When I was growing up, my British grandparents taught us a bunch of dinner rules (always leave a bite on your plate for Mr. Manners, pass the salt and pepper shakers together, etc.) But the royal family takes everyday etiquette to the next level. Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged (go, Harry!), here are six old-school traditions she’ll learn with the royal family…
1. Keep one eye on the Queen: When she stands, you stand. Never turn your back to her. And when she has finished eating, don’t take another bite — boom, dinner’s over.
2. When a royal travels abroad, they have to pack an all-black outfit in case there’s a sudden funeral they need to attend.
3. The royal family can’t vote or run for political office. They also aren’t allowed to sign autographs (in case signatures are forged and used against them later) or take selfies (which even Harry hates).
4. Your chin should remain parallel to the floor when sitting, taking photos and even walking down stairs.
5. Pasta, potatoes and rice won’t be served at dinner (the Queen prefers fish with veggies), and garlic has actually been banned from Buckingham Palace because she doesn’t like it.
6. When you’re sitting, never cross your legs at the knee. Either cross them at the ankle or just keep your legs together and to the side (aka the “duchess slant“!)
Here are a few cute photos of Harry with his mother. (When asked what Diana would think of his fiancée, he told reporters, “Oh, they’d be thick as thieves, without question; I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me.”)
I’m psyched for another royal wedding this May, aren’t you?