Manners & Misdemeanors

The Subtle Etiquette Rule All Royals Follow When Excusing Themselves From the Dinner Table

It's far more specific than your average knife and fork signal.

Following etiquette guides can make you seem more polite and a little posher, but when you're a member of the royal family, you must adhere to strict social rules at all times.

One of these rules includes how to excuse yourself from the table during dinner parties, whether that be for the restroom or a quick freshen-up. The first part of the tradition is not surprising and something we would all do: The royals must simply always say "excuse me" before leaving. We can definitely manage that.

But that's not all. Duchess Kate, Prince William, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the rest of the royals in attendance must never announce their intentions when they get up from the table to go to the bathroom.


If they are in the middle of eating and haven't finished their meal yet, the royals must cross their knife and fork on the plate. This is a signal to the serving staff to leave the plate as it is, Business Insider reports.

However, if they have finished their meal, then they must remember to join their knife and fork together and position at an angle, with the handles pointing towards the bottom right of the plate. This part is certainly a little more specific than our normal knife and fork signaling.

So, if you fancy being more like a royal, you may want to follow this rule of dining etiquette–even if everyone else around the table is none the wiser.

*This story originally appeared on
*Minor edits have been made by the editors

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