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When American actress, Meghan Markle, married Prince Harry of England she became the Duchess of Sussex. It was the stuff fairytales are made of. From her perfect hair, makeup and dress to the way she looked at Harry and he gazed at her, the love was palpable. The entire wedding was perfection but that was just the beginning. Have you considered all the royal rules Meghan Markle has to follow as a Duchess?
Being the Duchess of Sussex comes with responsibilities. The price of being a Duchess is that you can no longer be just an American girl any longer. She’s having teas and meetings with the Queen Mum attending galas, balls, public engagements and living a life of royal duties. While the world sees the tiaras, gowns and castles that the Duchess now gets to wear and live in. The reality of being a part of the royal family is a life of servitude to the British monarchy. It’s a very ordered, regulated and highly scrutinized existence.
There are so many rules, regulations and obligations from how she can enter a room to making sure not to cross her legs and keeping her hemline a certain length. Meghan will need to follow all of these rules in order to stay in the good graces of the people of England and the Queen herself.
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Hear ye, hear ye! By royal decree of the Queen, thou shalt not wear miniskirts. Miniskirts are a definite fashion faux pas as far as the Queen is concerned. What the Queen says goes. After all, it is her castle. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth disapproves of hemlines that are higher than an inch or two above the knee. Modesty is a virtue around the castle and less is always more. Less skin that is. Regular female visitors such as Kate, Camilla, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are well versed in this fashion stipulation and know better. It’s all good though, the Duchess is pregnant and soon there will be another little royal. She’ll be tired and consumed with new mommy bliss and we all know that means yoga pants. We wonder what the Queen’s stance is on Lululemon?
Legs aren’t the only thing that has to be covered at the castle. Royals know that in order to appear modest and demure, the cleavage must be covered up and kept out of site. Royal cleavage is not to be ogled and stared at. Hey, up here. Look at her face. In fact, Princess Diana who was very fashion forward and like the occasional plunging neckline had a trick she’d do with her handbag. Every time she exited a vehicle, she’d pull her bag to her chest so she wouldn’t be too exposed. Can you imagine the what for you’d get from the Queen if the paparazzi caught a compromising photo of one of the Duchesses?
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Speaking of covering up and being very feminine, it's frowned upon for Royal Family members to cross their legs. There will be none of that crossed-legged business tolerated. Royals need to appear respectful, practically reverent and never casual. This is also the rule for all women when attending mass, so maybe it has its roots in the church? You won’t usually catch a royal crossing her legs anywhere other than at her ankles. More often she’ll do a side-by-side move known as "the Duchess Slant." Princess Diana made it popular. Hope the Duchess of Sussex has been working on her Duchess slant.
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What the Queen says goes and she has rules for everything. She must be a militant list maker who has a place for everything and wants everything in its place. But even footwear choices? We say, your feet, your choice. Queen Elizabeth apparently hates wedge shoes. We get that they are dangerous with that crazy narrow heal that loves to wobble but are they so horrible to warrant being banished? Maybe the Queen took a nasty spill when she was younger due to a pair of nasty wedges and now they are no longer allowed. So get rid of those wedges Duchess, at least in front of her royal highness.
So many rules. It’s almost as bad as the dressing rules for Catholic School kids. Is that what’s going on? Are private school’s grooming children to be royals? Maybe not. Either way, Royal Family members are prohibited from wearing dark and colored nail polish. Forget about those edgy New York goth nails that all posh women wear. Nope. Duchess of Sussex you are no longer just a post woman. You are a Duchess. It’s rumored that the Queen’s favorite color is Ballet Slippers by Essie. Meghan even wore it to her Royal Wedding. Way to score brownie points with your new grandmother in law!
Being a celebrity before becoming a Duchess, Meghan Markle has always had adoring fans. Celebrities know that you have to interact with the people who your popularity depends upon. As a celebrity and influencer, the Duchess has taken more than her fair share of selfies with the public. However, those days are over. If you have a selfie with Meghan cherish it because there will not be anymore. Royals are not allowed to take selfies. The rule seems a bit extreme. It was created to encourage people to make eye contact and make conversation with royals. We think a conversation trumps a selfie any day of the week.
Speaking of influencers and selfies, the Duchess is not allowed to have her own social media page. Meghan closed all of her personal social media accounts in January 2018 and closed up shop on her lifestyle blog, The Tig, in April 2017, ahead of her royal nuptials. Currently, Meghan’s social media is part of the royal family accounts. The Kensington Palace account gives the most up to date and frequent updates on her and Harry. Don’t hold your breath waiting for any personal new mom Insta Stories from the Duchess in the middle of the night because they won’t be happening.
Meghan Markle may have had Suits adoring fans galore but the Duchess of Sussex isn't allowed to sign autographs under any circumstances. From here on out, she can only sign royal documents and in some cases visitor's books. If you ask the Duchess of Sussex to sign an autograph, she will have to politely decline. This rule doesn’t just apply to Meghan Markle but the rest of the British royal family too, including Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and even the Queen. They are forbidden from writing their signature down for members of the public, because of the risk of it being forged.
