Heritage

50 Strict Rules the Royal Family Has to Follow

Not married? No tiaras for you.
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The Royal Family has taught us a number of etiquette lessons through the years, but some of their rules go beyond traditional manners. From specific diets to forbidden board games, the world's most-watched family has more rules than you'd expect. Click through for the 50 strictest and most surprising traditions that the Royal Family is (pretty much) required to follow.

When the Queen stands, you stand.


When the Queen stands, it's protocol for everyone to follow.

No one can eat after the Queen has finished her meal.


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When dining as a family, after the Queen has taken her last bite, everyone needs to stop eating.

Bowing and curtsying is a requirement.


Men of the royal family perform a neck bow, while women curtsy when greeting the Queen.

Marriage comes with a new name


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Members of the Royal Family take a new name when they're married.

PDA is looked down upon, especially while traveling.


The Royal Family even refrain from holding hands.

Approval is needed before a proposal.


According to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, royal descendants must seek the monarch's approval before proposing.

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A Royal wedding bouquet must contain myrtle.


Every royal bride carries myrtle in her wedding bouquet.

Every Royal wedding party must include a crop of children.


Royal wedding parties are usually made up of younger children.

Until 2011, the Royal Family was prohibited from marrying a Roman Catholic.

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Now, the family can marry someone of any faith.

The family can't have political views.


The Royal Family isn't allowed to vote or speak publicly about politics.

Nor can they run for office.


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Since voting is off the table, members of the Royal Family aren't allowed to hold any type of political office.

Monopoly is a forbidden board game amongst the Royal Family.


Quite possibly the weirdest rule, the Royal Family can't play Monopoly. (Though we imagine this is a "rule" that can be broken.)

Dinner conversations are formulated.


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At dinner parties, the Queen begins by speaking to the person seated to her right. During the second course of the meal, she switches to the guest on her left.

When a Royal travels abroad, they're required to pack an all-black outfit.


Every family member must be prepared with a funeral-appropriate ensemble, in case of a sudden death.

Two heirs aren't allowed to travel together.


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Prince William isn't supposed to fly on the same plane as Prince George or Princess Charlotte, according to royal protocol. In 2014, William sought special permission from the Queen to fly on the same plane as George for their royal tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The family isn't allowed to sign autographs or take selfies.


Don't even think about approaching them with that selfie stick.

The family can't eat shellfish.


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Shellfish is off limits to the family, namely because it is more likely to cause food poisoning than others.

You can't touch a Royal.


It's rumored that the royal family can't be touched by non-royals, and Duchess Kate's awkward reaction to LeBron James throwing his arm around her in a photo is full-blown proof.

They can't wear fur.


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In the 12th century, King Edward III banned all royals from wearing fur but this rule has been repeatedly broken.

Event seating is very much planned.


Seating is arranged by order of precedence at all royal events, but factors like age, language, and interests go into account when organizing events.

In fact, there's an entire office dedicated to the organizing of guests.


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The Office of the Marshal of the Court refer to themselves as "mini hosts."

The Royal Family must adhere to a strict dress code.


The Royal Family's dress code is modest, and no members are seen in casual clothing.

Even Prince George has a dress code.


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He always wears tailored shorts, never pants.

Women must wear hats to all formal events.


The fancier, the better.

After 6 p.m., hats are off and tiaras are on.


If an event is held indoors after 6 p.m., women swap their hats for tiaras. Luckily, the royal family has multiple gorgeous tiaras to choose from.

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But, tiaras are reserved for married women.


A woman who attends an event sans tiara is on the market.

And tiaras must be angled properly.


Although tiaras were traditionally worn towards the front of the head, the modern style is worn farther back on the head at a 45-degree angle.

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The Queen's breakfast menu is non-negotiable.


Every morning, the Queen has English breakfast tea (duh) followed by Cornflakes.

The family must accept gifts.


The family is required to graciously accept the many (and bizarre) gifts they're given on a regular basis.

The Queen insists on spending a week preparing for Christmas.

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The family's annual Christmas celebration is held at the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, and she arrives a week early to prepare.

The family doesn't open presents on Christmas Day.


Instead of opening presents on Christmas day, the Royal Family exchanges gifts in the Red Drawing Room during tea time on Christmas Eve.

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Garlic isn't allowed at Buckingham Palace.


It's rumored that the Queen hates garlic, so no dishes at Buckingham Palace are made with the ingredient.

Neither are potatoes, rice, and pasta.


The Queen has strict rules against eating potatoes, rice, or pasta for dinner. Actually, Queen Elizabeth likes to keep it simple for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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The family is expected to learn multiple languages.


Prince George has already learned to count in Spanish.

A clean-cut, put-together image is key.


Maybe that's why Duchess Kate gets a blowout three times a week.

You can't turn your back on the Queen.


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After a conversation with the Queen has ended, she's the first to leave. No one is allowed to turn their back to her.

Even the children are expected to be graceful.

As soon as children are born into the Royal Family, they're immediately groomed to both wave and speak gracefully.

The Queen's wardrobe must be bright.


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The Queen is known for her bright, neon-colored outfits, as she likes to make sure she can be easily spotted in large crowds.

Women are expected to sit a certain way.


The options are legs crossed at the knee or ankle.

If the Queen moves her purse to her right arm, her staff must cut off her conversation.


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The Queen uses her purse to send subtle signals to her staff. If she moves the purse from her left arm to her right, it's her hint that she's ready to finish her conversation.

And when she places her purse on a table, dinner is officially over.


If the Queen is at dinner and she puts her purse on the table, dinner needs to come to an end within five minutes.

Cleavage isn't a part of the Royal dress code.


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Diana used her clutches as a way to hide her when exiting a car.

Nicknames are completely forbidden.


Even though the press still uses Kate's nickname, she actually goes by Catherine.

Utensil placement is very important.


If royals need to exit the room during dinner but haven't finished their food, they cross their utensils so the staff doesn't remove their plate. If they're finished with a meal, they place the utensils at an angle, with the handles at the bottom right of the plate.

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As is tea-cup holding.


Royal Family members pinch the tea cup handle with their index finger and thumb, while their middle finger secures the bottom.

Chin placement isn't overlooked.


Royal women need to pose with their chin parallel to the ground.

The Queen isn't required to have a driver's license.

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The Queen is the only person in the U.K. who may drive without a license or plates.

The Queen's dogs are always prepared gourmet meals.


It's no secret that the Queen loves her corgis, but unlike your pets, hers are required to eat gourmet meals, prepared daily by an in-house chef and hand-delivered by a footman.

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And they're never reprimanded.


The Queen lets her corgis do as they please.

Prince Phillip is required to walk behind the Queen.


Since their marriage, Philip must walk a few steps behind the Queen at all times.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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