Are Royal Family Members Allowed to Curse?

Royal etiquette is something that continues to fascinate fans everywhere. Since royal family members follow a different lifestyle than many people and are being watched constantly, all the things that they can or cannot do come up often, especially when a commoner joins such a lifestyle.

One question that might run through the mind of royal watchers is “can they curse?” Dropping a curse word is something that quite a lot of common folks do instinctively and has also been linked to helping mitigate pain. But how different is it when you are a royal?

A teen curses in front of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in Bristol a couple of weeks ago when they visited several children at the Bristol Old Vic theatre who shared with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about their experiences.

One teenage boy, during his conversation with the couple, unexpectedly dropped the F-bomb. “When you’re on the stage, you can’t be like, you know, f****** around on the stage,” he said.

It was perhaps just an accidental mistake on the boy’s part, but the royals were clearly taken aback by the swear word. Meghan Markle jokingly raised her eyebrow and both she and Prince Harry tried to laugh it off.

Are royals allowed to curse?

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool /Getty Images

Considering the fact that royal protocols can be so strict that there are common words that royals are not allowed to be heard using (such as ‘toilet’, ‘perfume’, and ‘pardon’), we can safely assume that cursing is very much frowned upon as well. Not only that, but given the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s reactions to the teen in Bristol, they probably do not expect most people they meet to curse in front of them either.

However, that is not to say that no royal has ever cursed before. In 2015, Prince Philip was famously caught dropping the F bomb at an event when he grew impatient with a photographer.

Unlike many other royal family members, though, Prince Philip is quite an anomaly. Throughout his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II, he has been known to be rather brash and would speak his mind without any filter. The prince used to be a naval officer during World War II, so perhaps the saying “curse like a sailor” applies to his situation.

On the other hand, other royal members have been caught saying more minor swear words in public that caused a bit of a stir. Prince Charles once said “crap” when referring to nonsensical rumors about him. Prince William used the word “bollocking” to describe how his father would lecture him and his brother. And Prince Harry said that participants at the Invictus Games wanted to “kick the arse out of life.” Nevertheless, these are rare occurrences and more offensive words often do not ever come out of royals’ mouths in public.

Meghan Markle actually used to curse a lot

These days Meghan Markle goes about her royal duties with such grace and poise that it can be hard to imagine how curse words could even appear in her mind. However, it wasn’t that long ago when Markle admitted to being a compulsive potty mouth

Back in late 2016 on her blog The Tig, Meghan Markle highlighted her New Year’s resolutions for 2017. One of her goals for the upcoming year was to stop swearing. “The swearing comes in lulls triggered by being overworked or feeling mighty cheeky after a couple drinks,” she explained. Apparently, trying to stop swearing was something that made her resolution list every year.

It’s hard to know how much cursing the duchess has managed to curb since marrying Prince Harry, but we can only imagine that given the (often negative) media attention and judgments coming from all corners, she most likely have felt the need to tread carefully and work hard to maintain a good image.