22 Strict Rules Members Of The Royal Family Have To Follow

Photo: Lingtren.com | Alessia Pierdomenico | ComposedPix | Shutterstock
kate middleton, prince william, queen elizabeth, meghan markle, prince harry

Being a royal family member may appear to be glamorous but it doesn't only consist of fancy appearances and grand titles. 

You may be surprised by some of the strict and bizarre rules for the royal family. They range from royal duties, British royal family marriage rules, etiquette and more. 

Here are some of the most strict and bizarre rules of the royal family.

1. Heirs must travel separately from one another. 

According to My London News, heirs are required to travel separately in order to preserve the royal lineage (in case something happens when they are traveling).

The Queen actually had to grant Prince William and Kate permission to fly to New Zealand with Prince George when he was nine months old in 2014. However, once George turns 12 he will have to travel apart from his father. 

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2. Royal family members must always pack an all-black outfit when they travel. 

Photo: ComposedPix / Shutterstock

In a similar vein, Express reports that members of the royal family are required to have a black outfit with them wherever they travel.  This is done in case tragedy strikes — they will already be prepared for the funeral of a family member.

Although it's a bit of a morbid tradition, it stemmed from an incident in 1952 — ​the Queen had been traveling with Prince Philip when King George VI died and she didn’t have a black ensemble readily available to mourne him.

3. Shellfish and garlic are to be avoided in all formal meals.

According to the Cheat Sheet, several foods such as garlic, pasta, potatoes, and rice cannot be served at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen doesn’t enjoy the smell of garlic and prefers healthy meals such as grilled fish and vegetables instead of starches. Instead, pasta, potatoes, and rice are served only for special occasions. 

Also, according to Delish they rarely eat shellfish as it could result in food poisoning. 

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4. Royal staff members are not allowed to reprimand the Queen’s dogs.

Not only do Queen Elizabeth’s corgis have their own room in Buckingham Palace, but according to Hello Magazine, royal staff are not permitted to reprimand Willow and Holly.

“Brian Hoey wrote in his book, ‘Not In Front Of The Corgis,’ ‘Nobody is allowed to raise a finger or a voice to any of the dogs. They cock their legs and do what Corgis do wherever they want — on antique furniture, priceless carpets.’ It's for this reason that royal staffers have blotting paper on hand in case of accidents."

5. Women should refrain from wearing wedge shoes in the Queen’s presence.

The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle were advised to avoid wearing wedges in front of the Queen.

According to a Vanity Fair report in 2015, the Queen simply "isn’t a fan of wedged shoes,” said a source. “She really doesn’t like them and it’s well known among the women in the family."

Although Kate has opted for wedges at several formal events, it's never been in the presence of the Queen herself.

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6. When the Queen finishes eating, everyone else must be done as well.

When royals eat dinner with the Queen they are expected to follow her lead. This applies to sitting and eating.

According to the Readers Digest everyone at the dinner table can begin eating once the Queen does, but must also stop once the Queen decides she has finished her meal. 

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7. The royal family follows a strict dress code. 

Photo: Lingtren.com / Shutterstock

One of the many dress rules is that Prince George is to be seen in shorts. According to Business Insider, this comes from the notion that pants on young boys are considered suburban while shorts are seen as high class.

As for the other members of the royal family, we will never see them wear sweatpants or jeans. If members of the royal family want to dress casually, women are recommended to wear dresses or trousers with a jacket and men to wear chinos with a tailored blazer. 

Clutches are also used in a variety of ways. According to Reader's Digest Queen Elizabeth uses her clutch to signal when a conversation is over when she wants to leave an event. Also, when Princess Diana was with Prince Charles, she would use her clutch to hide her cleavage when stepping out of a car (since it's a well-known rule for royal women to avoid cleavage altogether). 

8. Royals must wear natural hair, makeup and nail colors.

As noted by The List, there are royal family hair and nail rules as well. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has been known to get her hair blown out three times a week to keep it looking perfect at all times, as royal women are to keep their hair natural and tame.

