Never Touch Queen Elizabeth and 6 Other Rules To Follow When It Comes To Meeting Her Majesty

As the longest-reigning monarch in British royal history, Queen Elizabeth has met thousands of people around the globe. Since 1952, Her Majesty has attended countless official engagements and embarked on dozens of royal tours. But no matter where the Queen is or who is in her presence, anyone who gets the chance to meet her must follow strict royal rules.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Never touch the Queen

According to Yahoo! Life, royal protocol dictates that anyone who meets Queen Elizabeth for the first time should wait for Her Majesty’s cue. She will extend her hand first, so no touching is allowed. After the initial greeting, all contact should be kept to an absolute minimum. Any attempt to kiss or hug the Queen would be a major royal faux pas.

Don’t just stand there

When the Queen enters a room, guests should also take cues from the monarch. Anyone meeting Her Majesty should be standing and ready to greet her. American citizens can simply shake hands with the Queen when they meet her. However, citizens of Great Britain must either bow or curtsy.

When in the same room as Queen Elizabeth, everyone should be standing. The only time to sit down is after she does. It is also considered disrespectful to turn your back on the Queen.

Always bring a gift

Whenever anyone meets with the Queen, they must bring an appropriate gift. A common practice during a visit from Her Majesty is for locals to give her something that represents their hometown.

Know what to say, and when to say it

Anyone who is near the Queen should not speak unless spoken to. Royal etiquette dictates that the Monarch carries all conversations. Anyone meeting her should simply answer her questions and respond to her remarks. The Queen will also be the one who brings the conversation to an end.

Another rule when speaking with the Queen is to first address her as “Your Majesty.” The rest of the time, the correct way to address her is “Ma’am.” When it’s time for goodbyes, the rule is to once again call her “Your Majesty.” Calling her Queen Elizabeth is a huge no-no.

Dress appropriately for the occasion

Anyone who is preparing to meet the Queen should dress appropriately for the occasion. Never dress too casually – no ripped jeans or flip-flops – or too revealing. Another good rule of thumb is to follow the dress code and dress to impress.

Never eat first or slurp tea

There are also rules when it comes to dinner and tea time. Guests at a royal dinner must wait for Queen Elizabeth to take the first bite. Everyone at dinner should also be done eating by the time the Queen finishes her meal.


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Another popular part of British culture is tea time. Guests of the Queen at tea time should follow her lead and drink tea as she does. When sitting at the table, the proper etiquette is to hold the teacup, not the cup and saucer. Another thing to keep in mind is to never slurp when drinking tea with the Queen.