Relationships

6 Strict Rules the Royal Family (and Now Meghan Markle) Must Follow

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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“!)

Prince Harry and Diana

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.”)

Prince Harry and Diana

Prince Harry and Diana

Prince Harry and Diana

I’m psyched for another royal wedding this May, aren’t you?

P.S. Old loves, and Kate’s best fashion moment.

(Top photo by Chris Jackson. Second, fourth and last photo by Tim Graham. Third photo by AFP. Royal rules via Marie Claire, Bright Side and The Kitchn.)

  1. Katie says...

    Please do post randomly about Harry and Meghan when it’s educational or a sweet moment. We don’t need a play by play of her daily life. Although an article about her life will change in little ways would be interesting. How they shop, drive, take classes, walk the dog, etc

  2. Angela says...

    I’m just curious how they enforce these rules. I personally can’t imagine putting much stock in it whether I married in or was born in. I get following a dress code to some degree but micromanaging sitting position? Yeah right.

  3. tianvl says...

    Pictures of Diana with her boys always make me so sad. Someone said once the best thing you can do for your children is to stay alive. So true. I think about that every time I see these old pictures.

  4. Seams says...

    The man in the picture of Diana with the two princes with striped shirts is the (former) king of Spain.

  5. Ellie says...

    Actually the Queen (of the United Kingdom, not just England as I hear so often from Americans!) isn’t prohibited from voting by law, though it is considered unconstitutional.

    • MC says...

      Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – not just the UK as I hear so often by Brits! ;)

  6. Bec says...

    As an Australian, I am not a fan of the fact that some random old lady in England is our head of state. Monarchies are outdated. As for ‘love stories in these hard times’ I much prefer stories on CoJ like the lovely couple who still eat dinner by the river and stories from commenters about their families. So lovely and authentic.

  7. Jess says...

    I’m slightly giddy about this royal wedding. Especially as a fellow 36 year old Los Angeles gal who attended an all girls catholic school…and ended up meeting and marrying a Brit.
    I don’t see how Meghan is giving up so much. Every relationship has sacrifices and gains. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you reside or what is listed as your occupation…when you find your person, you work as partners through all aspects of life to support each other. But saying that, I don’t think living in a cottage at Kensington Palace and getting to do charitable work you are passionate about alongside your partner is giving up much ;) She seems like a strong person who will be a positive force amongst the modern monarchy. Excited to see it all play out.

  8. Jayme says...

    Well, I guess we wouldn’t get “tech” neck wrinkles that way.

  9. Eliza says...

    I’m Canadian and while we’re part of the commonwealth, I haven’t really noticed how it affects us besides the woman on our coins and proudly spelling colour with a ‘U’ and confusing Americans by spelling my name with a ‘zed’ instead of a ‘zee’. I have read that “According to Buckingham Palace, sustaining the royal family costs Britons 53 pence, or about 81 cents, per person, per year” in taxes – I voluntarily pay MUCH more than that per year in cable costs and movie passes to be entertained by people who arguably do very little in comparison to the British royal family in terms of supporting humanitarian rights, and as we’re finding out some of the people who benefit from my movie-going are truly atrocious. Even if they did nothing else but look fantastic (fantasy-like) while having babies and getting married, I’d gladly pay a dollar a year to continue to be entertained by royalty! But I have great respect and a soft spot in my heart for Prince Harry and the work he does with his foundation in Lesotho.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/07/is-the-british-royal-family-worth-the-money/278052/

    http://sentebale.org/ (The prince’s foundation)

    • Rita says...

      Thank you for Stating this. I’m not monarchic but I’ve never understood the rage againt the Royal Family. Polítician costa way more. And I also think William is seriou and comitted. Sorry for all the mitake my screen is brok e n! 😓😂

  10. Sarah says...

    Aw! Love this!

    The engagement ring includes two smaller diamonds from Diana’s personal collection, according to a statement from Kensington Palace.

  11. Sarah P. says...

    This is really interesting:

    From CNN:

    The last royal wedding involving a divorcee was a civil ceremony rather than a church marriage. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 in a town hall in Windsor.

