To be royalty for a day — or even forever — is probably something many wouldn’t say no to. After all, it seems like such an incredible privilege to be born into the British royal family or simply having an ancestral connection with the monarchy; and getting to enjoy a lavish life similar to the likes of Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Harry, Prince William or Princess Beatrice. Living in royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and carrying royal titles also sound particularly appealing. However, being royalty is not easy, for with great power comes great responsibilities, protocols and royal duties to be fulfilled and followed. Read on for some of the most unusual rules that the British royal family has to abide by.

Being part of the British royal family requires involvement in formal engagements, which entails interacting with people while maintaining a constantly put-together public image. Royal family members come into contact with individuals from different spheres of life, including heads of states, high-flying professionals and CEOs, and — of course — common folk like you and me. This means there are several different guidelines to be followed at all times to ensure that such meetings and visits happen without a hitch.

While some of the peculiar procedures and rules that the British royal family must adhere to are sometimes logical, having their origins in traditional customs, some may cause us to scratch our heads, leaving us wondering with questions including why, what or how come?

Here are some unusual British royal family rules

Heirs to the throne are not permitted to travel together

Prince Willam British Royal Family
Image Credit: The Prince and Princess of Wales/Twitter

Travelling together for a family vacation is the most awaited time of our lives, but British royal families can’t celebrate this bliss as according to the rules, no two heirs can travel together to maintain the order of succession. However when Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton had children, the prohibition was eased but it is to reportedly resume as soon as Prince George turns 12.

Permission to propose

British Royal Family
Image Credit: The Prince and Princess of Wales/Twitter

For us, love just happens and we propose our better halves to seek a social commitment in the form of marriage with the blessings of our parents. But according to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, British royal descendants don’t have the liberty to exercise this right of love because they have to seek the monarch’s approval before proposing.

Queen Elizabeth II approved every union involving her children and grandchildren, including the one between Prince Andrew and Fergie and the one between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. She also extended her blessings (approval) for William’s proposal to Middleton and Harry’s request for Meghan Markle’s hand in marriage.

Royals must always carry a black outfit while travelling

Mourning Outfit
Image Credit: The Royal Family/Twitter

This rule might seem to be one of the best for black lovers who carry black outfits while travelling or prefer them on any given day but for British royals it is different. As royals typically reserve black outfits for funerals, they should be prepared. So, if there is an unexpected death in the royal family and somebody from the family is travelling, they should have a proper mourning outfit.

No flashy nail paint and simple manicures only

Nail Polish
Image Credit: Dalila Dalprat/Pexels

We apply nail colours depending on events, festivals or just otherwise, to celebrate the glitter and glamour we like but it’s not the same for British royal princesses. One of the many dress codes in the royal household is to refrain from having brightly coloured nails, especially when carrying out official tasks. According to reports, this regulation was developed to prevent interruptions and preserve a professional appearance.

Ironed shoelaces

The Royal Family
Image Credit: The Royal Family/Twitter

Hardly has anyone realised that shoelaces can also get wrinkled. However, it appears that King Charles III is aware of this and takes necessary precautions. Paul Burrell, a former employee of Princess Diana and the Queen, claimed that the King got his pyjamas and his shoelaces ironed every morning.

Women are required to don hats at all formal events

Queen with hat
Image Credit: Carfax2/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

The not so royal people wear hats either as a fashion accessory or to protect them from direct sunlight but the royal women wear hats at all formal gatherings before 6:00 pm for it is a rule. Also, the royal ladies should wear a tiara at major ceremonies after 6:00 pm. However, this one is only for married women.

Monopoly is banned

Monopoly Game
Image Credit: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Despite its popularity at family gatherings, Monopoly is reportedly the only board game that is prohibited from being used in the royal household, according to British media. The queen banned it because it gets too competitive.

Getting weighed prior to and following Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner British Royal Family
Image Credit: Royal.uk

This Christmas meal tradition is arguably the royal family’s most strange custom. According to CBS News, royals are weighed before and after the celebratory supper because if they put on enough weight, it is clear that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The Royals can’t give fans their autographs

British royal family
Image Credit: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School/Twitter

Signing autographs has always been a thing for famous people but according to various reports by the British media, British royals are forbidden from signing autographs to reduce the possibility of their signatures from being forged. King Charles is renowned for saying, “Sorry, they don’t let me to do that,” in response to any requests from admirers. He did, however, make an exception when he provided an autograph to a family that had experienced terrible flash floods in Cornwall in 2010.

Also, Markle once wrote a note for a young fan and scribbled “Hi Kaitlin” instead of signing as per reports.

Queen’s handbag as a social indicator

Queen's Handbag
Image Credit: The Royal Family/Twitter

While handbags are just a fashion accessory for people, British royals use it as a social indicator. Sounds weird but it is true. When the Queen used to be out in public, she signalled her staff with clues from her purse. For instance, the Queen indicated that she wished to move on from a conversation by shifting her handbag from her left arm to her right arm. Also, for indicating the time to tie things up she used to set her purse on the dinner table as a clue for others to take their final bite.

(Main image: Royal.uk; Featured image: Samuel Wölfl/Pexels)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur

written by.

Priyanshi Agrawal

Travel, lifestyle, wellness, and finance writer Priyanshi is somebody who gorges on self-help and mythology reads, follows fitness trends, and stalks some famous travellers. She has two years of experience working with travel, hospitality, and tech companies. Travelling acts as a spark in her relationship with writing.
   

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