The Realities of Royalty

Photo of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles,Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Kate and Charles’ children. Image courtesy of ‘ ‘.

Sasha Legagneur, Editor-in- Chief

On January 29,2020 ,Prince Harry and Megan Markle announced that they would step back from their royal responsibilities. The couple made the decision to be financially autonomous and go back and forth between North America and England rather than permanently settling in the latter. The news shocked listeners around the world, including the Queen herself. The Dutch and Duchess of Sussex received mixed reviews to their announcement. On one hand, many appreciated the two for making an effort in changing tradition and understood why they may want to step back from the pressure that comes from being part of the royal family. However, many did not take the news as kindly.”It is a slap in the face. I think what is shocking is the lack of consideration for the people involved, the British royal family, the promises that were originally made to honor royal duties and to lead by example” ( , said Markle’s sister, Samantha Markle. 

The Dutch and Dutchess of Sussex strolling through the rain. Image courtesy of ‘ ‘.

For decades, royalty has been depicted as a lifestyle people could only dream of obtaining. The princess movies , shiny jewels, fashion, and wealth distract viewers from what really comes with the title. When the couple decided to leave their positions as senior royals, they received backlash from people who had never walked a day in their shoes.Although  It is inarguable that the royal family has been blessed with immense privilege, the pressure that comes with being part of this bundle should also be taken into account. Everyone says they want a fairytale ending, but do not consider the price this comes with. 

The royal family is required to follow many rules. Many of these may commence a laugh, while others are quite shocking. 

The first set of rules deal with the etiquette and manners of royalty. 

1.If the queen is standing up, you are required to do the same

2. When addressing the Queen, men must lower their heads and women must curtsy. However, the required curtsies are not as dramatic as those depicted in films. 

3. When walking behind the queen, Prince Philip must stay two steps behind. 

4. Once the queen finishes her meal, so must everyone else. 

5. A royal female must walk down a flight of stairs with her chin parallel to the floor. In addition, her hands must be straight down her sides. 

6. When shaking one’s hand, her Majesty must keep eye contact with whomever he or she is addressing. In addition, only two shakes are allowed. If not, it may seem like the Queen plays favorites. 


The next set of rules deal with fashion. Those in the palace are known for their looks. However, there is meaning behind their appearances. 

1.It has been said that the Queen appalls wedges. Therefore, they are highly discouraged to be worn in her presence. 

2. Whenever one is marrying into the royal family, the Queen must approve the bride’s wedding dress. 

3. It would be odd to see the Queen wearing black on an average day. She usually sticks to a bright ensemble. 

4. Women of royalty wear hats to events that occur during the day. However, once 6:00 p.m hits, the hats are exchanged for tiaras( only a rule for married women). 

5. Even the royal children have dress rules! Prince George is usually only seen in shorts, as this is what is viewed as proper for young boys. 

6. One of the most interesting customs deals with the Queen’s purse. The Queen uses the purse as a signal. When she would like a conversation to cease, she moves her purse to her right hand. 7. When dinner is finishing up, the Queen places her purse on the dining table. 


The following are some interesting rules that may seem a bit out of the ordinary.

1. Allegedly, the royal family does not play ‘Monopoly’! The Duke of York once stated that the family gets too competitive when challenging each other during this game.

2.The Queen and garlic are not friends. The ingredient is not allowed in any food that the Queen eats or serves. Shellfish is also banned.

3. Those who work on royal grounds are not allowed to give consequences to the Queen’s dogs. No matter their behavior, they must not correct them.

4. People outside of the royal family are not allowed to address the royals using a nickname.Once Kate Middleton entered the family, she began to be addressed as Catherine,with her title following her first name. Of course the media and those close to her bend this rule but it is one that is expected to be followed by those who are formally introduced to her. 

5. The family must not take selfies and cannot offer autographs. 


Often, things look great from the outside looking in. There are many more expectations that come with being a royal than those listed above.The guidelines discussed are only some of the more lighthearted quirks to royalty. The constant spotlight and expectation to act in a way that those in power have defined as ‘proper’, is a daunting task. Yes, those against Harry and Megan’s decisions have reason to be upset. However, their reasons for wanting some time off are understandable. With fame comes critics, and with this title comes responsibility.

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