    The then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, agreed the arrangements were “consistent with Church of England guidelines concerning remarriage.”

    The Church of England nevertheless allows the remarriage of divorced people “in exceptional circumstances.”

    Rules state that divorcees must be asked a series of questions designed to ensure “past hurts” have been healed and mistakes learned from.

  12. andrea smith says...

    I was initially very thrilled to see a woman of color marrying into the Royal family, but then I saw their interview and realized that she has to quit acting. That she had to leave one of her dogs. I have a close friend who is an actor and actors/musicians/artists don’t just do this for a living — it’s a huge part of their identity. Also, I have friends that are dog lovers — they see their dogs as their kids. She’s leaving all that behind. Not to mention that her mother is in California — that time difference alone will be hard. , She was also socially active and discussed Trump, Brexit, Trayvon Martin, etc. – and now she cannot vote, must remain neutral and cannot publicly participate in politics. Her life will be vastly different. If Catherine did not marry will, I would argue that her life would not be that different. Meghan? She would have continued to be fabulous. I wish them the best and hope that love is enough.

    Lastly, the comment above who wrote that an American Black woman will have to curtsy to a family that colonized half the world, really struck me.

    • CateW says...

      I thought this as well, then saw the interview where she says she is looking forward to the work they will achieve together and wonder if maybe she would have forged further into her UN work in the future anyway. Apparently she is retaining dual citizenship so presumably will retain the right to vote in the US?

    • Samantha says...

      She has said that she was more interested in humanitarian causes now and that’s what brought them together, so I don’t think she’ll miss acting that much.

    • Seams says...

      Oh, come on. She’ll keep acting, because her new job involves quite some acting as well, although of a different kind. And she won’t be the first person to live a couple of time zones away from their parents. She’s a grown woman that makes her own decisions. Nobody is forcing her. She wants to.

  13. Kit says...

    I still have trouble with the whole bowing/curtsying thing and from-birth nobility titles. While I’m very interested in the upcoming royal wedding, it feels wrong to me that anyone should be literally higher class (including all non-famous Earls, Dukes, etc.), or a black American woman having to curtsy to an institution that colonized half the world.

    • B.J. Greene says...

      I think the bowing is only expected within the family/household. I mean, Ms. Markle only has to bow to Queen Elizabeth because she’s chosen to marry her grandson. Curtsying is done to honor the different positions existing in the family (from older to younger, etc.). It is like giving grandparents or parents seats at the head of the table, in other words, it’s not that weird. And, like I said, they don’t really expect it from anyone outside the household. But also, is it that simple to say the royal family or the British Crown ruled half the world? At its peak the British Empire had rule, of some sort, over less than 1/4 of the world. And in India colonization was begun and carried out for centuries by a private British company, the East India Company. The Crown is said to have taken over when things fell apart in the 19th century. But Britain has been ruled by constitutional law since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, and most would say that the monarchy has decreased in hard political power ever since. Today, the Queen is the head of the Church of England and the ceremonial head of state of the commonwealth nations, a free association of countries ;)

  14. Dannie V Soler says...

    You can see those boys were Priness Diana’s babies, royal or not and she enjoyed being a “Mommi” to them. I believe they were her comfort and joy and it showed.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i totally agree xoxo

  15. Emmie says...

    Listen here CoJ, you better keep all of this coming, our SF office is obsessed with MM and we are even planning a tea party for them (her). So just do yourselves a favor and post about the royal family once a week from here on out ok?! lol

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i think people are divided between wanting coverage and definitely not wanting it! :)

  16. Jasap says...

    I’m once again reminded that Diana had such style!! It wasn’t necessarily what I would wear (like, ever – the red ensemble alone makes me shiver thinking how I would never put that on, hehe), but it suit her so well and she really knew how to dress.
    I’m psyched for the wedding! Funny story: when prince William was getting married, I was studying in Brussels and my roommate and I took the day off and drunk champagne (a rather cheap one, unfortunately) while watching the transmission on the TV and commenting everything on Facebook! It stuck in my mind because it was such a simple thing to do but we really had fun!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds really fun!

