The Rules That Every Member of the British Royal Family Must Follow
While there's no doubt that every family has its own particular set of rules for getting along, the British royal family is certainly a different kind of group. That's because there’s ample royal protocol that family members must follow at all times, especially in public. And when it comes to the Queen, there are no exceptions. Learn the royal rules that Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the rest of the royal family must follow at all times.
Eat the Royal Diet
This might be hard for some royal fans to believe, but when you’re a member of the British monarchy, almost every aspect of your life is either monitored or controlled — right down to what you eat.
Always Walk Behind the Queen
It doesn't matter if you’re the heir to the throne or another senior member of the royal family. You must always show Her Majesty respect, especially during public outings. That's one of the reasons why many royal observers have noticed that Prince Charles always walks a few steps behind the Queen when they’re in public together.
Don’t Reprimand the Queen's Dogs
If there's anything in the Queen’s life that she’s famous for loving, it's her treasured corgis. In fact, there are reports that indicate no member of the royal family — or member of the public for that matter — is allowed to reprimand her beloved dogs.
Follow the Code, Even If You’re a Baby
By now many royal fans and observers have noticed that even the youngest members of the royal family have a distinct way of dressing up, and there's a good reason for it, too. That's because even the youngest royals have a dress code that they have to adhere to.
Travel With a Black Outfit
If you’re a member of the royal family and want to pack light, you might as well forget about it. That's because you not only need an outfit for every occasion on your trip, but you’re also expected to pack along with you a black outfit, too.
Wear Tiaras Like Wedding Rings
You might have noticed that only certain members of the royal family get to wear tiaras, and there's a good reason for it. That's because tiaras are like wedding rings: You can only wear one after you’ve married into the royal family.
Don’t Overshadow the Queen
There's a good reason why Queen Elizabeth is always dressed in bright and bold colors. That's because, as the head of the monarchy, she’s the one who needs to stand out in the spotlight the most.
Keep Coats On at All Times
It doesn't matter how hot, humid or uncomfortable you might be feeling. If you’re a female member of the royal family, you must keep your coat on at all times. Yes, that rule does also apply when you’re indoors, too.
Use Fashion to Signal Diplomacy
When someone’s a member of the royal family, there's a very good chance that the public will be paying attention to almost every little detail about them, especially when they’re traveling abroad. This goes for everything, from the way they descend the stairs of a plane to that first handshake they make — and of course the outfit that they’re wearing.
Avoid Denim Whenever Possible
While this isn't a hard rule that the royals must follow, when it comes to denim, it appears as though it’s not forbidden but it’s also not preferred, either. You’ll see Kate Middleton wear black leggings instead of jeans most of the time when she’s out and about doing something casual or attending a "sportier" royal engagement.
Never Turn Your Back on the Queen
Here's a rule that royals never want to be caught breaking, especially when in public: They’re not allowed to turn their backs on the Queen. While it might not seem completely disrespectful, especially if they happen to be talking with a circle of people, it's something that’s frowned upon in the royal family.
Stay Off Social Media
Perhaps one of the reasons why Meghan Markle was so unhappy within the royal family is that she felt like she didn't have a voice to communicate with people anymore. She did previously run a successful blog, after all. Before the former Hollywood actress married Prince Harry, she was very opinionated on that blog and on her social media accounts.
Stay Color Coordinated
Have you ever noticed how the British royal family always looks so color-coordinated during group royal engagements or public appearances? There's a good reason for it. Knowing that many of their official photos and portraits will be released for the world to see, Queen Elizabeth wants to make sure that everyone looks cohesive.
Don’t Wear Dark Nail Polish
Not only are royals not allowed to wear whatever they want (including jeans) whenever they want, but they also have to be very careful about their makeup and accessories. Back in 2019, Meghan Markle made headlines when she dared to wear dark nail polish during a public appearance.
