Saturday 18 August 2018

10 specific royal rules Kate Middleton must always abide by in public

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they attend a Bandy hockey match where they will learn more about the popularity of the sport during day one of their Royal visit to Sweden and Norway on January 30, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they attend a Bandy hockey match where they will learn more about the popularity of the sport during day one of their Royal visit to Sweden and Norway on January 30, 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of watch a Bhutanese archery demonstration on the first day of a two day visit to Bhutan on the 14th April 2016 in Paro, Bhutan
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Meghan Markle/Instagram
Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day One: Kate wore a colourful midi dress by Mumbai-born designer Anita Dongre; a pair of now famous €10 earrings from Accessorize and wedges from Monsoon, for a game of cricket.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to officially open the Mittal Children's Medical Centre during a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for her visit to Coventry Cathedral during their visit to the city on January 16, 2018 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) curtsey flanked by Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Britain's Prince Harry (2R) who bow as they see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, visits Bond Primary School in Mitcham to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, in London, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2L), US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Prince Harry (R) stand together in front of other members of the family as they wait to see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II after attending the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

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.

US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) curtsey flanked by Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Britain's Prince Harry (2R) who bow as they see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) curtsey flanked by Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Britain's Prince Harry (2R) who bow as they see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

But old habits die hard and these 10 rules aren't going anywhere anytime soon....

1. You mustn't remove your coat in public.

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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.

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The Duchess of Cambridge at the Robin Hood Primary School in London
 

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.

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Prince Harry and his fiancee, US actress Meghan Markle, visit the Nottingham Academy as part of their first official public engagements togetheron December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England
 

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.

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November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.
 

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.

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US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) curtsey flanked by Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Britain's Prince Harry (2R) who bow as they see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
 

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.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping with the Duchess of Cambridge (and Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, London
 

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.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of watch a Bhutanese archery demonstration on the first day of a two day visit to Bhutan on the 14th April 2016 in Paro, Bhutan
 

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.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
 

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.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day One: Kate wore a colourful midi dress by Mumbai-born designer Anita Dongre; a pair of now famous €10 earrings from Accessorize and wedges from Monsoon, for a game of cricket.
 

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.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day Seven: for her iconic shot at the Taj Mahal, Kate wore a dress by Naeem Khan and a pair of earrings she purchased at a market in Bhutan for less than €10.

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.

Online Editors

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