From being born into a British royal family to having an ancestral connection with the British monarchy, a fortune many would love to be born with such as Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Harry, Prince William or Princess Beatrice. Living in royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and having royal titles has its own eminence and charm. However, royalty is not easy, for with great power comes great responsibilities, protocols and royal duties to be fulfilled and followed.
Being a member of the royal family requires involvement in royal engagements which further involves putting in a lot of effort to interact with the people while also maintaining a constant public image. Royal family members interact with individuals from different spheres of life, including heads of states and professionals working in nonprofit organisations. And, there are several guidelines that must be followed at all times to ensure that these meetings and visits happen without a hitch.
While some of the peculiar procedures that the British royal family must adhere to are sometimes logical, having their origins in traditional customs, some may cause individuals to scratch their heads, leaving them wondering with questions including why, what or how come?
Here are some British royal family rules that we can’t identify with
Heirs to the throne are not permitted to travel together
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
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
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.
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No flashy nail paint and simple manicures only
We apply nail colours according to the 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.
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
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
No matter what, Monopoly is the favourite game of most of us and we love to play it during family gatherings but 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
This Christmas meal custom 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
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 — a social indicator
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 credit: Royal.uk; Featured image credit: Samuel Wölfl/Pexel)
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur