10 Royals Who Didn’t Hesitate to Break a Few Protocols
The British monarchy is one of the oldest in the entire world, and it’s suspected to have started back in the sixth century. As you would expect, many rules and protocols were created to keep every royal and those who meet them in line. This means that not only do civilians have to abide by certain etiquette rules, but royals themselves have to as well. Actually, there are so many rules, that royal family members have decided to break some of them at one point or another or simply not pay any attention to them.
1. Red nail polish
During the Easter celebrations in 2023, Kate Middleton chose to combine her beautiful blue dress with a bright red manicure. While this color combination would be fine on any other occasion, in Kate’s case, it is a bit unusual. According to an etiquette expert, at official events, royals are encouraged to wear skin-tone nail polish, especially during periods of mourning, as it hasn’t yet been a year since Queen Elizabeth II passed away.
2. Letting the hair down
We’ve all seen photos of Princess Kate and Prince William’s wedding, but we never realized that her hairstyle actually broke the rules. To be more clear, the fact that she chose to let half her hair down broke a 350-year royal tradition. All royal women who get married style their hair in a bun, not letting any strands touch their shoulders. However, Kate chose to break this one despite what her aids advised.
3. When Queen Elizabeth II broke royal protocol
The Queen herself was known for following every royal protocol to the last detail, but back in 1997, she actually broke one rule. During Princess Diana’s funeral, Queen Elizabeth II actually bowed to her carriage. She had never bowed to another person, especially in public, showing her respect for her grandchildren’s mother.
4. Signing an autograph
Royals are not allowed to sign autographs, and that’s due to the fear that their signatures might be forged. However, the then-Prince Charles broke this rule in 2010 when he met victims of a massive flood in Cornwall. A couple asked him for an autograph for their son, and to everyone’s surprise, the soon-to-be King obliged. He asked for a piece of paper from his security and gave out the autograph to the couple.
5. Shaking hands with an AIDS patient
In 1987, Princess Diana visited the London Middlesex Hospital and its ward made specifically for AIDS and HIV patients. During her visit, she shook hands with a patient there and showed the world that they shouldn’t be afraid of physical touch. At a time when people thought that the disease could be transferred through touch, this was a huge moment for Diana and the royal palace.
6. Eating oysters
One quite outdated rule for the royal family is to avoid eating any kind of shellfish or raw meat. That is because if not fresh and safe to eat, these foods can cause poisoning, and we can all agree that this is the last thing anyone wants. However, in 2013, when King Charles and his wife Camila visited the Whitstable Oyster Festival, he ate a bunch of oysters. It looked like he enjoyed them too much to be afraid of a possible stomach upset.
7. Giving a toast
In 2018, Meghan and Harry got married, and as per royal tradition, 3 people are supposed to give a toast at the dinner afterward. It’s the best man, the host, which, in this case, was King Charles, and the groom, if he wishes. In this case, though, Meghan felt the need to say a few words and tell her husband in front of everyone how much she loves him.
8. Taking a stance
Royals have never been those to take a stance on any movement or opinion. That’s because they are supposed to be apolitical, which is why they don’t vote. However, in 2018, while appearing at a panel for the Royal Foundation, Meghan Markle talked about the Me Too movement.
“I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment — you will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices. I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they need to be empowered to use it, and people need to be urged to listen.”
9. Holding hands in public
During her entire reign, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were never seen holding hands in public, while attending official engagements. King Charles and his son Prince William are following in these same footsteps. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle never shied away from holding hands even during royal events.
10. Giving hugs to strangers
According to royal protocol, the royal members are not encouraged to hug strangers they meet during their public appearances. However, this is something many members have chosen to leave behind. For example, at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, both Meghan and Kate were seen hugging mourners.