If you think 29 million people watching you walk down the aisle is scrutiny – no kidding. That's how many people are estimated to have watched Meghan Markle say, "I do" to Prince Harry on May 19th, 2018. As we watched that 15-foot train follow a stunning Meghan in her custom-made Givenchy gown, we knew she had made the right choice. Megan fell for Harry after a blind date in 2016. Harry has personally said that he feels their love was "written in the stars."
Here's something else that's written when you become a royal. It's called a big fat rulebook. From banned foods to teacup holding, this family has more rules to follow than the Church of Scientology. And guess what? Some royals can behave badly. When Kate Middleton married Prince William back in 2011, People reported that the event cost a staggering $36 million. What they didn't report, though, were the endless rules Kate would have to follow. (Especially the ones she broke – and boy, does she break them)
Most people clicked on this for two reasons. To find out what those rules are, and to find out how Kate broke them. For all the "royal-appropriate" balcony waving and matching hats you've seen Kate in, this girl is one giant rule-breaker. Kate has earned herself more hours in detention than hours she's been married. Meghan needs to watch out. Here are 20 royal rules that Kate Middleton broke that the newbie royal will need to watch out for – if Meghan isn't reading this, she really should.
20 THE AIRPLANE RULE PROTECTING THE ROYAL BLOODLINE
Let's be very clear here. The royal rules weren't invented yesterday. Some of these rules date back to the start of the British monarchy – over 1200 years ago. If you sit there and watch Game of Thrones or period dramas, you're not far off. Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II is the second British monarch to bear that name. The first Elizabeth was crowned in the year 1558. The extent to which this family will go to protect the sacred succession to the throne is insane. Planes didn't exist back then, but they do now. According to The Times, the royal travel protocol does not permit two heirs to share a flight in case of a crash.
Two heirs cannot share a plane in case of a crash – it "protects" the royal bloodline. Guess who broke that rule?
The rule prevents Prince Harry and William sharing a flight. Since Kate and Will's kids are also heirs (just further down the line), the rule means that Will's kids can't fly with their dad. In 2014, when Will and Kate were on an official visit to New Zealand, though, The Express reported that the Queen had "granted William permission to travel with his 8 month-old baby." Kate telling the Queen what to do? We're only just getting started...
19 NOT KEEPING TABS ON HER PARTYING HUSBAND
Meghan was reportedly already "worried" about Harry's bachelor party in the luxury Swiss ski resort of Verbier. The Mirror had reported that Meghan wasn't too keen on Harry partying it up with his pals – especially since the resort is a literal party haunt. Celeb sightings there have included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, plus David and Victoria Beckham – oh, and Kate's own husband, Prince William.
Will was caught in an awkward moment here, when Kate was "less than happy" with Will's solo ski trip in 2017. Vanity Fair reported that Will being photographed with his arm around a mystery woman had left Kate feeling unsteady. FYI, Verbier is the kind of party place where chalets go for $50,000 a night. Verbier's Farinet nightclub is where Will was photographed here in 2017. The report did mention Will's embarrassing "dad dancing," but that's unlikely to have topped Kate's worry list.
The royals don't do much partying. Meghan has probably learned that the harsh way– we've yet to see her in anything but those awkwardly formal coats and hats. We know that we'll never see Meghan as the Hollywood party girl she used to be. Part of being a royal is staying in character – all the time. The Queen runs a tight ship, and watching how your husband behaves is part of the job description. Kate didn't do it here. Meghan should probably start taking notes.
18 THROWING THE QUEEN'S CHRISTMAS INVITE IN HER FACE
In case you haven't yet realized, interactions with the Queen go a bit like this – The Queen says stuff and you say, "Yes, your Majesty." Actually, if the conversations continues, you then address her as "Ma'am," (which must rhyme with "jam"). Most people live for the chance to be invited to one of the Queen's garden parties. A select few, like Angelina Jolie, David and Victoria Beckham, and Liam Neeson have had that honor. The Queen's principal residence is Buckingham Palace in London, although for all the 53 years Her Majesty has been on the throne, she has always celebrated Christmas at her country estate, Sandringham.
