorum and the impeccable etiquette that is expected of her. Some of the rules don’t seem bad. The princess can’t ever partake in PDA, she can’t ever eat shellfish and she can’t ever have garlic as an ingredient in her food because the Queen abhors it. But some things, such as not being able to play Monopoly, are just downright bizarre and, if you read on, you’ll find 15 more of the messed up rules that Royal women have to follow.
15. Do Not Touch The Princess!
When Lebron James visited the Royal family, he slung his shoulder around Kate during a photo op as if he was her drinking buddy. You can’t touch the princess! Even if you are one of the most famous players on the court, you must brush up on your etiquette so that your photo won’t cause such a controversy in social media around the world. Kate is royalty. She will act as she is told. Every person around her who is not royal must not touch her in any way, as if she has cooties or is repellant to everyday folk. But this rule has to be followed because she is a future monarch of England. Michelle Obama—she of the impeccable manners—can’t even touch her! In 2009, when she placed her hand on the back of Queen Elizabeth II, all hell broke loose.
14. Royal Women Must Not Wear Fur
It was decided long ago in 1137, by Edward III, that wearing fur is forbidden. This included the Royal family, as well as men of the church. And just like the Royal family, in modern times nine centuries later, the British are still following that rule. In this way, they are not unlike the Royals, as they too are upholding the tradition. But what’s the deal? Her Majesty follows traditions flawlessly, and yet has been photographed several times wearing fur. The horror! But get this. Even Kate has broken the rule when she was seen wearing fur-lined ski gloves while on holiday one year. These instances are a vagrant betrayal of tradition. And why bother? You’re only going to be met with heavy criticism from Animal activists.
13. Nicknames Are Completely Forbidden
To be Royal means to be formal all the time, and so names must follow that order and no nicknames are allowed. Prince William is not “Will,” and you can’t ever shout out “Yo, Will,” to get his attention. But Prince William’s wife has a well-known nickname “Kate,” which is derived from her given formal name Catherine, which she barely uses. Her official royal title is “Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge” or “Her Royal Highness The Princess William of Wales,” but she can also be called “Catherine”. But the world knows Kate Middleton as “Kate”. Paparazzi call out her name “Kate,” and reporters also do the same. The nickname “Kate” has stuck and she has somehow been allowed to break protocol. Perhaps she’s following after Lady Diana, who was often called Lady Di. The lesson here is that maybe some of those strict bizarre rules can be broken!
12. For Royal Women, Their Handbags Serve A Purpose
Kate is often seen holding a small clutch rather than something bigger like a handbag. But according to tradition, there are only two ways to hold the clutch. Kate has to either hold it in one hand to her side to have the other hand free or else in front of her body with two hands. The clutch also serves a purpose. It subtly communicates to fans and press that she will not shake their hands. Remember? YOU CAN’T TOUCH KATE!
The Queen’s bag also sends subtle signals. If she moves her bag from the left arm to her right, she wants to finish a conversation. If she places her purse on a table, whatever meal she is having will come to an end in five minutes.
Even Lady Diana’s clutch served a purpose. She held it up to her chest to cover up a low-cut dress whenever she stepped out of cars. This is now famously known as the “cleavage bag,” and yes, princesses aren’t supposed to ever show cleavage.
11. It’s Still A Rule, But At Least Your Legs Look Longer
Royal women sit in obedience to tradition. They must sit upright, with their back straight. They are doing it correctly by imagining there is an egg between their back and the back of their chair. While they are allowed to wear a dress or skirt that ends above the knee, doing so while sitting may accidentally reveal too much. So Kate can’t cross her legs at the knee. She has to keep her ankles and knees together or else cross her ankles. She also follows the famous “Dutchess Slant” when sitting to keep modest, which is to slant her knees to one side and keep her ankles and knees together while clasping her hands in her lap. This is Kate’s “signature” seated pose, and it allows for her to create a flattering silhouette, making her legs look longer.
10. If In Doubt, Mirror The Moves Of The Queen
When the Queen stands, you stand. When President Obama and Michelle Obama famously visited the Queen, a photo of them popped up on the Internet and social media and you could see them standing before a chair. Wouldn’t you like to take a seat? How dare you! In this photo, notice the Queen, nearing her 100th birthday, is standing tall, without even the slightest hunch. If it’s easy for her to do, then it’s imperative for you to follow. If you fail to get up when she does, you probably will never return to Buckingham Palace, especially if you are a guest. This rule simply cannot be broken. If you forget, just mirror every gesture and action that she does. And don’t just follow her. If other members of the Royal family are hosting dinner, follow their lead as well. Kate, who needs to follow formal Royal rules, has never failed to follow the Queen.
9. There’s A Special Way To Drink Tea
During a meal, If Kate has to do #1, she must not say so. The proper way is to excuse herself and exit the room before placing her napkin flat behind her plate.
If soup is served, a princess must scoop the soup away from her. If she’s having tea, the teacup is held by pinching the thumb and index finger together. The middle finger simply rests underneath the handle, securing the bottom, and the handle should always be kept at 3 o’clock. To avoid lipstick stains around the rim, Kate must sip from the same place. For proper napkin holding, Kate must place her own in her lap after the hostess or host does, which is as soon as one of them sit. Lastly, when wiping her hands or mouth with the napkin, she must wipe inside its fold to avoid getting crumbs of food on her clothes.
