While Prince Charming is just a romantically colored expression, there are a few lucky girls who actually marry princes! Now and then it can happen in Britain – their royal family turns out eligible young men from time to time. Of course, you don’t want to count very hard on becoming a bride of any of the princes, but there’s nothing to stop you from dreaming about Prince William or Prince Harry, whichever takes your fancy.
While Prince William was snatched a few years ago, marrying his girlfriend of long standing, Catherine Middleton, in 2011, Prince Harry remained available until shortly. As we already know, he is to wed American actress Meghan Markle in late spring, causing a jealous stir among all American women, no doubt. Did Markle watch Kate’s wedding and wished for her own one like that seven years ago?
But a wedding is not the royal gateway into a fairy tale. You agreed and shone at a resplendent ceremony, well and good. What’s next? You ought to know that the royal family has a lot of traditions and set ways that you will have to know and – what’s more – observe. Only a dozen of these is listed below!
The members use a joint social account only
The royal family isn’t behind times in terms of using social media sites. They are not confined to any strict rules governing their online activities, but Kate Middleton and both princes use one common Twitter and Instagram account, kensingtonroyal. Meghan Markle may become the fourth member having access to this account after her marriage in May. It is logical for all who come to join the family in future. On the common account can be found regular updates, covering the engagement of Prince Harry and Markle in particular. It serves as an excellent means for the public to be in on all royal news.
Having to wait until the queen falls asleep for a night’s rest
The lives of all members of the British royalty are naturally greatly dependent on that of Queen Elizabeth II; not that it is that difficult, yet for most people, it may be a radical change in their daily habits. Especially the changes may affect sleeping habits of those who doze off whenever they feel like it.
The rule that may seem strange to many runs that the other members of the family may go to sleep only after the queen has fallen asleep. This goes for the members of the family who find themselves in the same castle (house) with the queen; you cannot just drop off, you have to wait. Though Queen Elizabeth II is not reputed to sit up late, so this one doesn’t seem to be very binding.
Royal fashion is laid out
You won’t be surprised to learn that the royalty mind very much what they wear. You may call them conservative and fastidious, and those who become spouses of royal scions will have to comply with the pain of a severe dressing-down. It doesn’t mean that the members are not given many options, but some of the restrictions can make people raise their eyebrows.
First, the women in the family are not supposed to appear in wedges before the queen. Then, when Meghan Markle is a married woman, she will have to forgo nail polish which is darker than the natural color for official occasions, for it is the only nail shade she will be able to wear. The one less surprising is that no member of the royal family can be seen in a see-through clothing – the rule that Markle disregarded when posing for the engagement photo session.
You will always have security on your heels
No-one’s going to take any chances with the British royal family. Therefore whenever they go they have guards around who will give their lives without a moment’s hesitation when it becomes necessary to protect anyone of the family. The women who married royal scions won’t be able to enjoy lonely nights somewhere in town, for they will have a bodyguard in tow (or other security measures will be applied).
There is always a possibility that the family may be set upon, just like with any other public figure, so proper protection is provided. Look at Kate Middleton pictures – will you be able to find a photo where she is alone? Yes, marrying someone belonging to the royal family can be a fairy tale come true, but the fairy tale will change many things in your life – privacy, to be sure.
Don’t expect any Monopoly
True, the famous board game (also lamentably known as one of the reasons for squabbles within families) is not quite so popular with the most illustrious family in Britain – actually, it is not played at all.
This curious prohibition has been in force since 2008 when Prince Andrew Duke of York announced his decision to expel the game from royal family entertainments. He stated Monopoly is a vicious game not befitting for a family of high standing. Consequently, you’ll have to go for other board games, and maybe you won’t miss this one which can be rough at some junctures.
Go easy on selfies
So many people are into selfies nowadays, it can be easily termed a modern craze. Do you know anyone who hasn’t indulged into selfies? Compare the number to that of people who do it on a daily basis and update their online photo albums regularly. But not the members of the royal family. Well, it’s not exactly forbidden, somehow it just isn’t done. The younger generation isn’t also in a hurry to acquire the habit, so you won’t be able to find their selfies.