    • Samantha says...

      I literally got up at 5am to watch it before school! Lol

  17. Amelia Ryan says...

    Lady Di was so beautiful and such a lovely person :'(

  18. Oh, interesting, and definitely not for me! Give me allll the garlic, haha.

    Question: Why would you ever leave a bite of food on your plate? My (Italian) family had a saying when it came to food: “Take all you want; eat all you take!” To this day, I clean my plate (or pack up the leftovers!) Throwing away food doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Yes, what a travesty if everyone “has” to leave a little bit of food on their plate. I’ve always been taught to finish my plate (or take the rest home) — and I agree that food is never, ever to be wasted!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh it’s literally just half a bite, not wasting much! the idea behind it is showing your host that you didn’t leave hungry but were well fed and satisfied.

  19. Brooke says...

    I was so excited for the last royal wedding but felt FOMO I wasn’t British! I’m EVEN MORE excited for this wedding since Meghan is American and I feel somewhat connected!!

  20. “Never turn your back on the Queen” would be a rad tagline for a dystopian YA novel.

    • Heather says...

      love this

  21. Amber Olney says...

    Fascinating!! Can you explain leaving one bite for Mr. Manners? I always strictly had to finish everything on my plate, but this sounds like a much less weight-inducing habit! Haha!

    • Sarah says...

      It indicates to the host that you’re satiated. Cleaning your plate completely makes it look like you’re still hungry and maybe weren’t served enough.

      My mom always followed this custom and, at the end of every meal, my sister or I would lunge at her plate and finish it off. :)

  22. I am so happy for the royal couple! I haven’t been able to read or watch enough of them. So nice to see them so in love, and to see Harry adoring such a strong woman!

  23. I love this union but have also been thinking how oppressive it must feel to go from living as a normal (if famous) citizen in the US to living as a British Royal. She’s quitting acting, leaving the States, moving into Harry’s 2 bedroom apartment on the palace grounds?? It feels like she’s giving up so much! Romantic, but perhaps archaic as well? I hope they bring some modern updates to the family.

    • Emmie says...

      Totes

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      totally agree.

    • aga says...

      Normally I would agree but after seeing their interview, I think she is excited for the charity work that the “job” comes with and the huge platform to do it from. It doesn’t feel like she’s giving up anything. (Suits has already run its course, and she’s not the first to leave the show.) I think the main sacrifice is the loss of privacy and opening herself up to all of our scrutiny!

  24. I’d do alright except for the lack of potatoes, post, and garlic. And the not voting bit!

    Though I might have to practice up on my duchess slant….

  25. Suzanna Gibbons says...

    I am over the moon with the two of them…I wish them all the luck in the world …

  26. Laura says...

    I am so happy for Harry & his lovely bride to be, but it’s always bittersweet because I grew up watching his mother all her years as a royal and her absence is just so hugley felt. But seeing her two sons happy is a comfort.

  27. Iz says...

    I am a Brit living in Britain and a) I have never heard of the table manners you quote, Joanna; b) I am quite angry that Meghan Markle just gets to bypass all the requirements normal folk have to meet to become British citizens. It is getting increasingly difficult and there are stories in the press every day about families the Home Office has split up by denying visas, residency rights etc.

    • So true – or more, I’m not angry that it’s easy for her, but that it’s so difficult for everyone else.

    • mado says...

      Thanks for this perspective!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i hear you about bypassing the requirements for citizenship, especially since it takes so long and can be so hard for everyone else. my grandmother was born in india but has lived in england for most of her life (and was married to a british man and had six children in england) and she’s still a second class citizen on her passport.

      oh and the table manners are just funny ones from my grandparents’, definitely not everyone in great Britain. they are hilarious with their rules, like this kind of thing :) https://cupofjo.com/2012/04/dinner-etiquette/

    • Ellie says...

