10 specific royal rules Kate Middleton must always abide by in public
Because nothing says "close family bond" better than curstying when your in-laws enter a room, right?
Royal rules are a minefield. There are guidelines in place that have lasted centuries, and these days it seems that Britain's Queen Elizabeth is flexible to the requests of her modern grandchildren, she's still a sticker for the rules. The royals are changing with each generation - it's safe to say the royal household that Prince George and Princess Charlotte are growing up in is in stark contrast to that of their father and his brother Prince Harry's childhood.
But old habits die hard and these 10 rules aren't going anywhere anytime soon....
1. You mustn't remove your coat in public.
Earlier this week, we reported why you'll never see Kate Middleton remove her coat in public, even when she's indoors and looks rather uncomfortable, as seen above. The reason? It's deemed unladylike. Not being afforded the flexibility of removing your coat can be especially tough during a royal tour when your every move is documented, so if she ever needs to - gasp! - remove her jacket, she will do so away from the glare of the camera.
2. You must always wear nude nail polish.
You'd think with the access and wealth afforded to you as a princess, your glam squad would be experimenting constantly with new looks, but not so for Kate. She wears different variations of the same outfits for etiquette reasons, including the fact that she never wears nail polish because her grandmother-in-law frowns upon it. If wearing anything at all, Kate will stick to light pinks and nudes, something her sister-in-law to-be Meghan Markle seems to have taken note of also.
3. You should avoid holding hands in public.
While Meghan Markle and Prince Harry seem to be making up for lost time during their long-distance relationship with and endless array of PDAs, Kate and William tend to avoid holding hands, or linking arms, or showing affection in public. This reason is a lot more practical though - they're at work. Sure, their work might not include sitting at a desk all day crunching numbers, but public engagements are their main job as royals, so it's deemed inappropriate. We did catch a glimpse of them holding hands as they made their way to church on Christmas Day though.
4. You must always pack black on trips abroad.
Is there anything more depressing than packing for a work trip abroad and knowing you have to include an appropriate black outfit in case one of your relatives dies? No? Congratulations! You're not a royal. Before heading on tour, all royals have required to have an emergency ensemble to change into so that they're sombrely dressed when they touch down on UK soil. Having never been in a private jet chartered be a royal, I can only assume they don't change in compact bathrooms on board the flight and have some sort of specially designed dressing room on board.
On that joyful note, two heirs also are forbidden from travelling together for security concerns, so when Prince George turns 12, he'll have to travel separately from his father Prince William.
5. You must always curtsy to the most senior royal.
In theory, you know what you're getting into when you marry into royalty, and it's safe to assume that Kate and Meghan have no problem curtsying to Queen Elizabeth - she is, after all, an actual queen and an impressive 91-year-old woman. What Meghan probably didn't know is that she would be expected to do the same for her fiancé's cousins Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
The rules of curtsying are unnecessarily convoluted - you are expected to bow, in the case of a male, or curtsy, if you're a woman, to the more senior royal family member (except behind closed doors at Windsor). However, if Kate or Meghan are with their husbands, then the princesses by birth will have to curtsy to them.
The holidays must be a blast.
6. You don't get to decide when your meal is over.
When your life is publicly funded, your time isn't exactly yours and when Queen Elizabeth is around, neither is mealtime. When the monarch is done with her meal, so is everyone else. It's forbidden to continue eating at mealtime once her utensils are down.
7. You must hold a teacup appropriately.
Even teatime is a minefield. And as it turns out, there is a correct way to hold a cup, which requires pinching the top of the hands with your thumb and index finger; holding the handle at a specific angle and drinking from the exact same spot.
8. You must always wear a hat.
At formal events, headwear is expected. In the past, a female royal never left the palace without some kind of headpiece, but now it's strictly for specific affairs like Ascot, weddings and church ceremonies.
Diana Mather, a senior tutor for The English Manner etiquette consultancy, told the BBC last year the history behind the rule: "Up until the 1950s, ladies were very seldom seen without a hat as it was not considered 'the thing' for ladies to show their hair in public. But all that has changed and hats are now reserved for more formal occasions."
The same goes for tiaras: at specific events, you'll be assigned the right diamonds - but only after your wedding.
"The old rule is that hats are never worn indoors after 6pm, because that is when the ladies changed into evening dress, and tiaras and the family jewels would come out," she added.
"Flashy diamonds and tiaras are not worn during the day, and only married ladies wear tiaras. For married ladies it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband."
9. You should never wear wedges.
Well, at least in front of Queen Elizabeth - she is not a fan and let's the women know, which is why you'll only see Kate indulging her rebellious side when the queen is out of sight - and usually several thousands of miles away.
10. You must sit the correct way.
Much like getting out of a car in a skirt, there are few ladylike ways to sit down - which is why all things never wearing too short a skirt and the 'duchess slant' which Kate Middleton has mastered.