Imagine becoming a member of the British Royal Family and only learning then that there are countless weird and strict rules and traditions that one must follow, what would you do? Meghan Markle, who is the newest addition to the Royal Family has become a royal rebel before even getting married to Prince Harry because she has already broken many of the rigid rules. Though the British monarchy is getting more modern as the years pass, the rules of royal etiquette are still as strict as they once were. The ridiculous traditions that the members of the highest-rank in society are supposed to follow are compiled of rules that range from fashion to mannerisms.
Then again, it is hard to believe that these rules are so strictly implemented, though they are, because Prince Harry has been labeled a royal renegade from the time that he was admitted to rehab for smoking and illegally consuming alcoholic beverages. Since Prince Harry broke the royal protocol quite often, one would think the queen would have already disgraced him, instead he has the hottest woman wrapped around his arms right now. And though the two are not married yet, they have already caused scandal with all the rules they deliberately unfollowed and the traditions they broke.
Because the British Royal Family must be a shining example for the world, it is normal and common for them to be sticklers for traditions and protocols. Here is a list compiled of all the surprising and peculiar traditions that not even the Queen can break down.
20 They Are Not Allowed To Wear Fur
This is one tradition that demonstrates just how much the Royal Family has stayed back in time and not advanced their clocks with the rest of the world. This rule leads all the way back to the days where fur was a novelty, and where ‘"faux fur" had not yet come into existence. Way back in the 12th century, Edward III decided that his main rule would be the banning of fur.
He implemented this regulation by not only banning the Royal Family from wearing or owning it, but the whole population.
This royal tradition was carried on for years, and still has. However, the Queen herself was caught sporting some fur — she probably permits herself since we do not know of this tradition.
19 Royal Women Are Not Allowed To Give A Speech At Their Wedding
The entire world tunes into their televisions when there is a royal wedding, because which wedding in the world is more lavish, posh and glamorous than a royal wedding?
And because their weddings are so distinguished from the real world, there are of course a set of rigid rules a royal couple must follow for their nuptial.
Though most eyes are on the royal bride when there is a royal wedding taking place, the bride has hardly any say on her fairytale wedding, even during the ceremony itself. We all want to talk at our weddings, but in the Royal Family, it is forbidden for the bride to deliver a speech of her own. The speeches are reserved for the men only; the royal groom, the best man, and the father of the bride. How ridiculous is it that a woman cannot even give a speech on her special day?
18 The Royal Women Must Wear Pantyhose
Are you a woman? Do you like to be fancy and rock a gorgeous dress? Are you a part of the Royal Family? If the answer is no to the latter, then you are free to strut in your dress without wearing the most annoying things to have even been created for women; pantyhose. Like most of their protocols that are unheard of because they are unspoken policies, this is another very imperative one that a royal woman must obey. It is not a fashion rule they must abide by, but women of the Royal Family must wear pantyhose if they are going to wear a dress in public.
They say it is not a rule, but rather a tradition that they want kept alive
because it goes back to the times of Queen Elizabeth and her predecessors.
17 Bowing And Curtsying Is A Must
Definitely not part of our daily routine as common people, but the monarchy has very specific rules and manners that must be followed upon greeting one another. This specific tradition that has been a part of the British monarchy from the beginning of times is the act of bowing and curtsying. There are no exceptions to this rule; when a woman that is part of the Royal Family, like Kate Middleton, sees the Queen, she must, without hesitation, greet the queen with a bow and curtsy.
What is most surprising about this tradition, that most people do not know, is that when the men greet the Queen, it is done differently;
men of the Royal Family perform a neck bow to greet the Queen — sounds like Cinderella!
16 They Cannot Engage In Any PDA
There is one thing that us people outside of the Royal Family agree on, and that is that we are not all big fans of PDA, but we do not forbid it like they do. While some like it, and others peeve it, there is no written rule for us that states we cannot engage in forms of public display of affection. However, the Royal Family considers PDA way out of line, even for the couples of the monarchy. The couples, like Prince William and the Duchess Kate Middleton, must remain fairly stoic in public because PDA is completely frowned and looked down upon.
Even if they are travelling, the couples are not allowed to be seen showing affection for one another.
PDA is to be completely avoided, and the weirdest of all, is that they must also refrain from holding hands — it just never happens.
15 They Are Not Allowed To Vote
There is no family in the world that is more influential than the British Royal Family, therefore, to our surprise, they are not allowed to participate in voting.
The family cannot have political views because of the power they have over the Commonwealth.
And with that kind of power and presence, they cannot have a say when it comes to political matters because they could easily influence public opinion, which in turn, bans them from voting. To keep political matters running smoothly they are consequently forced to keep all politics out of conversation.
14 They Cannot Play Monopoly
Imagine a childhood without growing up and playing the ever-so-popular board game Monopoly, well that is the reality of the Royals. The property-trading game, which is a classic in many households, is completely forbidden for the Royal Family, and we admit that this must be the most ridiculous tradition — it is positively the easiest rule and tradition one can break. It is not a tradition that dates to way back when, but a recent one that was hinted at to the public by Prince Andrew during a public event where he admitted to the tradition. The Duke of York said:
"We're not allowed to play Monopoly at home. It gets too vicious.”
Who would have thought that despite all the scandals the Royal Family have been involved in, that Monopoly would be the deal breaker for them?
13 They Need To Always Pack A Certain Outfit
If you thought that them being prohibited from playing Monopoly because it causes rifts in the family is strange, then this one is bound to make you raise an eyebrow — or two. The royal family, or a royal, often travel around the world for lengthy periods of time; they often go from one place to another without returning home, so they make sure to pack appropriately. But who knew there would be an absurd rule that is also applied to what a Royal must pack?
When travelling, a member of the monarchy is obliged to pack an all-black outfit — a black outfit is required because they must be prepared with an ensemble that is considered "funeral appropriate."
How strange is it that the royal family have sudden deaths on their conscious? — very.
12 The Royal Women Are Only Allowed To Carry Clutches
The Meghan Markle is our new favorite trendsetter and fashionista, but who knew she would have already broken a fashion tradition that no other royal woman has before. When she arrived at Edinburgh Castle, she was sporting a crossbody bag — gasp —how dare she? In the Royal Family, women are not allowed to break fashion protocol, especially when it comes to how they are wearing something, rather than what they are wearing.
Proper fashion etiquette calls for women to carry purses small enough to hold in their hands.
Basically, women are only allowed to carry a clutch, which they must firmly hold onto with both hands. And what is most deplorable about this style-code tradition is that the reason for this fashion protocol, is that it permits the Royals to avoid shaking hands.
11 The Royal Women Must Always Wear A Formal Hat
It is every girl's wish to wear a tiara — even for just one day, just like princesses do. However, even being a woman and part of the Royal Family does not guarantee you a fancy tiara. Protocol and tradition calls for marriage in order to gracefully wear a tiara.
One long-lasting tradition is that women of the Royal Family, when out in public at a formal event, must always wear a hat; no formal look is complete without a posh hat on the top.
In our ordinary lives, wearing hats inside is usually deemed inappropriate and rude, but royal protocol dictates them to wear a hat to every official occasion — a rule that dates to the 1950s. And as for the tiara, when the clock strikes 6 p.m., the women must glamorously swap their hats for tiaras — because they're aristocratic like that.
10 They Must Follow All The Queen's Moves, Even At Dinner
Everything Her Majesty does must be mimicked by all Royal Family members, after all, she is the Queen. However though, there is a certain rule that extends to all common people when they are invited to dine with the queen. It seems like a fairly simple tradition, but when you ponder on it, it is totally unfair. This rule implies that one must do what the queen does and follow her every move, and that includes eating habits.
A Royal has to immediately stop eating when the Queen stops eating — and that extends to everyone on the same table as her.
The Royals and the guests are not even permitted to finish their meal if she has stopped. However, traditionally, when the queen is seen placing her purse on the table, it is a signal that dinner is officially over; that subtly by the queen actually signifies a 5-minute warning.
9 They Are Not Allowed To Have Contact With Non-Royals
Are you a member of the Royal Family? If not, you can right away give up your dreams of ever getting close to them — men, you can also forget about getting close to Meghan Markle. This may be the tradition that makes you either laugh the most, or completely find their protocols pathetic; they must think we are aliens. The Royals, who are the highest social rank, are not allowed to have any contact with someone who is outside of the Royal Family.
In fact, if you are not a royal, they are not even allowed or to touch you.
By tradition, they are not allowed to have any contact with non-royals, which includes not shaking their hands, not hugging them, and not putting our arms round them while posing for a picture let us say. Princess Diana, who was known to shun down tradition often broke this rule — heck, this protocol is way too weird.
8 They Use Purses To Send Subtle Signals
Who knew that a purse could signify so much? The Royals have obviously put way more thought into the many things a purse can be useful for; like avoiding shaking hands, signifying that dinner is over, and the newest addition, subtly signalling that the time is up. Another tradition that a royal woman cannot break is using her purse as a way to send signals to their members. Generally, protocol for holding a purse is grasping the clutch with both hands, but if the Queen is engaging in conversation with a person, her purse needs to be carefully observed by her staff. Why?
Because if the Queen has her purse on the left arm and moves it to the right arm, that means she is way over the conversation and wants it to end.
However, she does not do her dirty work and appear rude as it is up to her staff to take the hint and end the conversation.
7 Dinner Conversations Have A Pattern
If there is something that is very important to the Royal Family, it is taking dinner seriously — most traditions surround dinner etiquette. Just a quick tidbit, in the time of King Henry VIII, there was a tradition that was just utterly rude and disrespectful; during dinner conversation, the King would throw sugar plums at his guests if he got frustrated or bored by them — what a way to handle a situation. Thank goodness, that tradition is long gone, but there are still sturdy dinner traditions that the Queen has implemented to all Royal Family members.
In this instance, conversations at the dinner table are factually formulated. What this means is that conversation follows the same routine each time;
the Queen first speaks to the person on her right, and then during the second course, she shifts her conversation to the person on her left.
6 They Are Not Allowed To Sign Autographs
Unfortunately for fans of Meghan Markle and/or Kate Middleton, they will never be able to possess an autograph from the two trendsetters. And this applies to everyone that is a part of the Royal Family, so if any of you ever have the chance to meet them, be quick on your feet when trying to snap a photo because it is about all you will get. We are sorry to disappoint you, but it is a breach of protocol for the Royal Family to sign autographs, and only once did someone break the royal stipulation — ahem, Prince Charles. The British Royal Family condemn that it is completely off limits, but this ban is a historic one, with a specific reason behind it.
The motive for the long-standing rule has been implemented for avoiding forgery.
So, instead of hearing "Sorry, they don't allow me to do that," from a Royal, just ask for a selfie — there is no protocol against that yet.
5 The Royal Family Doesn’t Open Presents On Christmas Day
Meghan Markle is going to have to start getting used to a whole other kind of Christmas. Christmas morning usually means one thing for children; kids waking up in the mooring full of excitement waiting to unravel their new goodies, but for little Prince George and Princess Charlotte that does not apply.
For the Royal Family, gift exchanges are not stricken, instead, Santa opts for early delivery for the Royals and delivers the presents a day early, on Christmas Eve.
This goes back to 16th century tradition because the royal family has German roots. Therefore, to keep some of the German heritage alive in the monarchy, the children and entire Royal Family gather together on Christmas Eve at tea time to open their presents. We can't say we're not jealous that Prince George gets to open his gifts a day before us!
4 The Royal Family Does Not Use Nicknames
The slightest things in life are the most forbidden things when it comes to the Royal Family, like nicknames. No matter who it may be in the Royal Family, nicknames are completely outlawed — and this rule must never be broken, since the British monarchy are all about formality. It is of course no surprise that when dealing with the Royal Family, that there are many formalities, and one of which happens to be that they always need to be referred by their proper royal titles.
Nicknames are considered informal by the Royal Family, especially since the early 1900s, the Royal Family did not even go by a surname.
Though we often have the tendency to say Prince Will and Kate Middleton, they are actually Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
3 The Royal Women Have A Rule On How To Sit
If you want to have what it takes to have the manners of a royal woman, then the way you sit is extremely vital in terms of proper etiquette. The worst thing a woman can do that is part of the British monarchy is sit wrongly — yes, all their movements are watched.
As far as rules go, a woman cannot sit with her legs crossed at the knee, and if one does, expect an immediate crooked look from the Queen.
The ladies must have their legs and knees kept closed together, and to allow for more comfort, they are permitted to cross at the ankle — how lenient of them. Princess Diana and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton perfected this seated position and kept formality by keeping the knees and ankles tightly together and slanting the legs to the side; giving them a modest posture.
2 The Royal Family Can't Travel Together
According to royal protocol, a father is not allowed to travel with his son. To be more specific, this protocol does not permit Prince William and Prince George to travel on the same plane.
Because Prince William is second in line to the throne and Prince George, third, they cannot be on the same flight together in case of accident.
Though Prince William, Duchess Kate and their children have flown together before, it is a complete breach of royal protocol. Most importantly, the two princes traveled together on their family tour, and that was completely frowned upon, considering the many countries they flew to. And when it comes to traveling together, it is the Queen that has the final say on whether they can or not — after Prince William's children turn 12, the deal of flying together is called off.
1 They Adhere To A Strict Dress Code
If you love to lounge in your sweatpants and go to school or shopping with comfortable and casual clothing, then thankfully you are not a member of the Royal Family — the family does not even know what casual dressing means. And those poor little boys cannot dress relaxed either, like Prince George, who can only wear dressy shorts. There are plenty dress code rules that the Royals must follow, besides the fact that they adhere to a modest dress code.
The women, specifically, must truly follow the many fashion etiquettes; they are not allowed to wear colored nail polish (only a hawk would have noticed that), and most of the time, there is a rule that prevents them from wearing jeans.
The Queen, who makes wearing gloves always look so fancy and trendy, is also not allowed to break fashion protocol. They are of the highest class, which is what Prince George's shorts signify.