Being part of the British royal family isn’t all tiaras and travel, you know. In fact, there are some pretty stringent—and strange—etiquette guidelines and traditions that the Windsors adhere to. Here, 21 of the most bonkers rules that the royal family follow.
21 strict royal rules
21 strict royal rules
THEY MUST ACCEPT ALL GIFTS GRACIOUSLY
While the royal family has to accept every gift that they receive (even if it’s something super lame), it’s up to Queen Elizabeth who gets to keep which gift.
PRINCE PHILIP IS REQUIRED TO WALK BEHIND THE QUEEN
Since their marriage, Her Majesty’s husband must walk a few steps behind her at all times. Who run the world?
If a royal must use the restroom during a meal, they don’t announce it to the table. Instead, they apparently simply say “Excuse me,” and that’s that. (If only your toddler would do the same.)
YOU MUST ADDRESS ROYALS PROPERLY
This one’s a little confusing. Apparently, when you first meet the queen, you should address her as “Your Majesty” and then “Ma'am.” For other female members of the royal family, you should use “Your Royal Highness,” and then again “Ma'am” in later conversation. For male royals, it's “Your Royal Highness” and then “Sir.” And under no circumstances should you address the queen as “Liz.”
THERE ARE NO AUTOGRAPHS OR SELFIES ALLOWED
So put that selfie stick away.
TIARAS ARE ONLY WORN BY MARRIED WOMEN
No ring? No tiara.
THEY RARELY EAT SHELLFISH
This isn’t a requirement, but a wise rule that many royals, including Queen Elizabeth, adhere to because of the increased likelihood of food poisoning.
While the official website for the British Monarchy says that there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the queen or a member of the Royal Family,” it also states that many people wish to observe the traditional forms. That means a neck bow (from the head only) for men and a small curtsy for women.
WHEN THE QUEEN FINISHES EATING, THEN SO MUST YOU
Dining with royalty? No extra portions for you.
THE QUEEN SIGNALS WHEN A CONVERSATION IS OVER
If you see Her Majesty move her purse from her left arm to her right, then it’s time to stop talking. That apparently signals to her staff that she’s ready to move on.
SIX RAVENS MUST LIVE AT THE TOWER OF LONDON
According to legend, at least six ravens must remain at the giant fortress or else the monarchy will fall. But no one actually believes that, do they? Well, apparently so, since there are indeed seven (one spare) birds living at the Tower currently.
ROYAL WEDDING BOUQUETS CONTAIN MYRTLE
This tradition started with Queen Victoria and continued with the Duchess of Cambridge's marriage in 2011. This pretty flower symbolizes good luck in love and marriage. Aww...