      I’m not sure she’s getting to bypass it… the reports I’ve read state that she wants to become a citizen and will be “working towards it”, so it sounds like she’s might have to do the same citizenship tests as everyone else. I agree that there shouldn’t be preferential treatment, but I, not sure that she’s actually getting any in this regard?

  28. KylieO says...

    I bloody love the royal family. I get that people don’t like the monarchy, that they use taxpayers dollars etc, but seriously – in this day and age where 99% of the news is negative and makes you fear the world, hearing about a happy couple and their upcoming wedding is just what I need. AND she’s an amazing role model who I’m sure will do great things with her newfound role!

    • B.J. Greene says...

      Yes, agreed!

  29. I am so very happy for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Many happy years. God Bless.

  30. Sarah Ford says...

    So happy for the couple! I smile a lot for them. So in love. They have the connection!

  31. Jenny says...

    I’m so happy for them! A I learn more about MM, I think it’s an incredibly choice for Harry. She’s intelligent and well spoken and appears really very warm.

    Fun post- really interesting little facts!

  32. Krystal Rose says...

    I think a lot of Americans get excited over the Royal Family because we don’t have that here in the states. Especially in current times when it’s like a fairytale across the pond while we’re living in a Stephen King novel in the U. S. Haha! I’m really excited about the engagement and the wedding. I’m a big fan of Meghan’s from watching her on Suits and because she looks so genuinely happy in every photo with her prince, it’s even more beautiful to watch them.

    • Amy says...

      A Stephen King novel… this made me laugh out loud at my desk! So true!

    • S says...

      No joke! My bookclub read King’s “The Dead Zone” last year during the elections and the parallels were troubling, to say the least. Creepy!

    • Laura says...

      You nailed it! Compared to this freak show in the white house this royal couple seems like a breath of fresh air.

  33. Iris gonzalez says...

    What ! no garlic? but garlic is amazing not only to add taste to many dishes but also is healthy to eaten.I like the rule of not crossing the legs but it’s crazy the one about the chin.lol, I just saying .

  34. Julia says...

    Hmm Diana’s chin is definitely not parallel to the ground in those photos… I wonder how strict the rules are

    • Maiz says...

      I believe she might also be crossing her legs at the knee in one of those photos… such a rebel!

  35. Betsy says...

    My girlfriends and I drank bubbles and ate cake while watching Kate and William get married. I hope to do something similar this time around! It’s so much fun to go full-on girlie and squeal over the details and dresses.

  36. Katie says...

    I LOVE following the lives of the royals and will 100% be taking the day off to watch this wedding in May!!!

  37. I love following the royals. I knew about rues 1, 2, and 4. I’m shocked they can’t vote! I saw a picture of their “cottage” they’ll be living in on the grounds of Kensington Palace. In must be strange to live in a house surrounded by a palace full of people. William and Kate plus a handful of other royals lives in the Palace. Talk about a full house! I know it’s a large property but can you ever fully relax in your home thinking another royal may walk over?

  38. Haha I’m on the subway and I just tried keeping my chin parallel to the floor. Very, very awkward!
    Also, sooo happy for Meghan and Prince Harry. They are the perfect match! 🤗 I am huge fan of Suits and they film the show here in Toronto. I also loved her website, The TIG.

  39. Charlotte K says...

    They seem very happy–I hope they make it (I think this about every young happy couple). Their wedding is going to be much smaller than Will & Kate’s. It’s to be held in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Making it smaller gives them an excuse not to invite any of those ghastly people currently occupying the White House. I REALLY hope Barack & Michelle are there!

  40. Beautiful family.
    Sorry for your lost of your mother. God bless you and your family.

  41. I am so happy that we have this one tiny, joyous bit of news to distract us right now. So happy for Meghan and Harry! And for Will and Kate!

  42. I’m a royal watcher, too, but doesn’t it seem like Meghan Markle is giving up so, so much for Harry? I mean, he’s never going to be king, so he could just get an apartment in NYC or Toronto and she could still work on her show. She has to be baptized and confirmed in the Church of England before the wedding, plus give up her right to vote when she has been known for her activism. I wonder if they are signing a prenuptial agreement. Sarah Ferguson has been absolutely scorned since she divorced Prince Andrew. It seems like Meghan might want some protection, just in case.

