Members of the royal family must follow some fairly strict rules. This list is by no means exhaustive; however, it does cover some of the top tiered rules that members of the royal family must follow.
They Must Accept All Gifts Graciously
The royal family must accept every gift that they receive, regardless of its value or relevance. King Charles decides who gets to keep which gift.
They Can’t Propose Without Consent
According to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, royal descendants must seek the monarch’s approval before proposing.
There’s A Strict Dress Code
Members of the royal family are expected to dress modestly and never overtly casual.
Royal Ladies Can Be Trendsetters
Many of the royal ladies are known for their sense of fashion. Princess Diana was a style icon, and Kate, while more conservative in her look, is also a trendsetter. But there is one sartorial rule that all princesses must follow: they must show no cleavage.
Hats Are A Must
Female members of the royal family also often wear a hat when attending events, and the reason for that extends back several decades. In the 1950s, it was considered unseemly for upper-class ladies to display their hair in public. And while times have changed, the hats remain.
Composure Is A Must
A female member of the family must always sit with her legs together and their chin parallel to the ground. Royals do not cross their legs at the top but keep their thighs next to each other.
Subtle Hair and Makeup
A royal woman should keep makeup to a minimum and her hairstyle neatly coiffed. Even when dressed casually, she’s still expected to look polished.
They Are Always Buttoned Up
Royals, particularly females, have an extensive outerwear collection. There is a rule that regardless of the weather or temperature, a royal must keep their coat on. If you’re a princess who happens to have on a heavy coat when you enter a building, she may not remove it until she’s completely out of view. It would be considered unbefitting to take off a coat in public.
They Always Travel With An All-Black Ensemble
The royal family is prepared ahead of time for somber occasions. A respectable all-black outfit accompanies each member of the royal family on their travels in case of a sudden death where they must attend a funeral.
Two Heirs Cannot Fly Together
This rule is in place just in case something tragic were to happen. Once Prince George (who is second in line to the throne after Prince William) turns 12, he will have to fly separately from his father.
No Politics Allowed
Members of the royal family are not allowed to vote or even publicly express their opinion on political matters.
Public Displays of Affection (PDA) Is Frowned Upon
Although there is no formal law that forbids future monarchs from showing affection, Queen Elizabeth II set a precedent that encouraged royals to show no affection in public. The royal family consider themselves to be working when they’re in public, and displays of affection aren’t very businesslike.
When The King Stands, So Do You
You may only sit when His Majesty does.
They Leave The Table Discreetly
If a royal must use the restroom during a meal, they don’t announce it to the table. Instead, they simply say “Excuse me,” and quietly leave the table.
A woman must be married to wear a tiara.
This rule speaks for itself. Tiaras Are Only Worn By Married Women
No Sharing of the Tiaras
There Are No Autographs Or Selfies Allowed
Curtsies and Bows Are Encouraged
The Monarch Must Be Informed First of Any Royal Pregnancies and Births
As the head of state and of the family, the King or Queen must always be the first person to hear about both a pregnancy and a birth — aside from the parents, of course!
Royal Wedding Bouquets Contain Myrtle
This tradition started with Queen Victoria and continued with the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in 2018, Princess Eugenie’s wedding in 2018, and Princess Beatrice’s wedding in 2020. This beautiful flower symbolizes good luck in love and marriage.
Wedding Dresses Have to Be Approved
Not only did Queen Elizabeth need to approve the wedding in general, she also had to affirm the dress as well. Kate Middleton showed her grandmother-in-law her custom gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen in the design process, as did Meghan Markle.
Upon Marriage, Royals Are Bestowed New Titles
When royals marry, they are granted new titles. Upon their nuptials, Prince William and Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Since the Queen’s passing, Prince Charles became King Charles III, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is Queen Consort (and soon to be Queen) followed by William and Kate becoming Prince and Princess of Wales.
They Must Avoid Bright Nail Polish
If a member of the royal family paints her nails, it must be a neutral color. Royals are supposed to refrain from wearing bright, distracting colors while carrying out official duties.
Honor Your Hosts
When traveling to another country, royals like to ensure that they wear the colors and fashions of their hosts. After all, they are diplomats, and showing gratitude and reverence to their hosts helps to build bridges.
Royal Hierarchy At Meals
The British monarchy arrive at events in a particular order. The same succession applies at mealtimes. Reportedly, the royal family walk into a room or take part in a procession in the same sequence that they are in line to the throne.
Holding A Teacup
Having a cup of tea requires that the teacup be held in a certain manner. One needs to hold the top of the cup handle with your index finger and thumb and place your middle finger on the bottom.
Using Cutlery Correctly
Using utensils correctly is something the royal family takes very seriously. Knives are reportedly held in the right hand, while forks should be used on the left with the prongs curving downwards. Members of the royal family aren’t allowed to let cutlery screech across plates, either.
Discreetly Excuse Oneself From The Table
During a dinner function, if a member of the royal family or a guest needs to be excused, he or she must be discreet. Royal etiquette dictates that one merely says “excuse me” without further explanation of where one is going. Anything else would be considered vulgar.
When The Monarch Is Finished Eating, Everyone Is Finished As Well
Royal etiquette dictates that when the King or Queen decides that they are finished with their meal, everyone must put down their utensils. It is considered incredibly impolite to keep eating once the monarch has finished their meal.
Royal Children Are Served By Plenty of Godparents
It is well-known that royal children have several godparents. Prince George alone has seven godparents while Prince Louis has six godparents, and Princess Charlotte has five.
Royals Must Go By Their Given Names At All Times
For example, you would address the Prince and Princess of Wales as Prince William and Princess Catherine.
The King or Queen Cannot Sit on Any Throne, Except Their Own
In ancient times, it would have started a war to have a royal sit on the throne of another king or queen. However, the rule is still valid today, and even extends to pretend thrones. When Queen Elizabeth II visited the Game of Thrones set, she declined an offer to sit upon the Iron Throne.
No Turned Backs to the Monarch
You may have finished conversing with the monarch, but they may not be finished speaking with you. To avoid any confusion, one must never turn one’s back to the King or Queen. One must always wait for the monarch to turn away first.
Baptism is a Requirement
The Queen insisted that all members of her family get baptized. The Archbishop of Canterbury leads the ceremonies and uses holy water from the Jordan River.
Royal children start learning etiquette as soon as they can understand it. It’s imperative that they learn proper protocol and manners as soon as possible.
Teach Young Children the Proper Greeting
The “Windsor Wave” is the royal family’s greeting to the public. All the royal children have to learn the trademark photogenic wave which consists of keeping the hand straight and subtly twisting the wrist (and don’t flap with the whole arm).
Royal Children Are Taught Multiple Languages
Children should follow the standard set by their family members. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, His Majesty King Charles III, and Prince William all spoke or speak French, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, is teaching little Prince George and Princess Charlotte how to speak Spanish.
Royals Must Give the Game of Monopoly a Pass
When Prince Andrew was presented with the classic board game Monopoly at a function, he made it clear that there would be no opportunity to play the board game. “We’re not allowed to play Monopoly at home,” the Prince said. “It gets too vicious.”