Don’t Voice Political Opinions
When it comes to being a member of the British monarchy, there are a lot of things that you can and certainly can't do in public. While there's no doubt that everyone probably voices their opinions behind closed palace doors, the same can't be said when they’re representing the Queen of England.
Always Curtsy to the Queen
When Queen Elizabeth makes her grand entrance, you better believe that everyone in the room will stand up and listen. If you’re part of the royal family, you’re obligated to either curtsy if you’re a woman or bow your head if you’re a man.
Travel Apart From Parents
A lot of royal fans have noticed that whenever Prince Charles traveled on one of his state or official visits back when Prince William and Prince Harry were younger, they almost never traveled with him. However, they traveled on a separate plane, automobile or even train.
Pay Attention to the Queen's Purse
There's a good reason why Queen Elizabeth always carries a purse with her everywhere she goes. And that's not just because she's one of the most fashionable women in the world. It's also because her purse is more than just an accessory — it's her way of communicating with the rest of the royals.
Don’t Eat Before the Queen
Another royal rule that probably has a lot of family members moaning and groaning is that they can't eat before the Queen eats. If everyone is gathered for a special state dinner or even for a family holiday dinner, no one is allowed to begin tucking in before the Queen.
Don’t Even Dare to Engage in PDA
It doesn't matter if a royal is having a good day or a bad day with their spouse; royal protocol says that they’re not allowed to show public displays of affection. For Prince William and Kate Middleton, this has never been a problem. They've managed to keep their distance in public.
Ask the Queen Before Proposing
If a royal is sure their potential future spouse is the love of their life, they have to hope that Queen Elizabeth feels the same way. That's because no member of the royal family is allowed to propose to their girlfriend or boyfriend before they get permission from the Queen herself.
Don’t Look Directly at Cameras
Have you ever noticed that members of the royal family rarely look at the cameras, especially when photographers or the paparazzi are nearby? It's against royal protocol. The only time that members of the royal family are allowed to look directly at a camera is when they’re posing for a portrait.
Avoid Using Nicknames
Royal family members are expected to address one another using their full names, especially in public. For instance, you’ll never hear Prince William call his wife Kate Middleton "wifey" or "Katie" in public. Instead, he’ll refer to her as "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge."
Don’t Eat in Public
During their state trips, members of the royal family are often asked to try or sample delicacies from around the world. And while you might see Prince Charles or Prince William try a bite here and there, it's not very common for Queen Elizabeth and other female members of the royal family to follow suit.
Hold a Clutch in Public
While Queen Elizabeth often wears her clutch in public as a way to signal the rest of the royal family, there's a different reason why other members carry theirs. If someone like Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle has a clutch in her hands, that means she can politely decline to shake someone else's hand.
Stay Modest at All Times
If you’re a working member of the royal family, you can forget about wearing a bikini in public. That's because royals are expected to look modest and wear modest clothing at all times. After all, they’re representing the Queen, and the last thing they should do is generate any negative headlines.
Get Travel Approved With the Queen
If you’re a member of the royal family and are looking to take a quick getaway with your pals to Dublin for the weekend, forget about it. That's because the royal family must always let the Queen know where they’re going — and even who they’re with — at all times.
Let’s circle back to fashion and modesty for a minute. It doesn't matter how hot and humid it might be outside or how much a royal loathes the feeling of wearing pantyhose. She has to do it. It's part of the Queen's fashion rulebook, especially when wearing a skirt in public.
Avoid Speaking to the Media
If there’s one thing that Queen Elizabeth can’t stand, it's those occurrences when a member of the royal family does or says something to generate negative headlines. That's why all media appearances and even media interviews have to be pre-approved by Buckingham Palace before anything is said in public.
Don’t Play Monopoly
While there’s no doubt that the royal family is certainly an athletic bunch (with the majority of them playing polo), if there's one game that they’re not allowed to participate in, it's Monopoly. And no, this isn’t a joke.