It’s obvious that you’re unlikely to catch Kate Middleton dropping f-bombs or Prince Harry calling Meghan Markle his “bae.” But it turns out the British royal family’s speech mannerisms go deeper than just good grooming and etiquette. There are actual rules that the royal family members must follow when speaking — and there are perfectly normal words they’re never, ever allowed to say.
It sounds so polite, doesn’t it? But it’s still one of those words that will never pass royal family members’ lips. It’s actually considered rude to say pardon. Instead, you’re supposed to say, “Sorry?” or even, “Sorry, what?”
Another option is the smile and nod, even if you didn’t hear what the other person was saying. It works in a pinch.
Next: When nature calls, they won’t say this.
When a princess needs to powder her nose, so to speak, she’ll ask to use the loo or lavatory. “Toilet” is a word with French origins, making it taboo to utter in the queen’s presence.
Next: The word they use for this is slightly creepy.
Like with toilet, it’s the origins of the word “perfume” that cause an issue. The complicated relationship between France and the U.K. make many crossover words problematic.
If you notice a fragrance you enjoy emanating from a nearby person and you happen to be part of the royal family, you’ll want to inquire what scent they’re wearing instead of saying perfume.
Next: If you have to use this word, it’s probably not true.
Of course they’re posh. But once just like being rich, popular, or famous, if you have to say it, you probably aren’t.
Instead of saying posh, royal family members describe an admired person as “smart.”
Next: This is where royals entertain.
Reception areas used for entertaining aren’t called lounges or living rooms — instead, these entertaining spaces should be referred to as drawing rooms or sitting rooms.
Next: This banned word is slightly surprising.
You know that cliché about British people being obsessed about tea time? You better not call it that in royal company, or you risk sounding low class. A Cambridge-educated anthropologist confirmed that upper-class U.K. residents refer to the tea time meal as dinner or supper instead.
Next: Here’s what they call their parents.
7. Mum and dad
It sounds like something reserved for toddlers, but it turns out royals never stop calling their parents mummy and daddy. Even full grown adults will refer to their parents with these cutesy names rather than more casual terms of endearment.
Next: They’ll never use this word during meals.
When you’re attending a royal dinner, don’t mention the portion size or ask for a larger portion — it’s referred to as a helping of food in upscale company. Even though it sounds less fancy, that’s just the way they say it.
Next: This outdoor space has a specific term.
This one refers to outdoor spaces. Only peasants call it a patio. In royal company, you’ll meet for outdoor cocktails on the terrace instead.
Next: This is what you should call the sweet meal that comes after supper.
Is it time for tea and crumpets already? Post-dinner sweet treats aren’t called dessert or even sweets — they’re known as pudding (even if they’re not really pudding).
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