The Etiquette Training Meghan Markle Had to Get Before She Married Prince Harry

Meghan Markle may have snagged herself a prince, but her induction into the royal family was no easy feat. As the American-born actress readied to wed Prince Harry, she had to learn a whole new set of rules and regulations. That’s right — Meghan had to have etiquette lessons. And there was more to her princess training than just learning how to curtsy before Queen Elizabeth. (But we’ll get to that in just a second.)

The Windsor Wave

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancée US actress Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in west London on November 27, 2017,

Markle’s typical wave will no longer cut it. | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Etiquette experts were critical of Meghan’s wave in her first public appearance with Harry, calling her motion too enthusiastic. So, she had to perfect that dainty gesture most associated with Queen Elizabeth and the British monarchy. “It’s a vertical hand with a slight twist from the wrist, a classy affair that oozes decorum but doesn’t get too excitable,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells ABC News.

Royal greeting

Royal etiquette expert Myka Meier tells The Observer Meghan had to learn how to properly greet people — which is reportedly very different from the everyday greeting. “Verbiage is very different,” Meier says of British greetings versus American greetings. She notes a formal “how do you do?” is most often used.

The Duchess Slant

Kate Middleton Wedding

Kate Middleton will have to teach Meghan how to master the Duchess Slant. | Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Crossing your legs may sound like the lady-like way to sit. But if you’re a royal, crossing your legs is actually frowned upon! Meghan had to learn the Duchess Slant, named after her sister-in-law Kate Middleton. Meier tells People Magazine “by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”

The Cambridge Cross

There is one exception to the Duchess Slant, and that is the Cambridge Cross. (Again, named for Kate Middleton.) This position is achieved by keeping knees pressed together and keeping both heels on the ground whilst crossing the ankles. It’s modest and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention up the legs.

Utilizing utensils

Meier tells The Observer the way Meghan eats required princess lessons, “from how to hold cutlery to how the table is set, to which fork and knife are used and when.” Holding cutlery properly is a huge part of British etiquette, and is a way of showing respect for the culture and the monarchy.

The curtsy

Meghan Markle attends RELAIS & CHATEAUX 60th Anniversary Guest Chef Dinner Launch at Consulate General of France

Curtsy etiquette is something Markle will also have to learn. | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Relais & Chateaux

Curtsy etiquette is incredibly important in the royal family, even among each other. Since Meghan married into the family, she has to curtsy to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, and the other “blood royals” in the family. (Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, for example.) However, if Prince Harry is with her at the time, Meghan’s “status” is elevated, and the blood princesses have to curtsy to her.

Time for tea

The Queen And Senior Royals Attend The Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting - Day Two

Markle has already had tea with the queen, so she probably knows how to handle tea time. | Toby Melville/Getty Images

Tea time in the U.K. comes with a lot of rules. As one hotel tells Vogue, everything from when you add milk to how you pronounce the word “scone” has to be done a specific way. Since Meghan reportedly met the queen for tea before she and Harry got engaged, she had a leg up on this portion of her etiquette lessons.

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