Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting married, and the lovebirds look more thrilled about their forthcoming nuptials than anyone else on the planet. Since the pair announced their engagement in November 2017, they have been thrust in a whirlwind of media attention, wedding planning, and crash courses in everything having to do with being a modern day royal couple.
Though the entire royal family reportedly adores the former Suits actress, Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, wants the couple to stop doing one non-royal thing immediately.
A couple of tough cookies
Though Prince Harry adores his grandparents, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are some tough cookies to crack. In fact, Prince Philip has held a 20-year grudge towards his son Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York for a scandal she was involved in during the ’90s.
Luckily, the royal couple loves Markle and have even watched her on her hit USA show, Suits. Apparently, before he introduced his love to his grandparents, Prince Harry loaded up some episodes on the queen’s iPad for them to watch.
Next: The royal fab four has a strong bond.
When friends become family
Since her life has changed drastically and she made the move to the U.K. to be with Prince Harry, Markle has learned a lot about being royal. Luckily, she lives steps away from Prince William and Duchess Kate. She’s been able to grow close to them, even bonding with their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Now dubbed the fab four, the royals have come together under the Royal Foundation for “Making A Difference Together,” which champions a variety of initiatives under the royals various interest. It seems pretty amazing to have a new family who shares your interest in making the world a better place.
Next: The most important approval
The queen obviously really adores Markle, especially since the self-proclaimed feminist gets along wonderfully with her beloved royal corgis. In fact, though Prince Harry and Markle’s wedding date is just around the corner, the queen wanted to be sure she gave them an official blessing to wed. In her official letter, she wrote,
My Lords, I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.
This is super modern because Markle is a divorcee, which would have been a major no-no a few decades ago. Also, how cute is Harry being the queen’s “most dearly beloved grandson”?
Next: Celebrity vs. royal
A lot to learn
Gearing up for her marriage to Prince Harry, Markle is reportedly in “princess lessons.” Though she understood what it means to be in the limelight as a celebrity, being royal is a completely different beast.
A royal insider told Women’s Day, “Meghan is such a warm person, but being a royal is very different to being a celebrity, and Meghan still has a lot to learn.”
Next: The one thing the queen no longer wants the couple to do
Curbing the PDA
Though the queen adores her grandson and his bride-to-be, she’s not too pleased about one aspect of their relationship. The super cute duo are extremely loving and affectionate in public, but that is a massive royal taboo.
An insider revealed to Women’s Day, “Being affectionate just comes naturally to Harry and Meghan, but it’s totally against royal protocol. The Queen isn’t thrilled about it at all, and word is she summoned Harry to the palace to remind him what’s expected of a royal. All the hand-holding just isn’t the royal way at all.”
Next: Keeping the protocols in mind
Markle and Prince Harry certainly aren’t royals of the 20th century, so they’ve allowed themselves to indulge in being loving towards one another in the public eye. Even Prince William and Duchess Kate slip up from time to time, and they’ve been together for over a decade.
Still, the red-headed prince doesn’t want to upset his grandmother. An insider explained, “Harry has so much respect for his grandmother, and while he doesn’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing in public, he certainly wouldn’t want to be seen as disobeying her orders.”
Next: Remaining Meghan Markle
Doing royal her way
The world has really taken to Markle in the same way they did with Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. In fact, Markle’s warmth and openness are some of the reasons why the prince adores her.
A source revealed, “Harry really loves that Meghan is so kind and open to everyone she meets, regardless of their status, and he doesn’t want her to lose who she is when they get married.”
Personally, we think a little PDA never hurt anybody. Why fall in love if you’re just going to be stuffy and rigid all the time?
Next: PDA isn’t the only habit that the royal couple has had to break.
Just say no to selfies
In addition to reminding themselves to curb PDA, Harry and Markle have also had to limit themselves when it comes to selfies, per royal protocol and the queen’s personal preference. Markle has already gotten ahead of herself by deleting all of her social media accounts. It’s probably been pretty helpful since royals are absolutely forbidden to take selfies. (Apparently, that’s peasant behavior.)
The super sweet actress has already mastered the art of saying no. At a recent event in Nottingham, Markle apologized to a fan who asked for one saying, “We’re not allowed.’’
Next: The soon-to-be royal is also working on this.
