The Shocking Royal Rule Prince William and Kate Middleton Break

Prince William and Kate Middleton are a truly modern couple. Of course, you don’t get a title like that without breaking some rules. The Royal Family carries on many traditions that have stood the test of time. But there are a couple things that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do a bit differently — and they regularly break one rule in particular that may shock you.

Now to be clear, Prince William comes from a family of ‘rule-breakers’

Princess Diana greets fans and shakes their hands.

Princess Diana bent a rule or two in her day. | Vincent Laforet/AFP/Getty Images

Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, was the pioneer rule-breaker. From giving birth to her sons in a hospital instead of at home, to putting her babies in disposable diapers instead of cloth ones. Will’s father, Prince Charles, broke protocol every once in a while as well — most notably when he signed an autograph in 2010.

Even how Prince William and Kate met broke the rules

Kate Middleton and Prince William on their wedding day.

They’re quite the modern couple in many ways. | Warren Allott/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Instead of marrying to benefit the monarchy, Prince William met his bride while attending university. The two were able to court in private at University of St. Andrews, even living together with roommates before moving out on their own. Kate Middleton is also the first royal wife to have a college degree.

The most shocking rule that they break

Prince William and Kate Middleton boarding a helicopter.

They travel together as a family — even though they shouldn’t. | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

It may not sound like much, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge majorly break the rules every time they travel. Why? Because the whole family — parents and kids — travel together. As Reader’s Digest points out, royal protocol stipulates that multiple heirs to the thrown can’t travel together at the same time in case there is an accident.

When did they start breaking this royal rule?

Prince Harry plays with a butterfly in front of Prince George.

Perhaps he couldn’t bear being an entire flight away from his newborn son?  | John Stillwell/PA Wire

The first time that this royal couple broke this rule was in 2013, when newborn Prince George traveled to Australia and New Zealand. Royal protocol dictates that George should travel separately from his father, Prince William. But the family took the same jet, and has been traveling together ever since.

 Other rules the couple has broken

Royal family sitting on grass.

They’ve pushed some rules aside as a family. | Michael Middleton /WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William is the first royal father to drive his family home from the hospital after his wife gave birth, instead of having a security detail take them. He and Kate also insist on their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, going to public school and maintaining seemingly normal lives. They also made waves when they broke tradition by declining the invitation to spend Christmas with the rest of the Royal Family.

They do keep some traditions alive

Kate Middleton and Prince William in Paris.

You won’t see them holding hands. | Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

Despite all their rule-bending, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do adhere to a few royal traditions. The most common tradition they keep to is the unwritten rule that a royal couple doesn’t hold hands when they are in public. This is a tradition you will notice his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, has maintained during her 70-year union with Prince Philip.

Will this royal couple follow in their footsteps?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Invictus Games.

These two, however, have already shattered that rule. | Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Now that Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle are married, they’ve continued the rule-breaking tradition. (They already break the hand-holding rule on a regular basis.)

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