8. More Dining Rules To Drive You Nuts
At dinner parties, the Queen starts by talking to the person seated to her right. When the second course arrives, the Queen switches to the guest on her left. The guest seated to the right must prepare some talking points in advance to be able to hold a conversation that will be of interest to the Queen until the next course.
During the second course, the Queen will turn her attention to the guest on her left. But that’s only for a moment. The Queen often returns to the right-seated guest. Pity this poor sap! Should you tell her what’s next in your Netflix queue and then go on and list every single movie?
7. They Must Wear Hats To All Formal Events
Princesses must always look beautiful and well-groomed. This is why Kate gets her hair blown out at least three times a week. She’s not being vain. She’s being a Royal, perfectly primped like a doll.
Kate’s attire must abide by a strict dress code. It must always be modest and appropriate for the occasion. For Royal parties, a beautiful gown is in order. Casual days are more relaxed. Kate is allowed to wear a smart dress or trousers paired with a wool or cotton jacket and a cardigan.
Also, the princess must also always wear a hat—the fancier, the better—to all formal daytime events. If the event goes over 6 p.m. and is held indoors, Kate must swap her hat for a tiara. Tradition dictates that the tiara must be worn farther back on her head at a 45-degree angle.
6. This Is Getting Bad – Even More Dining Rules!
The Queen makes most decisions at Buckingham Palace. So—surprise!—there are even more rules for dining with the Queen. First, everyone at the table must stop eating when the Queen finishes a course. Even if you are not done with your meal, or are still hungry, you will stop eating or else! Unfortunately, because the Queen is always served first, you better eat fast before the next course is served. You also stand when the Queen stands and you also sit when she sits. If you get nervous or get tongue tied-tied because you can’t believe you are in the presence of royalty, do as best as you can to maintain composure. This does not mean running out to have a quick cig to calm your nerves! And yes, these rules are not just designed for guests. The entire Royal family must follow the Queen during formal dinners.
5. A Rule That Pays Homage To Jerry Seinfeld?
Every occasion that Kate steps out in public, fans go wild and she’s often given lavish bouquets of flowers. What does she do with them? She throws them out. Okay, well that’s not entirely true. Many Royals receive presents on any given day, not just during the holidays. It’s a nice perk, getting gifts, and the rule behind accepting them—yes, even presents follow a rule—is for the Royal family to accept them graciously. Here’s another rule: those flowers do not belong to Kate. They belong to the Crown. So, the Monarch decides who gets to keep each gift. The Queen has so much power that she even decides which gifts can be re-gifted. So even royalty, like many average citizens, practice the art of re-gifting. We wonder if the Queen got her cue from that Seinfeld episode with the Label Maker.
4. Royal Women Must Spend Christmas With The Royal Family
If you are a princess, you have no choice but to spend the holiday with the Queen at Sandringham House in Norfolk. And while there, tradition follows you. Fun for all! For example, holiday dinner is very formal. Kate must wear a gown, beautiful jewelry becoming of her and, of course, her tiara. Men wear black tie suits. That’s not the kicker. This one is: boyfriends and girlfriends must not celebrate the holiday with whomever royal they are dating. That’s why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spend Christmases apart. And that tradition is so outdated that Kate broke protocol a few times by spending Christmas with her own family at their house in Berkshire. The Queen—you guessed it—was peeved.
3. Pop Question: Is Charity Good Or Bad?
Kate has a degree in art history, but there’s no way she’s going to be a tour guide at a museum or any other profession that reveals her knowledge or strengths. That’s because she’s a princess, and a princess does not work and can forget all about any other form of career path because her duties acting in a Royal manner is a full-time job. Even if you secretly pine for a career to exert your individuality, you won’t have time to hold one. That’s because you will be philanthropic and devote your time supporting a charity, setting up charity events, donating money to charities and making public speeches to and for charities. Did we mention charity? We’ll say it again. Charity, charity, charity. However, there is some wiggle room to exert your identity and freedom. You are allowed to create your own charity. Now that’s freedom!
2. You Must Never Dabble In Politics
The Royal Family are legally allowed to vote. However, there is an abiding rule that they must refrain from doing so, and may not participate in elections in any way. The Royals are representatives of all people, embracing all, including every minority group or special interest group. They represent an entire country. As such, they play a public role in society, and to vote is to be decisive, to take political sides and is considered unconstitutional.
So, Kate Middleton can’t vote, but that’s not the end of keeping neutral and staying out of politics. It Kate wanted to, she couldn’t run for office because the Royal family also aren’t allowed to hold any type of political office for the same reasons above. If Kate did hold office or vote, the people of England would cast her out.
1. A Princess Must Always Be On Her Best Behavior
Kate didn’t just marry into the Royal Family, she also married into public scrutiny. She has to accept that the world is watching her every move and that her entire life is in the spotlight. The slightest shift in breaking protocol will be televised, blogged about, written about, and appear on all forms of social media. Even before Kate married William, she was already being scrutinized.
The point is, Kate has to always be on her best behavior and appear flawless. No faux pas in any manner. No hair in disarray. If she sneezes, the whole world will know. Even though she probably wouldn’t, saying the wrong thing must always be avoided and it’s best that mum’s the word in case she slips. So far, Kate has in no way stirred up controversy and there are no skeletons in her closet except for walking down the runway in a see-through dress in college.
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