When the Queen is hosting Christmas, you show up. Well, unless you're Kate. In 2017, Kate broke a giant rule. Not only did she reportedly not reply to the RSVP Christmas invite from the Queen, according to The Express – she set up her own party. Christmas would be spent at Amner Hall in the countryside town of Norfolk. Nearby, but definitely not Sandringham.
Not only did Kate reportedly refuse to travel to Sandringham, she took it one step further. In 2017, Kate and Will invited a then-engaged Meghan and Harry to join them. Talk about throwing an invitation in the Queen's face...
17 THAT TIME KATE DROPPED THE BALL
You don't need to hire a body language expert to see what Kate's face is saying here. Displeasure is basically written all over her face. Kate majorly dropped the ball back in 2017, when she was attending a banquet in honor of the King and Queen of Spain. Sure, she looked a million bucks in a custom-made Marchesa gown, but the tiara was decorating a face like thunder. Kate wore a lace-scalloped dress handmade by one of Kim K's favorite designers, but this was no Kardashian bash. Making headlines for "the most daring royal neckline ever" in The Daily Mail, it wasn't just Kate's face that was under scrutiny.
Kate majorly dropped the ball at this 2017 gala. The royal face should never say, "This party sucks!" Kate had a face like thunder.
We'll never know what Kate was mad about, although we've got our suspicions. When it emerged that one of Kate's biggest fashion rivals, Queen Letizia of Spain was attending, fans wondered if Kate was feeling edgy. There's so much competition anyway. Kate was basically being compared to Princess Diana from day one. Meghan started being pitted against Kate before she had even walked down the aisle. Showing boredom or anger is not in the royal protocol. Just another rule that Kate has broken.
16 ANNOUNCING HER BABY NEWS ON TWITTER
Announcing pregnancies on social media is for regular celebs. Kylie Jenner may have broken records with over 17 million Instagram likes as she introduced Stormi Webster to the world, but we're looking at a different universe. Whether you're showing off your bundle of joy or announcing that a baby is on the way, you do not use social media as a royal. In many ways, you can't. Meghan had to shut down all of her accounts and her lifestyle website, The Tig, before she married Harry. The closest this family has to an Instagram account are the palace's official Twitter accounts, @ClarenceHouse and @KensingtonPalace.
Royal protocol states that "the Queen must be the first to be informed" of a royal birth. Kate has broken this rule three times.
According to The Daily Mail, royal rules insist that the Queen be the first to know. In 2013, @ClarenceHouse also used Twitter to announce the arrival of Kate and Will's first baby. "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 p.m." The couple did follow the tradition of having a paper document placed on a gold-painted easel, but Kate went on to break the rule two more times. Thoughts, Meghan?
15 SKIRTS THAT ARE TOO SHORT
When Her Majesty is "not amused," she is not amused. In 2014, The Huffington Post reported that "Kate Middleton's Skirts Are Too Short For Queen Elizabeth." Fed up with Kate's increasingly short skirts, the Queen had reportedly "ordered a makeover" for her grandson's wife as the couple prepared for a tour of Australia and New Zealand. It was said that as part of Kate's "new look," the Duchess of Cambridge was to wear clothing "more appropriate to timeless royal elegance."
In 2014, the Queen ordered a wardrobe "makeover" for Kate and her short skirts. She wanted to "fix" Kate. To "fix" something, it has to be "broken," right?
The Queen's personal dresser, Angela Kelly was employed to sort Kate and her short skirts out, according to The Daily Mail. "Lower hemlines" and a "subtle but significant regal makeover" would be Kate's punishment for breaking the royal wardrobe protocol. It states that royals must dress modestly, according to BBC. Kate's favorite designers include Alexander McQueen, who has created custom pieces for Kate on multiple occasions.