These rules go back to the notion that the royal family should always look "put together".

Along with their hair, makeup is kept simple with minimal eyeshadow, and nails are to be kept in neutral, non-bold colors.

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9. Royal wedding bouquets must contain the myrtle plant. 

According to Brides, this tradition dates back to the 1800s with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s wedding. Since then the myrtle plant has been present in every royal’s wedding bouquet.

Myrtle is known as the herb of love and symbolizes good luck and love. 

10. Wedding dresses must be approved by the Queen.

According to Marie Claire, wedding dresses must be pre approved by the Queen. This means if the Queen deems it inappropriate, she has the power to veto it.

RELATED: 10 Stunning Royal Wedding Gowns

11. The Queen picks the tiara worn by the bride in a royal wedding.

Photo: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

Traditional tiaras are only to be worn by married women in the royal family, making a wedding tiara extra special. However, according to royal family traditions, the Queen, the head of state is able to pick a bride’s tiara.

For example, according to Marie Claire, the Queen denied Meghan Markle's first choice tiara because the tiara was rumored to have come from Russia. However, Prince Harry was unaware of this history and supposedly “flew into a rage” when he learned the Queen had said no. 

12. Six ravens must live at the Tower of London at all times.

According to Historic-UK, this rule is rooted in myth and legend, but even still, legend has it that if the six ravens were to leave, the monarchy would fall into disaster. King Charles II declared that six ravens stay in the tower at all times in order to prevent this, and to this day seven ravens live in the tower — one spare, just in case. 

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13. They must accept every gift graciously.

Photo: Mr Pics / Shutterstock

The royal family receives gifts regularly, so according to royal protocol, they must accept every gift graciously — but it is ultimately up to the Queen who gets what, Pure Wow said.  

14. The game of Monopoly is banned from the royal household.

According to the Sun, Prince Andrew revealed in 2008 at an event he was unable to participate in a game of Monopoly, as the family isn't allowed to play it at home. He explained the game “gets too vicious.” 

15. Prince Phillip was required to walk behind the Queen.

Photo: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

According to The Daily Beast, the British family marriage rules required prince Phillip to walk two steps behind his Queen at all times in public. 

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16. No politics allowed.

Technically the royal family is legally allowed to vote — however, because the royal code calls for them to remain politically neutral, many of them choose to follow tradition and abstain from voting altogether.

17. Women in the family must learn to sit like a proper Royal.

There is a specific way royal women are to sit — particularly in public or at formal events. They are to keep their knees and ankles together and slant their legs to the side.

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18. Royal family members must enter a room or meeting in order.

There is an official order members of the royal family are to enter a room when there's a formal meeting in progress — but the order differs based on the type of event. Typically at events like weddings, formal events, and at the ballet, the family is to enter in Order of Precedence, or royal rank, with the Queen entering last. However, at state dinners that changes — the Queen enters the room first with the head of state, followed by the rest of the royals.

19. No autographs allowed.

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Members of the royal family are banned from signing autographs to fans because it puts them at risk for having their signatures forged.

20. Family members may only get engaged or married with prior approval from the Queen.

Before proposing or getting married, descendants of the royal family are required to get permission from the Queen.

According to the Oxford Reference, the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 was originally "prompted by the unsanctioned marriage of George III's brother Henry, Duke of Cumberland ... making it illegal in future for any member of the royal family under the age of 25 to marry without the previous consent of the crown."

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21. Women in the royal family must follow additional strict tiara rules.

Only married women in the royal family are permitted to wear tiaras, and they must follow the strict rules for doing so, such as making sure it falls at a 45-degree angle when photographed from the side.

22. Everyone must address the queen correctly. 

There are strict rules to addressing the Queen when it comes to the royal family -- official protocol for the first meeting would be to refer to her as "Your Majesty", and thereafter you'd refer to her as "ma'am". But if you're a female in the royal family, the first meeting you'd refer to the Queen, instead, as "Your Royal Highness".

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Sydney Taylor is a writer who focuses on News and Entertainment topics. 

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