15 Bizarre Etiquette Rules Everyone In The Royal Family Must Follow

Living like a royal seems like an awesome treat! Luxury, money, style, prestige. But it also comes with a lot of responsibility; take a look at the list of rules every member of the royal family must comply with

By Miguel Robles

- August 20 , 2021 - 17:20 hs
The Royal Family

The Royal Family (AP)

People have always wondered what it would be like to have a royal-kind-of-life; surrounded by servants, luxuries and changing the type of everyday preoccupations one have. Sure, it seems seductive, but being a royal is more than just enjoying a VIP life; it also comes with a series of responsibilites. Here's a list of 15 bizarre etiquette rules every member of the royal family must comply with.

1. Curtsies must be done... in a subtle way

There is a rule for curtsies, and it alludes to the fact that when they must be done, they should be done in a very subtle way. In that moment, you certainly don't need to reach the floor. All you need to do is simply put one leg behind the other, bend your knees, and bow your head slightly. There are certain circumstances though, in which deeper curtsies and long pauses represent respect and formality; case in point, when you encounter the Queen.

Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry found leaving royal life "harder than they would have imagined"

2. There is a certain order to enter a room

Whenever the royal family takes part in a procession, they must enter and be seated in the proper order of precedence, which is essentially the order of who's next in line to the throne. The proper order is Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and so on.

3. There's even a tiara protocol


Sure, tiara fashion has changed over the years. However, modern times have dictated that it has to be worn farther back on one's head. According to some specialists in fashion, it should be at a 45 degree angle when viewed from the side. Additionally, the accessory is considered as a must for any royal bride to wear on her wedding day. Tradition says that from this point, the bride would be expected to wear the groom's jewelry as a sign of becoming part of his family now. However, the last time this custom was strictly obeyed was when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles.

4. Do not reveal too much cleavage!

We know that the Queen Elizabeth's purse sole purpose is to send messages to her staff. However, Princess Diana's had a different purpose. Whenever she descended from a vehicle, she used it to cover her chest so she wouldn't reveal too much cleavage and give paparazzi the chance of a compromising photo.

5. Stop eating! The Queen has finished

According to some royal experts, Queen Elizabeth is the one setting the pace at every meal. As soon as she takes her last bite and puts down her fork, everyone else has to follow her lead, whether or not they're full too.

6. Dress appopriately


This is probably an obvious statement, especially since the royals have quite an addiction to being fashionable. For instance, Princess Diana had a very particular style that mixed functional with classy; one that has been adopted for decades by women all over the world. Even though the Queen dares to use some neon colors on her outfits, and Kate Middleton constantly wears different patterns and textures, they all have something in common: they do is modestly, and for the occasion.

7. Sit down... like a royal

Perhaps, one of the most difficult things of being a member of the royal family, is being a woman in the royal family. One of the worst things a woman can do is sit with her legs crossed at the knee. At all times, legs and knees must be kept together; however, there is always the possibility of crossing at the ankle. But there are another tricks, like adopting “the duchess slant”, a pose named for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, which involves keeping her knees and ankles tightly together while slanting her legs to the side. Curiously, this is the exact same way that Princess Diana used to adopt.

8. Use utensils the right way!

Since royals have a lot of time, they can put much thought into the ways they cut their food. In fact, they take dining etiquette very seriously. Knives in their right hand, forks in their left hand. So, in case you have the opportunity to sit down with any royal to enjoy a meal, prepare yourself for an acrobatic feat.

Read more: Kate Middleton and Prince William open up about 'difficult time' since Prince Philip's death

9. Yes to Monarchy. No to Monopoly


Back in 2008, the Leeds Building Society gave Prince Andrew (the Duke of York and Queen Elizabeth's third child) the game as a gift.However, his response then was “We're not allowed to play Monopoly at home. It gets too vicious.” This sure reveals the way the royal family is, in terms of competitiveness.

10. There is a way to hold teacups properly

Over the years, tea has become a signature of the british culture to the point of becoming a trope. And royals most definitely love their tea time. That involves knowing the way to hold their cups in the correct manner. To do so, they use their thumb and index finger to hold the top of the handle, while the middle finger supports the bottom. Also, they sip from the same spot so the entire rim doesn't have lipstick stains. In case you're more of a coffee person, protocol dictates that you should loop your index finger through the handle. That being said, NEVER should you have your pinkies out. That's too pretentious.

11. Don't vote

There is not a law that forbids for any member of the royal family to cast a ballot; however, they're supposed to remain politically neutral. Queen Elizabeth is the reigning monarch, and even though is not illegal for her to vote, it would be unconstitutional. However, for the rest of the royal family, skipping vote is merely a tradition.

12. Leave the table discreetly

If any royal is in need of using the restroom during a meal, they get up and leave simply by saying “excuse me,” no more information needed. In case they're not done eating, they simply cross the utensils so waiters know not to take the plate away.

13. No autographs


There's a reason why the royal family is not allowed to sign autographs, as it would increase the risk of having their signatures forged. Another rule is that they're also not allowed to take selfies; however, we all know the royal's fascination with breaking the rules on occasion.

14. Handshake like a king

The way you shake your heand reveals a lot about your personality. And then, there's a proper way to do it like a royal. Keep direct eye contact with the person in front of you, graps their hand firmly but not painfully, shake for no more than one or two pumps, and shine a royal smile. Easy peasy!

Read more: Sarah Ferguson calls former mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth her "greatest mentor"

15. Descend stairs like a movie star!

Whenever their spouses have to go down a flight of stairs, men in the royal family put out a helping hand, especially at formal events. Women, on the other hand, keep their chins parallel to the ground and hands at their sides. In case there's a banister, they place a hand on it (rather than grab it) and keep their toes pointed toward the railing while they walk.

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Miguel Robles

I began my journey as a journalist 15 years ago, when I started as a staff writer for OPEN Magazine. I was able to escalate up to the point of becoming the editor in chief of the magazine. Always adjusting to cope with changes in the industry. Trying to make strong connections with the people, and bringing voice to minorities through storytelling.

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