14 HEELS THAT ARE TOO HIGH
Kate isn't just a rule-breaker, she's a crafty rule-breaker. When Glamour reported that the Queen was "not a fan" of Kate's signature wedge heels, fans assumed that Kate would either stop wearing them entirely, or continue to throw that attitude in the Queen's face. As it turns out, it's neither. According to OK!, "Kate Middleton loves a wedge, but she will ditch them for the queen. So basically, doing the sneaky and wearing them behind the Queen's back.
Kate is a huge fan of wedges – even for occasions where they're questionably suitable. Over the last seven years, Kate has worn wedges with formal baby pink dresses, and she'll definitely go for wedges when attending a grass or sand event. According to Vanity Fair, the 92-year-old Queen "is not a fan of the wedged shoe. It's well known among the women in the family."
In 2018, as Meghan Mania peaked, OK! suggested that Meghan might join her sister-in-law to be partners in crime. "Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle will never wear wedges in front of the Queen," the magazine wrote. Whether or not that specifically meant that Meghan will start her royal journey as a risk taker remains to be seen. Talk about driving a wedge, though.
13 DITCHING THE ROYAL NANNIES
Royal rules don't just dictate how you dress, drink your tea, and speak. They invade every aspect of a royal's life – including parenting. As Kate and Will welcome their third child, Louis, into the world, the message this couple is sending to the Queen is very clear. "We're doing things our way." Royal tradition has always followed a strict nanny protocol, whereby the royal children are cared for by a carefully-selected royal nanny – or three. Kate has reportedly told the palace that her kids will "be raised her way."
The Queen was displeased at how Kate chooses to raise her kids. For Kate, it's "my way or the highway."
When Will spoke to GQ, he said, "I want George to grow up in a real, living environment. I don't want him growing up behind palace walls. He has to be out there." The Daily Mail reported that Kate's refusal to rely on royal nannies has left the Queen displeased. A source also told OK! that the Queen was "shocked" to find Kate and the kids hanging out in the kitchen. "She couldn't get her head around the kitchen being the main base." And to think, Meghan is such a foodie...
12 THE EXCESSIVE SPENDING
When Kate spent $5.26 million refurbishing the apartment that she shares with Will, Buckingham Palace had no choice but to defend her. As the press exploded with furious backlashes over the seven-figure amount, there was as much anger as there was detail. Over $5 million went towards installing a new roof, overhauling the electrics, and plumbing work, according to The Express – something the Queen is reported as considering "wasteful." It doesn't stop there. Kate out-spent every other royal with her $214,400 wardrobe in 2016. The Huffington Post reported that Kate's thrifty side has become a thing of the past, and that her closets are full of designers like Chanel and Alexander McQueen.
"Wasteful" is what the Queen thinks of Kate's spending. The $5 million home renovations didn't go down well. Nor did the $214,000 Kate spent on one year's worth of clothes.
Kate's extravagant spending isn't within the royal tradition. While living in luxury is a given for this family, showing it off in a flashy manner isn't. Kate wore a bespoke dress worth $7,765 to the 2017 BAFTA Awards. For her royal visit to Paris, Kate rocked up in a $10,500 Chanel coat, plus a clutch from the French designer (worth $4,700). Meghan used to live for fashion and style. We've already seen her drab outfits. What's going to happen when this California girl wants to shop?
11 THE PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
You might not have noticed this in the run-up to Meghan and Harry's wedding, but you sure will now. Back when Meghan and Harry were engaged (but not married), they were allowed to hold hands in public. According to Prince William's Butler, who spoke to Time, public displays of affection are something that the Queen frowns upon. Grant Harrold said that "it depends where the royals are and what situation they're in." For instance, Kate and Will's ski trip to Norway would have been more relaxed than formal rituals, like the Trooping the Colour.
