Here’s What Happens When Royals Marry Commoners

Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton are standing next to each other holding beers and smiling.

Prince William and Kate Middleton | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

From the glamorous weddings, stunning crowns, and the overall glitz of being a member of the royal family, it’s easy to see why marrying a royal might be enticing for commoners. However, tying the knot with such a public figure isn’t always as lush and exciting as it might seem from the outside.

In more recent years, many monarchies have become a tad more liberal when it comes to accepting outsiders into their families. Still, though we are well into the 21st century, some old and outdated regulations remain in place, which can certainly test any relationship — especially one being played out in the public eye.

From antiquated laws that date back to past centuries to strange rules involving seafood and board games, royals who marry commoners often ask a lot of their spouses — it’s a life that many of us cannot even begin to imagine. We’ve watched Kate Middleton marry Prince William and take on her duchess duties in stride, wearing all of the right clothing and showing up at various charities and events. And yet, Duchess Kate has also had to contend with the paparazzi following her every move during her pregnancies, as well as the release of private photos of herself.

Now, the entire world is waiting with bated breath for an engagement announcement for Prince William’s younger brother Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Suits actress Meghan Markle. Like Duchess Kate, Markle’s life has been put under a microscope, and she’s had to deal with racist backlash because of her mixed race heritage. Still, if Markle and Prince Harry do get hitched, she’s going to confront even more customs and practices.

Here are 17 things commoners must learn to live with when they marry into a royal family.