There is nothing quite like the prospect of a royal wedding to get everyone feeling perky and excited about a new year is there? 2018 is set to be a bumper year for the British Royal Family with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) expecting their third child and Prince Harry finally settling down with the woman of his dreams – American actress Rachel Meghan Markle.
Meghan and Harry didn’t meet at a fancy dinner or charity benefit, they were introduced to each other via a mutual friend who set them up on a blind date. The two hit it off immediately and since June 2016 they have been in a relationship, which culminated in a wedding announcement just a few weeks ago.
Meghan doesn’t seem like an obvious choice of partner for a royal prince; she’s an American, an actress, and a divorcee – something that many people are still having a hard time with. But if The Queen is happy for Harry to marry her (and she is) then the everyone else is just going to have to accept it too.
Here’s what life is going to be like for Meghan in her new life as British royalty…
15. She Won’t Be Acting Anymore
Most of us got to know Meghan from her role as Rachel Zane on the hit show Suits, a role she played for seven seasons since 2011. She also has a few film credits under her belt, including Remember Me and Horrible Bosses. But now that’s engaged to be married into the British Royal Family, she’ll need to give up her Hollywood career. Being a royal is a full-time job on its own so she’ll have plenty to keep her busy.
Meghan doesn’t seem to be sad about giving up her career to devote herself to royal life, in fact, she doesn’t feel like she’s giving anything up at all. “I see it as a change,” she told the BBC during a recent interview, adding that she was looking forward to working with her new “team” AKA Prince Harry.
14. She Will Need To Get Used To Her New Title
The question on everyone’s mind right now is what will Meghan’s title be once she marries Prince Harry? Well, that all depends on The Queen.
You see it works like this: Male members of the royal family receive a title from the reigning monarch on their wedding day and this title will determine Meghan’s title too. Right now it seems that the vacant title of Duke of Sussex seems the likely choice which means that Meghan would become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. She would also become the first woman to ever hold this title. Harry could turn down any title chosen by The Queen in which case Markle’s official title would be HRH Princess Henry of Wales, but this is extremely unlikely to happen.
13. She Will Need To Learn To Sit Like A Royal
Actresses might be able to survive an accidental “flashing” scandal but such a thing must never happen to a royal. That’s why Meghan will need to sit in accordance with tradition. Royal ladies must sit up straight at all times, something they achieve by imagining an egg between their back and the back of the chair. When sitting on a lower surface, legs need to be neatly folded to one side. She will be allowed to wear dresses or skirts that end on top of the knee (never shorter than that) but if she does she will need to sit with her ankles crossed, as crossing her knees would be considered too revealing.
12. She Will Have To Keep Her Political Views To Herself
Royals are not allowed to hold political office and as a rule, they refrain from expressing any political standpoints or personal opinions, especially in public. And if Meghan wants to join their ranks she will need to show the same type of restraint. So posts on social media like the one she made in 2016 will need to be a thing of the past.
During the EU referendum in June 2016, Meghan posted a photo on Instagram of someone holding a pro-EU placard during a protest. The picture focused on the sign, which read: ‘If EU leave me now you take away the biggest part of me.’ which she captioned with “If EU leave me now… #brexit #parliament #referendum #London”.
11. She Won’t Be Allowed To Take Selfies, Sign Autographs, Or Use Social Media
Will Meghan Markle be allowed to keep her own personal social media accounts when she becomes a royal? Sadly, the answer is no. No royals have their own personal Twitter or Instagram accounts, but selected photos of them are shared via official accounts such as the Kensington Royal Instagram (@KensingtonRoyal), which was launched in 2015. The page has about 1.8 million followers. They also have another account – Royal Family outlet (@TheRoyalFamily) which was created to share “photos and videos from inside Buckingham Palace and activities of The Queen and the Royal Family.
Apart from giving up social media, Meghan will also not be allowed to take selfies or photos with fans. Members of the Royal Family are also strictly prohibited from signing autographs, so if you were hoping to have a signed and autographed selfie with Meghan, it looks like you’ve missed your chance.
10. She Will Need To Learn To Eat And Drink Like A Royal
Harry and Meghan are welcome to enjoy whatever food they like when they spend evenings in together, but official dinners and events come with a long list of dos and don’ts that Meghan will need to learn.
It’s rumored that The Queen hates the taste of garlic so accordingly, it will not be used for any dish that the Royal Family eats together. Starches like rice, potatoes, and pasta are off the menu at dinnertime, as are shellfish due the danger of becoming ill after eating them.
As an American Meghan probably enjoyed drinking coffee, but she might switch to tea, which is more popular in Britain. If she does she will need to learn how to hold her teacup like a royal: pinching the handle between her index finger and thumb and supporting the bottom of the cup with her middle finger.
9. She Will Need To Adopt A Conservative Wardrobe
Meghan will be spending a lot of time planning her new royal wardrobe and if she’s serious about looking the part she will need to take her cues from other royal ladies like Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine.
