Prince William Just Shocked Fans When He Broke This 1 Major Royal Protocol

Being a royal family member means following the rules. Often these official or unofficial customs are rooted in centuries of tradition. While they may seem silly to outsiders, these royal customs aren’t likely to change anytime soon.

But being a monarch means changing the rules if you want to. Queen Elizabeth herself has been known to break royal protocol when it suits her, plus allows her family members to bend the rules occasionally, too. Recently, the Queen attended the funeral of a dear friend even though that’s technically against the rules.

She’s also changed certain customs such as the one that would have ranked Prince Louis higher in the line of succession than his sister Prince Charlotte even though he’s younger. Because girl power, right?

And now Prince William is changing the game by breaking some royal rules of his own. Is this an indication of what’s to come over his leadership when he eventually becomes king? Perhaps. Here’s what happened.

Prince William
Prince William | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Royal family members aren’t supposed to have political affiliations

One of the most enduring and well-known royal rules has to do with politics. For a long time, the royal family has remained politically neutral and treated politicians from both sides equally. This bipartisan support even extends to other countries, which explains why Queen Elizabeth has hosted both Republican and Democratic presidents over the years.

This rule extends beyond just official visits and engagements—it also dictates the types of comments working royals are allowed to make. Speaking about politically charged issues is forbidden.

The official royal website says: “As Head of State, the Queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election. However, Her Majesty does have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the government of the UK.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge | Andy Commins – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William brought up a sensitive topic during a royal appearance

There’s no question that Prince William is well aware of the rule discouraging political talk. So far, he’s been following it perfectly, but a recent comment has royal fans very surprised.

It happened while The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were visiting Cumbria and chatting with the local farmers. During the conversation, Prince William asked the farmers if they were “worried” about a no deal Brexit.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
PPrince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with Chris Brown at Deepdale Hall Farm| Owen Humphreys – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William didn’t offer his own opinion on the topic. But he did listen to their responses, which the group agreed would be “absolutely dire” for their futures. As one farmer explained, “The worst case scenario is a real black hole that a lot of farmers would struggle to get through.”

He’s not the first royal to break protocol on politics

Though Prince William’s conversation is getting a lot of attention right now, it’s not the first time a royal family member has made comments that revealed their political leanings. The Queen herself discussed the Brexit issue in veiled language earlier this year, advising the public about, “coming together to seek out the common ground” and “never losing sight of the bigger picture.”

Meanwhile, Prince Charles was in trouble in 2015 after his private letters sent to the government went public. In them, he advocated for several politically charged issues, including alternative medicine provisions.

Meghan Markle also faced criticism for her alleged comments of approval over Ireland’s vote to legalize abortion.