Royal Travel Rules: Totally Normal Things Meghan Markle Would Never Be Caught Dead Doing Now That She’s a Royal
It’s official: Meghan Markle is a royal. But with her new title comes a long list of guidelines, including everything from forbidden board games to royal travel rules. And considering her globe-trotting tendencies, following every royal travel rule may prove difficult for the Duchess of Sussex.
Judging by Markle’s personal collection of epic travel shots — which she posted prior to being associated with the royal family — there’s no question the duchess loves to travel. Unfortunately for her, though, there are some things she’s no longer allowed to do. More specifically, Markle would never be caught dead doing these nine things now that she’s royalty. (The rules on page 6 and page 9 might be especially challenging for Markle.)
1. Taking selfies
If you didn’t post a selfie while soaking up the sun on the Amalfi Coast, did it even happen? No need to answer that because that’s the way most millennials think. And who could blame them? Travel is now more accessible than ever, and people are eager to share their one-of-a-kind experiences with the world. And pre-royal Markle was no exception.
However, Markle’s selfie-posing days are officially over. Members of the British royal family aren’t allowed to take selfies. Plus, the queen finds the trend “disconcerting” and “strange,” a sentiment she probably shares with plenty of other grandmothers out there.
Next: Hopefully, she’s not much of a foodie.
2. Tasting local cuisine
Most foodies would never visit a new place and not sample the local street fare. Then again, most foodies aren’t royals. And when royals travel, they must follow a handful of rules regarding cuisine.
According to Refinery 29, “Royal protocol bans royals from eating shellfish, rare meat, or overly spicy food — especially while traveling — in order to avoid any awkwardness.” That awkwardness to which Refinery 29 is referring is food poisoning. Yuck.
Next: Keep it to yourself
3. No hand holding
One of the stricter royal rules is about PDA. Markle and Harry won’t be allowed to display affection in public, especially while traveling. This includes something as simply as holding hands. So we won’t be seeing a very touchy-feely side of their relationship in public.
Next: Something that’s on many millennials’ bucket lists
4. Traveling solo
It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that we’ll never catch a glimpse of Markle out in public totally alone. After all, members of the royal family need to be accompanied by security. So what does that mean for an avid traveler like Markle? Well, she’ll have to forgo any solo adventures in the future.
For the record — and in true Markle fashion — the Duchess of Sussex will have an all-female security team, per her request.
Next: Just like the rest of us
5. Let’s fly commercial
In a surprising rule, the royals are banned from using private jets. The only time they’re allowed to use them is for official business — but even then, they’re expected to use them as infrequently as possible. The reason for this is pretty important. The Queen sets a travel budget for her family, because their flights are funded by taxpayer money. They don’t want to be seen as frivolously spending taxpayer cash on luxury flights.
Next: She’s part of a new account now.
6. Posting pictures on social media
Gone are the days of Markle’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts — as well as her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig. But before all these accounts were deleted, Markle was a modern-day millennial who relished in documenting her life online.
If you missed out on her social media posts before they were taken down, there’s still a chance to catch some of what she used to be up to. Clearly, we won’t be seeing any more yoga poses from a bikini-clad Markle, as she is now part of the @KensingtonRoyal account.
Next: She won’t be caught dead doing this.
7. Traveling without an all-black ensemble
Traveling light isn’t an option for the royals. And traveling without a certain color? Well, that’s not an option, either. From here on out, Markle will have to pack an all-black ensemble every time she leaves home. And the reasoning behind it actually makes sense.
When Queen Elizabeth’s father died in 1952, she was traveling and had no appropriate outfit to wear. Since then, royals have had to travel with an all-black ensemble. That way, they’re prepared if a family member dies while they’re away and are able to signify they’re in mourning.
Next: This might be a tough rule to follow.
8. Stepping out to explore without stockings
Wear stockings under a sun dress while vacationing at the beach? Never! The royals, on the other hand, have a different take on the matter. According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, bare legs are a big no-no. In fact, Arbiter told Business Insider that wearing nude stockings with a dress or skirt is “the only hard, steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires.”
No word on how strict the queen is when the royals are enjoying a little R & R on the beach.
Next: This tradition ended right along with her acting career.
9. Signing autographs
Autograph requests can happen at any time, but still, this is something Markle will have to decline. (OK, so maybe this one isn’t a totally normal thing.) Protocol states royals are forbidden to sign autographs unless it’s at an official signing at a royal engagement. This seemingly strange rule exists to protect the forging of any royal signature.
So will Markle be able to hack it when it comes to traveling with the rest of the royal family? Only time will tell. But we’re pretty confident she’ll handle it with ease.
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Additional reporting by John Wolfe