    • Cay says...

      Perhaps she is seeing this as an opportunity to really make a widespread impact with her activism, on a global scale? She’ll now be able to bring a lot of attention and funds to a particular cause literally just by associating it with her name.

      I mean, let’s remember Diana shaking the hand of a person with AIDS without gloves. She singlehandedly made a MASSIVE impact in the public perception of a person with HIV/AIDS, with such a simple gesture. She used her name and image to do so much good work. Meghan strikes me as someone who will strive to do similar work, more so than Kate (who I like, but she isn’t exactly out there breaking down social barriers).

    • Yes, I loved Diana! But she was the future Queen of England and was groomed for that from childhood. Also, she was very obviously unhappy in her role.

      Meghan will always be the King’s younger brother’s American wife. If my friend told me she was giving up literally everything, including her citizenship, to marry a rich guy and move in with his family, I’d tell her to run. Seriously, she herself is so modern, but this arrangement is anything but. Even William has said this (being King or Queen) is a job that nobody wants.

  43. Lea says...

    Just wanted to take a moment to appreciate how you said “go, Harry” instead of “go, Meghan.” There has been so much focus on how lucky *she* is to be marrying a prince; I was happy to see you subtly pointing out that he’s lucky to have found someone like her too.

  44. laura says...

    I’m sorry but… maybe if Americans lived under a bunch of royals skimming off everyone’s public money for literally doing zero work all their lives, they would get less excited about news related to these horrid megarich people.

    Also, the elegant slant when sitting is not elegant, it’s just plain sexist. Royal men can show their crotch all right, but women need to be perpetually contorted into that sort of yoga pose just because (ew! women’s crotches!).

    By the way, the man sitting next to Diana in the second picture she’s in? That’s the (now retired) king of Spain, a man whose own daughter and son-in-law have been condemned (IN COURT) for stealing public money under cover of the Royal Family (but, because they are royals, surprise! Justice does not follow them, they have not been sent to jail, and they still live happily in Switzerland… I swear down, research this)… the ex-king who is so fond of hunting elephants, who is close super chums with a bunch of Saudi Arabia’s human-rights-violating royals, who has had a million mistresses and bought the services of many, many prostitutes. A shame of a person, at the top of a shameful system.

    I find it so depressing that people (especially Americans it seems?) treat monarchies just like no-harm all over fun. They burden our democracies, they siphon our public money, they are outdated, anachronistic, conservative and classist institutions. The UK is no exception.

    Sincerely, A Pissed European Who Is Fighting To Get A Republic.

    • E says...

      I live in a Scandinavian country and am very much for the monarchy. I consider myself modern in most ways, but I still think the royal family fits right in! I absolutely love that this piece of history and tradition is still engrained in our society. Though they don’t work traditional jobs, I still believe they work hard and create enormous value for their respective countries. Although I didn’t know what you wrote about the Spanish royals and that sounds disgusting!!

      PS: Hi, Joanna and team! Isn’t it nuts to have readers all over the world?!

    • Lizzie says...

      Yes Laura! You are 100% right. It’s absolutely classist and not cute to me at all.

    • YES! Thank you!

    • Sonya says...

      Well said! I think Meghan can do so much better than someone who once wore a Nazi costume for Halloween.

    • Where’s the like button?! Laura is spot on.

    • Rachel says...

      And let’s not forget that the queen herself stole from the citizens of the UK by investing money in off-shore tax havens as revealed through the Paradise Papers.

    • Lizzie says...

      100% this. Classist, sexist, and a great way to keep lots of money and property away from anyone outside a “birthright”. Nativism is gross, even if you’re “letting” an American woman marry the fifth in line for the throne. Princess Diana worked hard to lessen the political influence of the monarchy, and was rejected for it.

      Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence they announced the engagement right as Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU. The British monarchy is fantastic at PR. Let’s keep our eye on the ball and not on the shiny diamonds being used to distract us :)

    • 100% agree. We’re having to pay for their wedding / lavish lifestyle, while the rest of the country struggles with budget cuts / austerity. We have major problems to deal with over here and the royal wedding getting airtime smokescreens the absolute state our country is in at the moment. Have nothing against them but don’t want to hear a thing about it, let alone hairstyles, clothes, lifestyle choices, BAH>

  45. Meg says...

    There are seven rules, not six :)

  46. Dani says...

    Do these photos make anyone else burst into tears? I’ve never cared that much about the royals but these pictures just break my heart. And while I maintain that I still don’t really care I’m admittedly excited about this marriage in particular. They both seems so much more interesting than the others.

    • Yes on the photos :(

  47. Celeste says...

    No pasta, no garlic? I’m out. Ugh British food is terrible as it is.

    • Jess says...

      These rules only apply to state and formal dinners that are hosted by the Queen. Not every day menus.

    • Rhonda M says...

      Last time in London, the food was fantastic!

  48. Shannon says...

    Omg. I love that you did a post on the royal engagement. I’ve been reading everything I can to find out all of the details. Their BBC interview was just the cutest thing ever. Meghan is so adorable and accomplished, I can’t wait to see what she does with her new position in the Royal Family.

    Anyone else planning on royal wedding viewing party? There’s nothing else in the world I would (voluntarily) wake up at 2 am for!

    • Jess says...

      My family has watched all of them, since my parents watched Charles and Diana’s. For William and Catherine’s I took a vacation day and woke up at 3 am (and I stayed at my parents’ house to watch it on the big tv!) But this wedding won’t be anywhere near as grand as William and Catherine’s .

  49. margaux says...

    i’ll admit it. i am way more excited about this royal wedding than any grown-ass woman should be.

  50. Seeing how Meghan will remain an American citizen and is not technically a British subject, why would she forfeit her right to vote?

    • Katherine says...

      I read that one as royal family members are prohibited from voting in British elections to avoid appearance of favoritism to particular parties. This likely doesn’t (technically) affect her ability to vote in American elections.

    • Sian says...

      I think they mean in the UK – Royal Family members aren’t allowed to vote in the UK (aren’t allowed to get involved with politics at all)

  51. Sarah says...

    Oh my goodness this sounds exhausting. Can you imagine? She must really love him.

  52. Helen says...

    I think it’s very exciting, though as the wife of a royal photographer in London I’m not expecting to see much of my husband next spring. Between William and Catherine’s baby arriving in April and then the wedding in May it’s going to be pretty busy!

    • Sandra says...

      I’d love to hear inside knowledge your husband has of the royals ;)

    • B says...

      Me too, Sandra! Me too! Someone please interview him! Haha :)

    • Helen says...

      Haha! I don’t think he’d be allowed back to the palace if he spilled the beans too much! He does see (and hear) all kinds of fascinating things though, some of which would be real headline grabbers if he wasn’t so discreet!

  53. aga says...

    I think they’re also not allowed to eat sea fish! Here are more rules:
    http://www.elle.com/culture/g30278/strict-rules-the-royal-family-has-to-follow/

    I love that hold hands and show PDA in public – apparently there’s a rule against that.

    I also don’t care about the royals (actually a monarchy is obscene) but i am loving these 2! Too bad she closed down her blog though, I used to really like The Tig.

    • aga says...

      I meant sea food!

  54. t says...

    These photos made me cry. No 12 and 15 year old should lose their mother but especially these boys who have grown up under rigid rules, high expectations and the public spotlight. Diana seemed like a wonderful mother and I cannot imagine how they went on as gracefully as they did under such extreme scrutiny. I hope for nothing but joy for Harry and Meghan and I am confident they will do good things in the world.

    And yes, I am so excited for the wedding! Sorry royal family but I totally contribute to keeping you in the spotlight.

  55. Em says...

    Well now I am a bumbling crying mess, just praying with all I have that I live long enough to see my babies grown. He is right, she would be so elated for her sweet boy.

