The 1 Board Game the Royal Children Are Banned From Playing and Other Weird Royal Family Rules

You don’t have to be British to be obsessed with the royal family.

Maybe it’s the romance of kings and queens. It could be jealousy over the fact that American history doesn’t go back thousands of years like the British monarchy. Or maybe it’s because Prince William and Duchess Kate are the closest thing the world has to a true life fairy tale. No matter the reason, the tabloids simply can’t get enough of this foreign family.

One of the most riveting aspects of royal life is all the rules that royals must follow. We all know about the obvious ones, such as curtsying or bowing in Her Majesty’s presence. But what about those behind the scenes customs, such as not being allowed to participate in certain board games?

Ahead, here are some of the weirdest rules that royals have to follow.

1. Forget about nicknames

Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth
You must use their official royal titles. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

You may think of her as Duchess Kate, but if you’re ever lucky enough to meet her in real life, you definitely shouldn’t call her that. One strict rule of royalty is that nicknames are a no-no, and all members of the royal family must be addressed by their full name. In Kate’s case, that means calling her “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Lady Carrickfergus” or “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.”

Think that’s a mouthful? Queen Elizabeth’s proper address is even longer: “Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

But then again, you can always shorten it to “Your Majesty” or “Ma’am” if you can’t remember all that.

Next: They can’t eat this common food.

2. They may not eat shellfish

Bouillabaisse seafood fish soup with prawns, mussels tomato, lobster. Sauce Rouille
Shellfish is a no-go. | GreenArtPhotography/iStock/Getty Images

This health guideline harks back to a time when food safety was less assured and refrigeration wasn’t so reliable. Before shellfish allergies were easy to diagnose, the royal family was expected to avoid shellfish so they didn’t get sick from it, either from allergies or from plain old bad food.

These days, Queen Elizabeth avoids shellfish as a matter of preference, while other royals have been guilty of breaking this old tradition.

Next: Don’t even think about high-fiving a royal.

3. They can’t be touched by non-royals

Diana was notorious for shirking this rule. | Vincent Laforet/AFP/Getty Images

American celebrities may famously ignore this rule (or perhaps they just feel entitled). But, in fact, commoners are not supposed to lay their grubby paws on any members of the royal family. So in case you had aspirations of squeezing Prince George’s adorable chubby cheeks someday … yeah, don’t do that.

Next: This superstition is still held as true.

4. They must keep 8 ravens at the Tower of London at all times

Tower of London Ravens
They’re not going to risk it. | Tankbmb/iStock/Getty Images

Legend holds that “If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall.” That’s a lot at stake for a few creepy black birds!

This tradition may go back to the days of King Charles II or it may be as new as the 1940s. In any case, the royals take the superstition very seriously and maintain the requisite number of ravens at all times.

In 2013, foxes hunted down and murdered two of the eight ravens, which brought the total number of ravens down to six. Now, they keep more than eight in the Tower at all times … just in case.

Next: You can’t just sit anywhere for dinner.

5. Seating arrangements are highly structured

Royal Banquet
Everyone has a place. | Lewis Whyld – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Don’t even think about sitting wherever you please if you’re lucky enough to join a royal banquet. The Royals take seating arrangements so seriously that there’s an entire office dedicated to organizing guests for parties.

Seating at a royal event goes in order of precedence — think of it as a visual representation of the order of succession. After that, other guests sit according to factors such as language and interests.

Next: There are certain times royals may eat.

6. You can’t eat after the Queen stops eating

Queen Elizabeth toasts with champagne
Better hope she’s a slow eater. | Lewis Whyld /WPA Pool/Getty Images

Put down the fork! Once Her Majesty has finished her meal, every other person must stop eating as well. This rule encompasses pretty much everything the Queen does — if she stands, everyone stands, etc. So if you’re hungry during a royal banquet, don’t chatter on with your seatmate, lest you miss out on finishing your dinner.

Next: The Royals have to take separate planes.

7. Royal heirs can’t travel together

Royal Family
Princes William and George aren’t technically supposed to fly together either. | Michael Middleton/WPA Pool/Getty Images

This rule actually makes a lot of sense. Traveling has always been potentially dangerous, especially back in the day when accidents, robberies, and illnesses were common on long journeys. Even now with modern luxury accommodations, a plane crash with all the Royals aboard would be incredibly tragic. That’s why when Prince George turns 12, he and Prince Harry will have to fly separately.

Next: This game is forbidden in the royal households.

8. They may not play Monopoly

Monopoly board game
Monopoly gets many families into heated competition. | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

A game of Monopoly is likely to cause some heated debates among family members. Could that be why it’s banned from the royal family?

Prince Andrew received the game as a gift and said, “”We’re not allowed to play Monopoly at home. It gets too vicious.” Still, there’s a good chance this rule gets broken from time to time.

Next: They must get together for this holiday.

9. They have to spend Christmas together

Prince William, Duchess Kate and children attend church
Last year, they headed to Kate’s parents’ house. | Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty Images

It’s all about family togetherness when you’re a member of the British monarchy (as long as you’re not playing Monopoly, of course).

Rumor has it that Prince William and Duchess Kate broke protocol last Christmas when they took the kids to spend the day with her family instead. No word on if they plan on doing the same this year, or if the queen’s displeasure was enough to make them stick to the rules.

Next: Don’t be afraid to buy them weird gifts.

10. Royal family members must accept gifts graciously

Kate Middleton at marathon
They always accept the gifts. | Paul Lewis/AFP/Getty Images

No matter what sort of strange items they’re given, all royal family members have to accept the gifts with a smile and a, “Thank you so much.”

Next: The family could not practice or marry into this religion.

11. They can’t be Roman Catholic

Prince William and George exit church
They can never convert to another religion. | Andrew Matthews/AFP/Getty Images)

Henry VIII established The Church of England in 1534 when the Pope refused to grant him an annulment from Catherine of Aragon. So, it makes sense that no royal family member may follow the Roman Catholic faith.

Up until 2011, royals also could not marry Roman Catholics, but that rule has changed. Now they can marry anyone they wish so long as they don’t convert to any religion besides Anglican.

Next: Royals have to bring black outfits everywhere — here’s why.

12. They always need to travel with a funeral outfit

Kate Middleton black peacoat
A morbid necessity | Jack Tallis/iStock/Getty Images

This morbid rule holds that all royal family members must always be prepared to attend an unexpected funeral. That’s why they need to pack an appropriate black ensemble whenever they travel abroad.

Next: This is why you won’t catch Duchess Kate in yoga pants.

13. Royal family members follow a strict dress code

Royal Family
Prince George will have to wear shorts until he grows up. | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

There’s a reason they always look so polished, and it’s not just because they’re British.

Royal family members are forbidden from being seen in casual clothing. They must dress modestly and formally, with no visible cleavage for the ladies. Prince George must wear tailored shorts and never pants.

Next: PETA would approve of this next rule.

14. They may not wear fur

Queen Elizabeth in fur
Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords, at the Palace of Westminster on May 27, 2015 in London, England. | Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Edward III banned royals from wearing fur in the 12th century, but this rule has repeatedly been broken — even by Queen Elizabeth herself.

Next: Multilingualism is a requirement.

15. They have to learn multiple languages

Prince George started his royal education quite young. | John Stillwell/PA Wire

English isn’t the only language that royal family members must master. Rumor has it that Prince George is already learning how to count in Spanish.

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