Masking the exhaustion
Long trips, tiresome speeches, and dull events will all be included on Markle’s royal calendar. However, she must always be careful to mask her exhaustion. In fact, if the former actress yawns in public, she’s actually going to be penalized. She’s also not supposed to gasp or frown.
We suppose the Northwestern alum should start trying to act as robotic as possible.
Taking on an air of detachment
Though the younger royals are much more modern and approachable, royals are still supposed to maintain an air of aloofness in public. For example, Markle is going to have to learn how to answer questions without actually giving anything away.
It’s definitely an art form that will be hard to master.
Next: This skill is necessary for any royal to learn.
Mastering the tiara
When we think of Markle’s princess lessons, we like to imagine her walking around Buckingham Palace with a stack of books balanced on her head, but we’ve probably seen too many movies. When Markle does tie the knot, she will officially be allowed to wear a tiara, but the glittering diamond incrusted crowns must be worn properly.
Modern royals wear their tiaras pushed back slightly away from the top of their heads and at a 45-degree angle. How regal.
Next: Learning to greet commoners
All about the wave
We’d imagine that constantly waving your hand at the public would make anyone tiresome, but as a royal, that’s what Markle is signing up for. Before she takes on her new role, she must learn to master the wave. Apparently, the way she’s been doing it thus far is all wrong.
Zarife Hardy, the founder of the Australian School of Etiquette explained, “She’ll obviously be taught more on the royal wave, it’s a bit gregarious right now and needs to be more fine-tuned. And also just that art of meeting and greeting. Looking someone in the eye, a nice firm handshake, no more than two pumps and a lovely warm smile.
Next: The surprising royal etiquette rules Markle will have to follow.
No crossing the knees
You’ll never see a royal crossing their knees — especially royal women. They must always sit with their legs together. And, if they must cross something, they can cross their ankles.
That said, they can also angle their legs to the side. Kate Middleton’s go-to position incorporates all three aspects and has even been coined “the duchess slant” by Beaumont Etiquette.
Next: You’ll never hear this in public.
They can’t have nicknames
Notice how we never hear Prince William call the Duchess of Cambridge Kate? That’s because the royal family doesn’t have nicknames — at least, publicly they don’t. When referring to his wife in a public matter, he always calls her Catherine.
Next: The queen requires this upon first introduction.
The queen must be addressed as ‘your majesty’ upon first introduction
After that, she goes by “ma’am.” In addition, male members of the royal family are addressed as “your royal highness,” followed by “sir,” and female members are addressed as “your royal highness,” followed by “ma’am.”
Next: A strict dress code
They must always be dressed appropriately
The royal family has a strict dress code policy — one that should never be broken. As a rule of thumb, all members of the royal family must dress modestly. Markle doesn’t appear to have any problem looking modest and royal.
Next: When the queen stops doing this, everyone stops.
When the queen stops eating, they stop eating
No matter who you are or where you are seated, the queen has control of all dinners, including when everyone is finished eating. As soon as she stops, so must everyone else.
Next: There are even rules for how to walk.
The royal always walks in front
While royals are always accompanied by their spouses, it’s tradition for the royals to walk a few steps ahead. That said, it is also proper etiquette to let the woman lead. While the queen always walks slightly ahead of Prince Philip, Prince Harry often allows Meghan Markle to lead the way.
By royal family standard, the queen follows proper suit, but that doesn’t mean Harry is in the wrong. It’s still considered polite to let the lady lead — royal, or not.
Next: Royals don’t simply go down stairs.
Walk down stairs with poise
Descending stairs in a ball gown and heels can be a recipe for disaster. Luckily, members of the royal family are trained to walk down stairs with poise. For added stability, men typically put a hand out for their spouses.
That said, women must descend stairs in a specific manner. The royal family protocol is to keep their hands at their sides and the chin in line with the ground. They may use the banister for stability but cannot grab onto it. Instead, they place their hand gently on it and point their toes toward it as a they walk. Who knew walking down a flight of stairs could be so complicated?
Next: Royals don’t need to ask permission to do this.
Don’t ask to be excused from the table
When dining, the royal family doesn’t ask permission to be excused from the table, and they certainly don’t make a fuss about it. Instead, they simply say, “excuse me,” and get up and go.
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
Additional reporting by Jessie Quinn.
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