This one gives us a definite Game of Thrones feel. Queen Elizabeth expects all female family members, including Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles, to curtsy when they enter a room in her presence. It doesn’t matter if it’s a grand gala or a royal barbecue, ladies…bend the knee. Sounds a bit stodgy to us. Royal curtsies don’t need to reach the floor, just simply the act of putting one leg behind the other and bending the knee with a slightly lowered head is good enough. Deep curtsies and long pauses are a sign of greater respect reserved for the Queen herself. If the Duchess of Sussex is at an official event, she must curtsy to anyone who outranks her title which means Meghan better get used to the curtsy. Wonder if the Duchess of Sussex will still have to curtsy at 9 months pregnant?
File this one under macabre. At first, we thought, how morbid. However, there is a good reason for this rule being in place. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth's father, died following a coronary thrombosis in his sleep after suffering from lung cancer. At the time of his death, then Princess Elizabeth was touring Kenya with her husband Prince Philip. The distraught couple had to travel back to England in their street clothes because they had no mourning clothes with them. Since then, it has been deemed imperative that all royals must always travel with a set of funeral clothes in order to be respectful.
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Did you know that if Meghan is dining or staying the night at the Queen’s home, she has to eat when the Queen eats and sleep when the Queen sleeps? No exceptions. She can’t start eating her meal until the Queen starts, no matter what kind of pregnancy-induced starvation mode she may be suffering. Meghan Markle should not begin eating her meal until the Queen has started eating hers and when the Queen stops eating, everyone must stop eating, even if there is still food on your plate. As soon as the Queen stops eating, forks down. Meghan that means you too, even if she’s mid-frenzied pregnancy eating for two. At bedtime, the Duchess of Sussex has to wait until the Queen goes to bed before Meghan can dismiss herself to bed. Luckily, it’s rumored the Queen has a modest bedtime and sleeps for 10 hours uninterrupted.
If Meghan will be dining with the Queen, she should be prepared to always eat at 8:30 and dinner will be over by 10. If she thinks she is going to be ravenous waiting to eat at this late hour, Meghan should get herself a snack or eat on the fourth meal plan. We all know growing babies don’t give a damn about the Queen’s strict royal schedule. Just like they don’t care about making you gassy at a royal engagement but that’s for another time. The Queen does what she likes because she can. Plus, she’s in her 90’s, we should all be impressed by the fact that she’s not making them eat at 4:30 and going to bed by 8 pm
Image: Dutch Press Photo
Apparently, becoming a royal is like being jumped into a street gang. It’s for life. At all Royal Family gatherings, the Duchess of Sussex will always and forever be sat next to her Prince Harry. Probably not a deal breaker for any of us but what if the Duchess and her Prince are having a bad day? What if the baby kept them up all night and the baby’s not latching and everyone is getting on everyone else’s nerves? Are they still really expected to sit next to one another and pretend like life’s a fairytale? Yikes, doesn’t sound like happily ever after to us.
There really are rules for everything a royal does. It must be exhausting. Keep the tiara, we’ll keep our yoga pants and eating when we want to. Thank you very much. There is even is a strict code of conduct for how to enter a room when you are with the Royals. You can’t just walk into a room. When the royal family is part of a procession, they enter and are seated in the order of precedence, which is essentially the order of who’s next in line to the throne. Here's the royal order: Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camila, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and then most likely, Prince Harry and then (and only then) the Duchess of Sussex.
We wouldn’t want to be the Brit who didn’t know how to drink their tea correctly in front of the Queen. But they’ve had a lifetime to learn. While we mere Americans are more of the paper cup coffee drinking sort. Tea time is an important time for royals and Meghan better get her tea drinking game face on. Etiquette dictates that the correct way to drink tea is to use your thumb and index finger to hold the top of the handle, while the middle finger supports the bottom. Women should sip from the same spot the entire time to avoid lipstick stains around the rim. How gauche. If you are a coffee drinker, loop your index finger through the handle. But never, ever, never sip your tea with your pinkies out. That’s too pretentious for even the Queen.
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It's an ancient royal tradition to decline shellfish in order to avoid food poisoning. No more lobster for the Duchess of Sussex. We feel as though this warrants a moment of silence. While the royal family doesn't always adhere to that rule, because lobster, Queen Elizabeth does. Honestly, the 92-year-old monarch loves her traditions. She’s been the longest reigning royal in history. That doesn’t happen by just willy nilly eating shellfish. A Queen’s got to be careful. Not sure if the Duchess will be expected to adhere to this rule or not. Maybe she’ll have to late night sneak and eat lobster over the kitchen sink in the dark like the rest of the world does cookies or maybe she’ll throw out all the shellfish along with her miniskirts, wedges, and her free choice. The things a girl’s got to do for a tiara these days.
What's your least favorite of the royal rules Meghan Markle has to follow as a Duchess?