    • Justine says...

      Me too! Same reaction :)

    • SAME.

    • Carolyn says...

      That is exactly what I was thinking too! May every mama get to see her babies grow up.

  56. JB says...

    I have a terrible memory and so my childhood is mostly a happy blur, but I remember distinctly when Diana died, and my mum (who strangely looks very much like she did) BAWLING over the news. She isn’t a monarchist or anything, but Diana connected with so many people. It’s amazing how much her spirit has lingered on – I hope that her family treasures that (though I’m sure it’s hard that she is brought up, constantly, in every interview, ever…). Can’t wait for the wedding!

    • I remember when Diana died because I was waiting for the Spice Girls to go on SNL (13 year old priorities). Suddenly there was breaking news and my grandmother called us sobbing.

  57. Megan says...

    Love the boys striped shirts and Diana’s dress!

  58. Alisa says...

    There are not a lot of ’80’s outfits that I would wear today, but I would legit wear that pink and grey stripe dress…

  59. Lia says...

    I’m excited too :) you should make a post (or series!) about manners! Now that I’m a mom I feel like I should’ve paid more attention

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a fun idea! maybe manners around the world :)

    • Emily says...

      yes!

    • Lea says...

      Oh that would be so fun to read!

    • I third this idea!!! 🙌

    • Kellyn says...

      @joanna – yes! Around the world would be so fun!

    • I third this! :)

  60. Laura says...

    I normally could care less about a royal wedding but I am girl crushing on Megan so hard! She breaks conventions, she’s a feminist and doesn’t like Trump! Hell yes!

    • Liz says...

      same! and she has rescue pups :::heart eyes emoji:::

    • Laura says...

      No kidding? I have a rescue pup too, we’re practically twins! ;)

  61. fae ehsan says...

    no garlic?! buckingham palace sounds bland AF.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha

  62. Melissa says...

    Why do reporters feel the need to ask Harry about his mother? In a time of so much happiness he has to speculate on the feelings of his late mother? I feel so sad for these men sometimes. But yes, I am oddly excited for another royal wedding. When my first son was only 8 weeks old, and a time when I should have been getting all the sleep I could, I set my alarm for 4:30am and watched Kate and William’s wedding. It was worth it.

    • Irene says...

      Completely agree that it must be incredibly difficult to be asked such questions as often as they are asked and as intrusively. With that said, and having just read Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B, I think those questions probably don’t get asked enough of the general (non-royal) population. My Mother died five years ago and I am very sad that my future spouse will have never met her. Describing the ways in which she would have really loved him, had they met, is simultaneously heartbreaking and comforting.

      And, yay royal wedding! <3

    • Terri says...

      In my experience, having lost my Dad four years ago, every happy moment is tinged with some small amount of sadness when you think of the person you lost. Big moments, small moments – I always end up thinking about my Dad, what would my Dad say and what he would think. The reporters question was certainly not the first time he thought of his mother during this joyous time. I’m sure he thought about introducing Megan to his Mom, and what they would have thought of each other. His statement totally rings true to me. It’s so natural.

      Harry has been vocal before about the effect his Mom’s passing had on him. Hes spoken in the past about keeping his feelings inside and how harmful it was for him. He’s a very vocal advocate, along with his brother, for mental health awareness.

      I agree with the other commenter that more people should talk about the loved ones they have lost. Even though they are gone it doesn’t mean they aren’t part of our lives. Memories and reminiscences are such a big part of my grieving process.

    • Melissa says...

      Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful responses. Certainly not a side of loss that I had thought about so I appreciate you sharing your experiences!

  63. Taylor says...

    Not crossing my legs at the knee would be so tough–it’s my default sitting position!

    They are such a lovely couple though, and I can’t wait to see the wedding!

    • Taylor says...