Meghan grew up in Hollywood and until now her fashion style has reflected that but she will now need to adopt a style fit for a princess. This means no synthetic or cheap looking materials, no fur, and definitely no cleavage. Her outfits will always need to be modest and casual looking clothes will be a thing of the past. While it might be okay for an actress to be spotted wandering around in yoga pants after visiting the gym, such a thing would be unacceptable as a member of the royal family.
8. She Must Be Perfectly Groomed All The Time
It’s no big deal for a Hollywood actress to be spotted looking a little worse for wear, but as a royal, Meghan will need to up her game as everything she does and says will be reported on with intense scrutiny by the media. She will be compared to other royals like Catherine constantly, so she will need to ensure that she always appears perfectly groomed whenever she sets foot out the door.
A clean-cut, well put together look is key; timeless outfits, sensible shoes, and neatly groomed hair. Like Catherine, she will need to commit to having her hair done at least three times a week, so it always looks good in public and the styles she chooses will need to be in keeping with tradition too – so no extremes.
7. She Will Need To Become A British Citizen
There are quite a few things Meghan will need to do before her big day next year. Firstly, she will be expected to become a British citizen. Secondly, she will need to be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England. Kensington Palace has confirmed that Meghan (who is currently a Protestant) will be officially welcomed into the church before the wedding.
She will also have to get used to wearing hats to formal events as other royal women do. And if she’s at an indoor event after 6 pm these hats will need to be changed out for something a little more sparkly – a tiara! Tiaras are reserved for married women, so she can’t wear one just yet, but she can practice the correct style in the meantime – towards the center of the head at a neat 45-degree angle.
6. Non-Royals Will Not Be Allowed To Touch Her
The Brits are much more reserved than Americans, for whom hugging and kissing are the norm. But when it comes to British royalty the rule is crystal clear: hands off!
Touching a royal is considered to be extremely rude and over the past few years, quite a few American celebs have found themselves in hot water for breaking the no-touching rule. Back in 2009, Michelle Obama caused an uproar when she gave The Queen an impromptu hug and in 2014 basketball star LeBron James committed a faux pas when he put his arm around Princess Catherine doing a photo shoot. Her facial expressions from the photo alone say it all!
5. She’ll Need To Learn A Few New Languages
All members of the Royal Family are encouraged to learn as many different languages as possible. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II speaks English and French fluently, but she is also well versed in key phrases of many other languages. This is important because when they visit diplomats from foreign countries, they can address them in their native tongue.
Even little Prince George, who is only 4, is already learning to speak Spanish.
With Meghan’s training as an actress, we wouldn’t be surprised to see her picking up a few new languages for her new role as a princess. Following other members of the Royal Family, French will probably be one of her first choices. She does hold a bachelor’s degree with a double major in theatre and international studies, so we don’t think this will be too tricky for her.
4. She Will Need To Learn The Royal “Walkabout”
The Royal Family attends hundreds of official engagements and it’s not uncommon for a person like The Queen or Prince Charles to spend up to 150 days a year at events and royal tours. Thousands of fans and supporters always show up to see them at the engagements, often waiting for hours until the time of day known as “the royal walkabout”. This is when the royals walk around, chat, and engage with the people who’ve come to see them. They are often given flowers by their fans, most of which are donated to hospitals and other charitable causes.
3. She Will Need To Learn The Royal Christmas Traditions
Whatever type of Christmas traditions Meghan is used to, she will need to leave them behind once she becomes a member of the Royal Family. All family members are required to spend the holiday with The Queen at Sandringham House in Norfolk and she goes there a week in advance to prepare for the festivities.
If you were thinking that this might be a more informal occasion, you’re wrong. Christmas dinner is an extremely formal event and the dress code calls for gowns for the ladies and black tie suits for the gentlemen. No one will be opening any presents on Christmas Day either and that includes the children. This is because all gifts are exchanged in the Red Drawing Room at teatime (of course) on Christmas Eve instead.
2. She Will Need To Follow Cues From The Queen
If Meghan ever gets confused about how to behave as a royal, she’ll need to look to The Queen to lead the way. She also needs to learn the perfect way to curtsy, as this is how she should always greet The Queen.
Everyone always needs to follow The Queen; if she puts down her knife and fork and stops eating, everyone else is expected to the same. If she puts her purse on the table, everyone needs to hurry up as the dinner needs to come to an end within 5 minutes. And if she stands up – everyone stands up.
1. She Will Need To Give Up Her Wild Side
Harry has certainly sown his wild oats, partying it up all over the globe with a string of blonde companions, but now it seems that he is ready to settle down with The One. At 36 Meghan is a mature woman and she’s already been burnt in a relationship once already – so it’s unlikely that she would rush into anything. These are a few of the reasons that people think this is a royal match that will last.
But to be a suitable companion for a member of the Royal Family, Meghan will need to act the part at all times, which means things like partying a little too hard or having a few too many drinks will be completely out of the question. Even public displays of affection towards each other will have to be kept to an absolute minimum – most royal couples rarely even hold hands when out together.
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