With so many royal rules to follow, it’s hard to keep up. It’s only natural that someone meeting the queen for the first time could accidentally break a rule or two. Even members of the royal family have been known to break royal protocol on occasion. After all, rules are meant to be broken, right? Well, not so fast: That doesn’t always work with Her Majesty.
The importance of royal protocols
Royal protocols are in place for a very good reason. Not only are there some not so savory people out there, but it’s also simply in good measure to take the extra efforts to protect those of celebrity status, whether presidents, Hollywood celebrities, sports legends, or the royal family.
When you’re in the public eye and everyone wants to meet you, talk to you, snap a selfie with you, and so on, rules become important. Queen Elizabeth’s staff even follows serious protocols to ensure she doesn’t get poisoned. Oh, the things that must be considered when you’re a royal.
There are protocols for everything from how to address the queen to rules against members of the royal family eating shellfish, to what nail polish colors are allowed to be worn.
Is it all just rubbish?
The queen does dismiss some of these protocols as rubbish, and that may have something to do with the fact that the old fashioned rules can’t keep up with today’s changing times. Many of the rules used today are based on old-fashioned protocol stemming from politeness, etiquette, and old societal standards.
But many of them seem to come down to preference. Several royal family members have broken protocol on several occasions, including Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, and even Prince Harry.
It does seem that the closer you are to the throne, the more rigid the rules are. For example, Princess Beatrice, the queen’s other granddaughter Zara Phillips, and other royals don’t have to follow quite as strict rules when it comes to living their lives. Rubbish or not, there are things the queen wishes were still respected when it comes to protocols.
One protocol the queen wishes people followed
There’s one thing that really bugs the queen, though, and it’s a sign of the changing times. Her Majesty finds it very unsettling when fans want to take selfies with her. Not because it’s a picture capturing the highly-sought-after moment that many fans dream of, but because to take it, they have to turn their back on her.
In the age of technology, smartphones, and disconnected youth, the queen misses the days of eye-contact. This feeling carries over to other royals: It’s unknown if they don’t like the practice of selfies for the same reason, or if they’re being polite and respecting the queen’s feelings on the matter.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have been overheard turning down selfies with fans. Prince Harry is thought to hate selfies because they’re not real photographs. Markle was heard stating “We’re not allowed to do selfies,” when turning down a fan.
Sometimes though, a selfie or two slips through. And while it bugs the queen and makes her feel reminiscent of days past, she understands that times do change. And you’ll likely never catch the queen scolding anyone in public about it or not cracking her famous smile because that’s just the polite thing to do.
Here’s how you’re supposed to greet the queen
You’re not supposed to take a selfie; we’ve cleared that up. But what exactly are you supposed to do when you see the queen? According to the official Royal Family website, it involves these steps:
- Greet her with a small bow or a curtsy. Don’t turn your back on her.
- Call her Your Majesty, and then Ma’am after that.
- Take her lead. Don’t speak until spoken to, and don’t sit or eat before she does.