To be a monarch’s descendant is no easy task. That’s why children of the royal houses must comply with a series of very strict rules from the very day they are born. And that includes some seriously crazy guidelines.
iBuzz did some research to find out what exactly is expected of you if you’re born into the British Royal Family, and as it turns out, not everything is peachy. Here are some of the strangest rules that children of British Royalty have to comply with.
1. No nicknames or aliases are allowed.
Both adults and children are prohibited from calling each other by nicknames or diminutives in public or in private. As influential people in their nations, they must demonstrate education and elegance. Therefore, using names like “Mommy,” “Daddy,” or any other cute nickname is strictly forbidden — that is, on paper, of course. The specialized press has noticed that this rule has been broken time and time again by many members of the Royal Family.
2. They must follow an appropriate dress code.
Royalty cannot wear just any clothes they want, and of course, children are no exception. Boys are required to wear shorts until the age of 8. As for girls, they must wear age-appropriate dresses and may accompany them with vests or socks.
3. No selfies or autographs are allowed.
Even though selfies are everyone’s bread and butter these days, for members of royalty, they are not even a possibility. They can’t take a selfie alone or with a fan, no matter how much he or she begs for it, nor can they sign any autographs. That’s because they want to prevent their signature from being forged and used against them. Unfortunately, we’re just left with the fantasy of seeing cute heirs to the throne using Instagram story filters.
4. They’re forbidden to play Monopoly.
One of the strangest rules we’ve heard is that the Royal Family cannot play the popular game that lets you buy and sell property. The reason behind this was explained by Prince Andrew in 2008, when he had to refuse an invitation to play because, according to the Queen, it is very addictive and generates conflict in the family. This is what they want to avoid at all costs.
5. Christmas gifts are opened on Christmas Eve.
Like all families, the Windsor family has its own traditions for this holiday. One of them is that gifts are not to be opened on Christmas morning, but the day before, at tea time. This is probably one of the most enviable benefits since children in many countries have to wait until the morning after to find out what Santa brought them.
6. They must learn at least one foreign language.
In their adult years, state activities will bring the Royal Family into contact with people from other countries. That is why, from a young age, they’re taught at least one other language besides English. Take for instance Prince George and Princess Charlotte: both of them are studying Spanish. The future king already knows how to count to 10 in a language that’s spoken all around the world.
7. Children are the real stars at weddings.
At traditional royal weddings, the bride and groom are far from the main focus of the ceremony. Children, on the other hand, truly steal the show. They accompany the bride and groom in the photos as bridesmaids do. All royals played these roles at some point in their lives — even Queen Elizabeth did it when she was still a princess.
8. Heirs cannot travel together.
This rule has been set in stone from the very beginning of aviation, back when planes were not deemed to be a safe means of transportation. By complying with this rule, the Royals protect themselves in case of an accident that could lead to the death of a king or queen. That way, the line of succession would not be broken and the first-born could take the place of the monarch.
Today, things are a little different. Modern aircrafts have proven to be one of the safest ways to travel. Therefore, the Queen has accepted to fly together with heirs to the throne more than once in recent years.
9. They must be well-behaved.
Although tantrums are to be expected from any child, royal children can’t really afford to be seen having one. Beginning at a very young age, they are instructed to have proper behavior and etiquette to make a good impression on everyone. However, they don’t always succeed at keeping things serious because, after all, children remain children.
10. They must accept all gifts given to them.
Well, who wouldn’t like this idea? All members of the Royal Family, including children, should always accept gifts given to them, whether they’re from leaders or the public, although these are not really their property. They’re received in the name of the Queen. In any case, they can still use them, and gifts that are discarded are often displayed in the Royal Collection Trust or donated if they’re worth less than 150 pounds.
11. They have to get baptized.
Just like many religions dictate, royal babies have to be baptized in the first months after they’re born. For the event, the parents wear the historic Honiton tunic, a cream-colored dress dating from 1841. Since 2008, an exact replica has been used instead. Babies have not only 2 godfathers and godmothers like many do, but rather, between 6 and 8.
12. No leaning back or casual sitting down is allowed.
A person’s posture when standing up is also important when trying to convey a message. That’s why royal members must have proper posture. The feet have to be apart, more or less at the same distance as the shoulders, the spine has to be straight, the chin slightly raised, and the hands can never be in the pockets. When members of royalty sit down, their legs should be crossed or straight with their feet on the ground.
13. Education doesn’t end when school is over.
To be a member of royalty is not just about living in palaces and enjoying a privileged life. A person with this status must also be educated and trained to be able to fulfill his or her royal duties. That is why, in addition to receiving an education at the best private schools and universities in England, in their teenage years, men are expected to serve in the military.
Furthermore, all royal family members are educated in international relations, public speaking, state visits, and their socioeconomic, cultural, and political implications.
14. Women cannot wear tiaras until they’re married.
Tiaras are a sign of marital status. That is to say that if you wear one, it means you’re married. That is precisely why girls cannot just wear them whenever they want but have to wait until they’re married. Likewise, adults wear them after 6 o’clock in the afternoon, except at weddings, of course.
15. Dinner is over when the Queen finishes her plate.
Royal protocols and etiquette are a big deal, even at lunchtime. The Queen is the first to be served, and only then can her guests have food on their plates. Furthermore, when she’s done eating, everyone must finish their meal too, even if they didn’t get the chance to grab a single bite.
This is a tradition that can be traced back to Queen Victoria’s time. Still, for the sake of the Royal Family, we hope that in private, Grandma Elizabeth can show a more tender and flexible side to her young grandchildren and great-grandchildren who might just take longer to eat.
Do you remember any rules from your childhood that you found hard to comply with? What do you think about royalty having to follow all these protocols? Would you follow them if you were of the Royal Family?