Playing by the rules for royalty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Wales. (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Wales. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cape Town - Many kids dream of being a prince or princess.

But did you know the British royals aren’t even allowed to play Monopoly? Or that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, isn’t allowed to close her own car door?


1. Royal heirs weren’t always allowed to travel together

In order to ensure a next generation of royals, heirs weren’t allowed to travel together in case something went wrong, Daily Mail reports. But Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, broke this rule in 2014 when he and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and their son George travelled together to New Zealand and Australia. Subsequently, this is how the family always travels.

kate middleton,prince william

2. Royals aren’t allowed to hand out autographs

British photographer Paul Williams caught a rare moment on camera in 2010 when he snapped Prince Charles handing his autograph to a fan.

According to the Daily Mail members of the royal family are only allowed to sign official documents. But the 2010 incident hadn’t been the first in which Prince Charles signed a non-official “document”. During a visit to Kazakhstan in November 1996 he also autographed commemorative flags.

Meghan also broke with protocol earlier this year when she gave her autograph to a little girl during a visit to Wales.

The reason for this protocol is quite practical: It’s to prevent fraudulent use of the royals’ signatures.

meghan markle

3. When her majesty stands, everyone stands

Also, once the queen has taken the last bite of her meal, everyone else has to stop eating as well...

According to Harper’s Bazaar when Queen Elizabeth stands, everyone in the room has to stand. This also applies to whenever she enters or exits a room.

Meals with the royals also include a whole list of protocols. During the entrée the queen will chat only to the person seated to her right. During the main course, she’ll only speak to the person on her left. Once the queen has finished eating, no one else is allowed to continue – the meal is over.

Planning for a royal state banquet takes more than a year. The queen usually hosts two such events a year to which only 160 guests are invited. Each detail, large or small, is scrutinised by the queen personally and nothing goes ahead without her approval.

4. Forget PDA

Public displays of affection among the royals is strongly discouraged, especially when on official visits.

Myka Meier, a royal etiquette expert, says this rule isn’t set in stone but most royals follow it in order to appear more professional.

Meghan and Harry broke with protocol on their first official appearance as a couple in 2017 at the annual Invictus Games.

5. Royals have to be funeral ready at all times

According to Bravo TV all royals are required to have a black outfit on hand when travelling in case they unexpectedly have to attend a funeral.

prince harry

6. No selfies on social media

In 2015 The Telegraph reported Prince Harry isn’t a fan of selfies. A young fan had reportedly asked the prince for a selfie together at the Australian War Memorial but the prince had declined, advising the young fan to break the selfie-taking habit.

But a few years later he broke his own rule during a visit to Estonia.

meghan markle


(Photos: AP, Getty Images)