      Also, this morning my 3-year-old daughter told me she wants to grow up to be a princess, and I was able to say, hey, you never know! :)

  64. HB says...

    I mean, I’m happy for them because love is great, but also I’m so tired of the constant coverage and fawning. The UK has been under Tory-imposed austerity since 2008. Living standards are the lowest they’ve been since the 1950s, our NHS is in crisis, people in work are having to rely on food banks to survive, and it’s practically impossible to get on the housing ladder (and rents are still skyrocketing)…I could go on for hours. All the while, the royal family are taxpayer-supported multi-millionaires simply by circumstance of birth, not because of any skills or talent that they possess, nor because of any difficult or important work that they do. At it’s core, the monarchy is incredibly antiquated and undemocratic, and it perpetuates the classism that permeates nearly every aspect of British society. Plus, I’d much rather see tax money go to much-needed public services than to ribbon-cutting figureheads.

    But I mean yeah…congrats to them both, I hope they have a long and happy marriage :)

    • Lena says...

      Yes thank you! This!!

    • Sarah says...

      Haha! Personally, I cannot even fathom the fascination and have certainly heard these criticism of the royal family from British friends before. The fact that this get so much excitement and coverage here in the US baffles me, and this list of rules doesn’t seem like manners, it sounds pure silliness. No garlic at all, no bites when the Queen is finished with dinner?? Can’t imagine more arbitrary nonsense. But if other people are excited, good for them, and of course I wish no ill will towards the happy couple ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree, it sounds dramatic but i think many of the rules make sense in practice. for example, at dinner, the queen paces herself with guests throughout the meal. when she stops eating (and puts her utensils together on the plate), that signals that the dinner is wrapping up and that the staff can begin to clear everything, etc. it’s a more elegant subtle way to do it than making an announcement or whatever :)

    • This 110%.

    • Katie says...

      So well said!

      It certainly does seem exciting that a biracial (divorced!) (feminist!) (foreigner!) (actress!) is marrying into the royal family…. but then utterly crazy that there still is a royal family. Completely undemocratic and incredibly outdated.

    • Clare says...

      YES. Thank you. Why are all these grown women so into royal weddings?

    • Sarah says...

      Well, as the eminently wise Amy Poehler wrote “Good for her! Not for me!” :)

    • Kellyn says...

      I totally agree with what you’re saying – but people are just obsessed with famous people…I hate how people care what Hollywood actors have to say – like they’re the be-all-end-all….

      I know the royal family brings in revenue – tourism dollars and what-have-you…I’m sure it’d be easy to find whether it’s a net loss or gain – but my sleepy self just put two toddlers to bed and I’m too lazy to look it up!

    • CB says...

      Very well said. As an Australian it drives me insane that not only does the monarchy still exist but they’re technically our head of state and Australians will happily queue like peasants for a glimpse during royal visits funded by their taxpaying dollars when there is definitely better causes the $ could be spent on. It’s bizarre to me that royal worship still exists in any modern society – bring on meritocracy!

    • I was scrolling down to comment something similar to this but HB covered it all. Glad I’m not alone! These rules passed as “manners” are ridiculous. I too grew up with crushes on the princes and always admired Diana, but as an adult I find monarchy such an antiquated notion, and I’m not even British — they have every right to be fed up. The ones I know certainly are. Here’s hoping Meghan might help jumble things up!

    • EXACTLY. Let’s not forget the Tories used the royal engagement announcement to bury the news that they’re freezing working age benefits until 2020, making life even harder for those already at the bottom of the heap in Britain. The royal family also needed a positive story like this after the Paradise Papers appeared to show the Queen herself has been avoiding tax with offshore accounts. I don’t have anything against this couple personally, but the institution of royalty is absurd and the way it’s used to manipulate/distract the public and undermine class consciousness is massively problematic. Unfortunately articles like this are part of that.

  65. Sarah says...

    happy for harry! they make a very cute couple.

  66. Lynne says...

    Oddly, I am.

  67. Hannah says...

    I tried to keep my chin parallel to the floor while reading this at work, and I already hate it haha. She has her work cut out for her!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      going down steep stairs would be hard!

  68. Lily says...

    This baby photos couldn’t be cuter!