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Top 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know the Royals Have to Follow

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Written by Savannah Sher Being a royal does not mean you can just go ahead and do whatever you want! MsMojo presents the Top 10 Strict Rules That the Royal Family Must Obey! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be their use of nicknames, the order of precedence, or whether or not they vote? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to smizetillyoumakeit for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Surprising%20things%20you%20didn't%20know%20the%20royals%20have%20to%20follow
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Anybody looking to become part of the royal family should know it comes with some strict rules. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know the Royals Have to Follow.

For this list, we’re looking interesting customs, rules and regulations that the British royal family has reportedly adopted over the years.

#10: They Have to Pack Some Black

When members of the royal family travel, they have to be prepared for anything - including something quite morbid. Allegedly, all members are required, when travelling abroad, to pack an all-black outfit in case someone else in the family passes away and they are forced to go into official mourning. The protocol is that they would have that ensemble to change into for their travels home, so that when they returned to British soil they would be appropriately dressed. On “The Crown,” Elizabeth has to deal with this very issue when she is out of the country when her father dies.

#9: They Have to Cross Their Legs a Certain Way


As far as traditional etiquette goes, crossing your legs at the knee is one of the biggest breaches a proper lady can make. While it may be comfortable, that position lends itself to showing a little too much skin if the camera catches you at the wrong angle. Instead, members of the royal family either cross their legs at the ankle, or don’t cross them at all. In fact, a term has been coined for one of Kate Middleton’s favorite sitting positions: The Duchess Slant. This is when both knees are together and are angled slightly to one side for maximum modesty.

#8: They Have to Learn How Hold a Teacup

If there’s one place where etiquette lessons hold strong, it’s at the dining table. There are countless rules for how a table should be laid out, and how different items should be served. And of course, there’s nothing more quintessentially British than tea. The way one holds a teacup is important, with their thumbs and index fingers grasping the handle at the top. Similarly, when it comes time to eat, they have to hold their forks in their left hand and knife in their right, no matter whether they were born left-handed or not!

#7: They Have to Stop Eating When The Queen Is Done


If you ever find yourself dining alongside the Queen, you’d better eat quickly because you may not have much time to finish each course. Technically this rule only applies to members of the royal family, but outsiders should be aware of it nonetheless. The rule of thumb is to always keep your eyes on the Queen, and mimic her actions. For example, when she puts down her utensils to signal she has finished with a dish, everyone else at the table should do the same. And if you don’t, know that servers will be around quickly to clear things away.

#6: They Can’t Have Physical Contact with the Public

Officially, the royal family maintains that there are no hard and fast rules for meeting members, but in practice there are many customs that are considered appropriate to adhere to. One of these involves physical contact - which is largely considered a no-no. Many people, from Michelle Obama to LeBron James, have breached this unspoken rule by going in for a hug or casually throwing an arm around a shoulder, but each instance has caused a minor uproar in the press. You can see in Kate Middleton’s face that she’s unsure how to handle this sort of behavior!

#5: They Can’t Travel Long Distances Together

This is one rule that may seem sinister, but all things considered makes a lot of sense. In a custom that has been around for many years, it’s not advised that members of the royal family, specifically those in the line of succession, travel together. This is because of the potential dangers involved, and the ramifications if more than one royal heir were to perish at the same time. In the mid-2010s, Prince William has flouted this rule by travelling with his family regularly. Though some may see this rule as archaic, others still criticize his decision to do so. What’s important to note is that the Queen always has final say.

#4: They Follow a Strict Dress Code

Since she came into the spotlight due to her relationship with Prince William, Kate Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge), has been lauded for her impeccable fashion sense. While she definitely brings something fresh to the mix, it’s important to remember that she’s always following clearly laid out guidelines for how the royals dress. They aren’t allowed to wear colored nail polish, shouldn’t be caught in jeans, and have to be careful what their chosen headpieces signify. And have you ever wondered why Prince George is always seen in shorts? That’s because long pants on children is considered to be “suburban.”

#3: They Follow the Order of Precedence

Many of the rules on our list today are more like strong suggestions than hard and fast regulations, but this one is something that is really never deviated from. The royal order of precedence is paramount in the British royal family, and dictates things like walking in processions, seating arrangements for meals, and who bows and curtseys to whom. Queen Elizabeth II actually mixed up the generally accepted order in 2005, downgrading the Duchess of Cornwall’s place. This caused some minor controversy, and issues stemming from the order of precedence continue to be in the news today.

#2: They Don’t Vote

Considering the role that the British royal family has in society, and the close ties it has to all aspects of British life, it may be surprising to learn that the royals don’t actually take part in a standard civic duty. Legally, there is nothing that states the Queen or other royals are prohibited from voting, but in practice, it simply isn’t done. According to the website of the government of the UK, “ “it is considered unconstitutional for the Monarch to vote in an election.” Similarly, it would be considered untoward for a member of the family to run for office.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- They Shouldn’t Eat Shellfish
- They Can’t Sign Autographs
- They Can't Wear a Tiara Unless They're Married

#1: They Can’t Use Nicknames

Just like in “Game of Thrones,” real life royals sometimes have crazy long titles. The monarch we simply know as Queen Elizabeth II? Her full proper title is "Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith". That’s quite a mouthful! But don’t get caught calling her Liz or Lizzie, because it is considered bad form to use any nicknames or pet names for any member of the royal family.
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