Queen Elizabeth II Dictates 1 Major Decision for Every Member of Her Family, Not Just Senior Royals

If you thought the person who gets the last say on certain things the royal family can and can’t do is Queen Elizabeth II, you are correct. When it comes to marriage, only some royals need the monarch’s permission. However, Queen Elizabeth does make one big decision about royal weddings.

Members of royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, watch a flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour in 2018.
Queen Elizabeth II and other royal family members watch a flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour in 2018. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Only certain royals have to get the queen’s permission to marry

Before Prince William and Prince Harry were able to marry their brides, they needed to get the queen’s permission. Yet when their cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice tied the knot, they did not need their grandmother’s consent. The 2013 Succession to the Crown Act states only the six closest royals to the crown in the line of succession need the reigning monarch’s permission to marry.

So if William and Harry’s grandmother did not give them her consent, Kate Middleton wouldn’t be the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle wouldn’t be the Duchess of Sussex.

But there is something regarding weddings that the queen does decide for all her family members.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo at Kensington Palace following their engagement announcement
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo at Kensington Palace following their engagement announcement. | Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

The marriage decision Queen Elizabeth makes for every royal family member

Eugenie, for example, could marry whomever she wanted. But she couldn’t get married anywhere she wanted, according to her father, Prince Andrew.

“It doesn’t make any difference who you are, all the approvals go through the Queen anyway,” Andrew explained (per Express) ahead of his daughter’s nuptials in 2018. “The Queen very firmly said St George’s is where you’re having the wedding so I said, ‘Aye aye mam, turn to the right, salute, and carry on.’”

Therefore, whether they were in favor of it or not, Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank wed in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was the same venue where Prince Harry and Meghan had their wedding five months earlier.

Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding
Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank leave St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle following their wedding. | Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Royal rank is a way of life

All the talk about the line of succession and senior royals might get a little confusing for outsiders. But it’s a way of life for Britain’s famous family.

During public appearances, processions, weddings, and parades, the family must be in royal ranking order. This means Queen Elizabeth is always first. The royal matriarch sets the tone for other things too, such as when everyone stands and sits during a banquet.

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