The Prince's butler had to be subtle, but he did make his point. "We don't need to see too much," he said, adding: "They have a private life of their own." That's exactly what palace doors are for. Or, for Kate (who just seems to break rules all day long), her Norfolk home which isn't in London – as it should be. Kate and Will have been caught hugging and holding hands. Don't think that the Queen approved of the little peck on the check Will was happy to give Kate in London just this year. Meghan is just married. You can't blame a girl for wanting to show that she's in love. Better watch out...
10 PICS LIKE THESE WHEN KATE WAS ALREADY FAMILY
Have you seen Kate on any of her 20,000 formal appearances? If she isn't looking like a pink marshmallow for the Royal Airforce Show on the palace balcony, she's teetering around in court shoes while heavily pregnant. Kate basically underwent the same 180 Meghan has – the message being: when you join this family, you behave. The Queen might be busy making speeches and greeting heads of state, but she's always got her eye on the ball. Of course, Her Majesty is far too into sticking to her own rules to ever break them, so it's unlikely she would ever give any kind of interview on how she felt about this pic.
Royals should never "remove their coats in public." Disheveled and without a coat in sight, Kate was breaking rules as badly as Will here.
By our estimation, we're leaning towards: "not amused." Did you know that the royal dress protocol forbids members of the royal family from removing their coats in public? In a long list published by The Independent, we learned for ourselves just how strict the royal dress code is. What do we see here? One taxi. One disheveled-looking Kate, and zero coats. Meghan has likely already taken notes on another rule, according to the newspaper. You must always wear nude nail polish.
9 NOT LIVING IN LONDON
Where you hang your hat is serious business when it comes to the royals. It's no secret that Kate and Will have an apartment in London's Kensington Palace, but they've pulled a fast one, here. That's not coming from us – that's from the author of Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne. The writer, Christopher Andersen was pretty clear when he spoke to Good Housekeeping about the (very long) list of rules that Kate and Will have broken.
"Far to the north of London" is where Kate and Will have shacked up – in a place called Amner Hall. Christopher said that Amner Hall is "where they spend 90% of their time." Staying out of the city allows them to feel like regular people, and Kate has even been photographed shopping at local supermarkets.
FYI, if you want actual Brit input, it's looking you in the face. The writer of this article is British and a Londoner. She would be (and is) telling you two things. The first is that the town of Norfolk where Kate and Will have their Amner Hall home is a pretty long drive from London. The second is that Kate being photographed in the supermarket, Waitrose would be like seeing a king or queen in Target. Waitrose is basically one level up from Walmart. Still, it's totally not royal territory.
8 NOT BEING A FULL-TIME ROYAL
In case you haven't noticed, being a royal is a full-time job. The Queen is 92 years old and she's basically the oldest full-time employee in the UK. In 2016, Kate came under fire for her casual attitude to royal duties. "A part-time royal" is how The Daily Mail put it, although the facts are there. The newspaper was quick to point out that the Queen and Prince Charles had made 341 royal engagements in 2015. Prince William came in at a close second, with 122. Little miss rule-breaker only made 62 official appearances. Meghan's official appearances started less than a week after the wedding.
Kate's 62 official appearances have a "part-time" feel compared to the Queen and Prince Charles, who made 341 royal appearances in 2015.
For all the strict vibes the Queen sends out, she is actually an incredibly understanding woman. While there's no saying whether she approves, the Queen was said to be "supportive" of Kate and Will wanting to stay out of the limelight. Woman's Own pointed out that the Queen "doesn't want them to make the same family sacrifices she was forced to make." The Queen does have four kids of her own. Kate signed up for a full-time job, but she only delivered part-time. The Queen is unlikely to let Meghan do the same.
