Are the Royals Trapped Within Their Own Family?

The royal family is one of the most famous families in the world. No matter where you are, everyone has heard of Queen Elizabeth, whether they follow along with the family’s daily life or not. But the royals are not regular people; they have strict rules and traditions that go back hundreds of years. With so many family rules, it makes us wonder — do they feel trapped?

Royal family
The Royal Family | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Royals don’t live regular lives

Nearly everything about royal life is different from regular life. From the moment royals are born, they’re in the public eye; Archie Harrison, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new son, only got two days of privacy before he was introduced to the world — and that’s a long time in the royal family. Most babies are introduced within hours. And from that point on, the world is watching them. The royals are raised to serve the people. Prince William and Prince Harry spent time in the military before settling down and beginning their major royal duties. All of the working royals (royals who are essentially paid to represent the royal family) represent the queen at various charitable events, and they work to bring attention to causes they care about most. They do not work the regular nine-five the way most people do.

They’re required to behave a certain way in public

Royals always have to be on their best behavior. You’ll never walk into a bar and find the royals doing a round of shots. The family isn’t allowed to let loose; they always have to be poised and polished while they’re out in public. It’s also difficult for them to live normal lives in public. Harry and Meghan do their own grocery shopping, and Harry has said in the past that he’s always worried someone is going to snap a picture of him at the grocery store and let everyone in the world know where he is. The press is always on top of the royal family, and the moment anything appears amiss, rumors start about a feud, an affair, or something else to shed the family in a negative light.

Prince William Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton always look very polished (and covered up) when they make appearances. | Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Nearly every decision they make requires the queen’s approval

When Meghan and Harry first introduced their son to the world, the couple didn’t announce his name. That’s because they still hadn’t discussed with the queen the official name they had chosen for their son. In the royal family, everything the royals do must be approved by Queen Elizabeth; the people they marry, what they name their children, where they want to spend their holiday, and more — the queen has the final say on everything. She also has more of a say in government than people realize. Living with so little freedom could undoubtedly make one feel trapped, and it doesn’t seem like Meghan has taken well to all of the royal rules. In fact, she’s broken quite a few of them.

Recently, royal rules have been letting up a bit  

Meghan Markle wore a one-shoulder dress and dark nail polish to the British Fashion Awards in 2018.

In recent years, the queen has let up a bit on those rules, possibly because nobody wants to feel like a prisoner in their own family. Years ago, the queen wouldn’t let Prince Charles marry Camilla Parker Bowles — clearly, that was the wrong decision on her part. And when Harry wanted to marry a divorced American, the queen didn’t seem to mind it — most likely because she learned the hard way not to get involved in royal relationships anymore (and she seems to truly like Meghan). Meghan was also spotted wearing dark nail polish at the British Fashion Awards last year, which used to be a no-no in the royal family. It seems to be for the best that the queen has let up on the harshness of the royal rules; it will likely make all of her family members happier. It shows that she doesn’t want the royals to feel trapped and is actively making changes to help them live lives that more closely resemble the lives of commoners.

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