While no rule restricts the family should they wish to post selfies, everybody is well aware that the queen frowns on it. She was heard to comment on the practice as odd and disconcerting. For Meghan Markle that would mean breaking a strong habit, she was such a selfie-lady. From May on she would be having paparazzi snaps instead of selfies.
When about to be engaged, younger relatives seek the queen’s permission
That’s right, the choice of getting engaged isn’t quite a personal affair with the members of the royal family. Before they commit themselves, they go to the queen and ask if she endorses the step. Prince Harry and Prince William certainly abided by the rule and secured Queen Elizabeth II’s permission. It seems she didn’t put up many objections, knowing what would be good for her grandsons.
This issue used to be governed by the traditional Royal Marriages Act (revoked in 2013). It was a rather strict affair, disallowing marriages to Catholics and divorced persons. Now, according to the Successions to the Crown Act, the Queen’s permission for marriage is necessary only for the first six successors to the British throne; all the others can circumvent the procedure.
Learn to be called by a title
You can call royalties by their given names, it’s not something bordering on a crime, still, you don’t usually do that, and it’s certainly not what is expected. At worst it can sound disrespectful, for everybody knows that when ordinary people get married to a royalty, they receive titles and really ought to be called by their new names.
On becoming Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton has been since known as “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge,” and of course she herself and others think of her by this title. The same will happen when Meghan Markle will have married her prince. While a bit too long, the new title still sounds very grand and many people would envy her the title alone, apart from anything else.
All political connections will be severed upon being married
There are rules and rules to abide by, and it’s understandable since being married into a royal family is no light matter. One of the rules deals with political ties, which is probably absolutely correct. No matter what went on before the marriage, all and sundry political involvements must be cut off. After all, is said and done, it may work very well for the person in question.
Political involvements mean different kinds of commitments, participating in elections, holding (or running for) a position. Any political position already attained will be dropped. Being a part of the royal family is already a sort of a political tie, though it can’t be really called an involvement. The whole point is that they are not involved with any existing party so that they can relate to the whole population of the country.
Marriage to people not of royal descent should be approved
The members of the royal family don’t have to marry only other royalties. Practically speaking, they can marry any person who will succeed in capturing their fancy. Consider Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle: no royal ancestors in their lines. The same can be said of Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William’s second wife. So, they are free to marry – with one stipulation: non-royals must be given royal approval for marriage.
Nobody knows how every situation like this develops and what happens when a prince approaches the queen for approval, though with Prince William there was no visible hitch. We can only suspect that in the case of Prince Harry all went well too. There’s no telling what factors can swing the queen’s opinion, yet the approval would hardly be granted very lightly.
Royalty’s spouse mustn’t expect to become a queen or a king
Some people believe that once you have married a royal person, you become a queen or a king that very instant. Maybe there were cases like that in the past or in another country, but with the British royal family, it just won’t work. The latest occasion when it occurred was in 1689 when William III’s wife became Mary II. A long time ago, isn’t it?
For instance, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband is no king. The queen’s husband won’t get the title in this case because he has no royal blood while his wife is of royal descent. The person a British queen marries (if he is British too) becomes Prince Consort. So Queen Elizabeth is married to Prince Philip. Should Prince William once become king, Kate Middleton will automatically turn into Queen Consort. Meghan Markle will be in for the same if her future husband ever gets to the throne.
You take royal ranking wherever you go
As with every family, the royal family is ranked by, with every member occupying a certain position. But what is different is that royalties feel their positions within the family pretty acutely and invariably keep to them. It is inherent in their ways and people who marry into their family are expected to fall in with the traditional way. The ranking system is observed at any time and in any place, and everyone knows perfectly what place they should occupy at gatherings and when photographs are being taken.
The present ranking of the British royal family as it is now is as follows: Queen Elizabeth II on the top, Prince Philip comes next, then Prince Charles with his wife Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince William with his wife Kate. Closing the ranks is Prince Harry and in a few months, they may be joined by Meghan Markle.