7 BECOMING THE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER
When OK! reported that Kate has taken on "being the family photographer," everyone was pretty shocked. Nobody was expecting Kate to actually release the pictures she had taken, but this girl is a giant rule-breaker, remember? Princess Charlotte's first day at nursery and a 2018 pic of her new baby, Louis were all taken by Kate herself. A royal expert told The Daily Mail that Kate and Will's "modern approach" was part of their "desire to be more resourceful with money."
There's a problem, though. It's breaking tradition. If you've seen pictures of the royals as a family, you'll notice a pattern. Lots of posing. Lots of flowers and ornaments. Definitely no DIY photo jobs. The royal family has professional photographers whose job it is to make sure that released photos are "royal appropriate." That means lots of smiles – but a special kind of smile. Wild selfies or pokey-out tongues are strictly forbidden. Although, isn't that basically what Meghan's cheeky Instagram used to be?
Meghan had to delete all of her social media (and her personal website) as she joined the family. So let's get this straight: Kate joins the family and breaks traditions. The one tradition that's royal as they come, according to OK!? Horseback riding. Kate reportedly "hates it."
6 LETTING PRINCE GEORGE BOTTLE-FEED PIGS
There's a fine line between traditional parenting and Kate's own twist. The Queen has an eye on all six of her great-grandchildren. Don't think that Her Majesty didn't notice when Kate hit up a petting zoo in 2015. Hello! reported that Kate had a day of fun with Prince George – Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte at the time. Deep in the Norfolk countryside, near her Amner Hall home (which isn't in London as it should be), Kate was at Snettisham Park, a farm and petting zoo. A 21-month-old George seemed happy as he played with the animals and made a beeline for the sandpit.
Kate allowed George to bottle-feed a piglet, according to the magazine – something that kind of pushes the Queen's views on wholesome parenting. Getting mucky with farm animals isn't something that the royals do, but Kate was basically ignoring this. The royal wallet also seemed pretty generous that day, as George sat on his mom's lap with toys from the farm's gift shop. Kate had bought him a toy horse, cow, pig, and duck.
Don't think that a farm visit comes cheap. Kate and George were escorted by three royal protection officers while they fed goats and pigs. The total cost of protecting the royal family racks up to just under $200 million a year, according to The Mirror.
5 NOT COMING FROM NOBLE LINEAGE (UNLIKE DIANA)
Don't think that royals just marry anybody. Princess Diana's official title before she married Prince Charles was: Lady Diana Spencer. If they're not marrying Lords, this family are making sure that their children are marrying into the British aristocracy. Kate's arrival came with a bang. She was Kate Middleton – no whistles or bells. Will and Kate fell in love in college, when they were both at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Kate was a total commoner. According to Good Housekeeping, Prince Charles' second wife (and stepmother to Will) "didn't approve of Kate."
Will's stepmother "didn't approve" of Kate being a commoner. "She thinks of her as a coal-miner," a royal biographer said.
"Kate will be the first working-class queen," were the words from Christopher Andersen, a royal biographer. A girl with a college degree and an already upper-middle-class upbringing is hardly "working-class." But that just goes to show what the royal family thinks of anyone who isn't aristocratic. That "coal-mining" comment? Pretty harsh. Which makes you wonder what kind of snarky comments the family has been making about Meghan – a Hollywood actress from a broken home. Meghan definitely doesn't have any royal blood in her. In a way, Kate breaking this rule helped Meghan. But will Meghan just copy Kate and land herself in trouble?
4 NOT KEEPING HER MOUTH SHUT
Read all the rumors you like. The royals will never answer to them. Why? Because they're prisoners of the biggest rule of all. When you are a member of the royal family, you keep your mouth shut. The Queen may have ultimate power over the British government (and she does), but she has never once given a political opinion. Actually, you'll be hard-pressed to find the Queen giving an opinion on anything. Just imagine how that must feel when you're in the public eye. Kate and Meghan have both been criticized for their dress sense, luxurious lifestyles, and whatever people want to throw at them.
Kate is a loose cannon, though. When Kate admitted that she gets teased for "chatting too much" in a royal documentary, fans were quick to read between the lines. Some fans wondered if that was Kate's way of showing the pressure – that the minute she opens her mouth, the entourage swoops in and tells her to shut up.
"Everyone teases me about my walkabout behavior," Kate told Vanity Fair in an exclusive interview. Kate admitted that she has "to learn a little bit more, and to pick up a few more tips, I suppose." Take that as a joke if you will, but there's an iron fist ruling this family – Meghan included.
3 SHE SUGGESTED THAT THE QUEEN IS CONTROLLING
Woah... this is a big "no-no." Kate really put her foot in it back in 2017, when she gave an exclusive interview to Vanity Fair. This magazine is used to interviewing celebrities all the time. Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, and countless others have featured in this magazine's exclusive interviews, but there's a big difference. When Angelina Jolie was voted "World's Most Beautiful Woman In The World" by the magazine, she was free to say whatever she wanted. Same with Kate Winslet's interviews. When you're a royal, you need to watch what you say.
Kate said that the Queen's "guidance" has been "not forceful at all." Kate should never have gone near that word.
Kate was casually referring to a documentary being made for the Queen's 90th birthday, back in 2016. Speaking about Her Majesty, Kate said that the Queen had been helpful when it came to learning the ropes. And then she said something she shouldn't have. "She's been very generous and not forceful at all in her views." Way to get around telling the truth, Kate. While there's no suggestion that the Queen is forceful, you can't help but wonder. Was Kate trying to send any future royal brides a secret message?
2 THE 200-YEAR-OLD RULE THAT KATE BROKE
If Kate isn't breaking rules with her skirts, heels, nannies, or comments, she's breaking ones that are so old, they're basically sacred. 200 years is nothing in a monarchy that goes back 1200 years, but breaking a tradition that old won't go unnoticed. When Kate and Will's first little boy arrived on July 22nd 2013, we were too busy congratulating them to notice the rule-breaking. Choosing to have their first child after their first year of marriage made them the first future monarchs in 200 years not to have conceived in the first year of marriage.
Kate married Will in 2011. 18 months later, she was pregnant. This one is kind of unfair. The pressure to have a baby as a newly-married royal is huge. This family revolves around its royal bloodline. Still, Kate's timing was 100% rule-breaking, and OK! definitely noticed it.
"The public hasn't had to wait so long for a royal baby in the past, with the older generation of monarchs conceiving very quickly after their wedding." Meghan is 36 years old. The pressure to have a baby was on her the minute she announced her engagement. Will she follow Kate and wait a while, or will we see a Meghan and Harry bump before the year is through? Some fans even wondered if Meghan is already pregnant.
1 THE NETFLIX AND CHILL BEHAVIOR
Here's what we know about the Queen, according to The Huffington Post and British newspapers. She eats cornflakes for breakfast every day– out of Tupperware. She also reads all of the major newspapers in bed before starting the day. But then she gets up, puts on those buttercup yellow hats and coats, and does her job. When Kate and Will admitted that they want to stay out of the limelight and lead a "normal life," OK! was taking notes.
"We check Instagram and Snapchat too much," Will admitted. Kate and Will enjoy curry take-outs and binge-watching box sets. Not what the Queen had in mind...
Kate and Will do a ton of things that are not "royal-appropriate." They go to festivals in muddy boots and jeans, where Will admitted, "I've got in enough trouble for my dancing recently, so it's best to stay away from that." Instead of sitting at the royal table (where People reported that even Kate's kids can't finish their dinner before the Queen), these two play hooky.
Meghan hasn't even been married a month. We've already seen her giant 180. Which way will she swing? Are we looking at a rebel rule breaker, or will she become a total doormat? For all your Facebook friends who are hooked on this family's every move – they didn't create the share button for nothing... Kate is one rebellious royal. Get the word out.