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Royal Family’s weirdest rules including not sleeping until Queen goes to bed

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As Prince Harry has revealed the strains he felt while living as a senior royal, the old-fashioned etiquette of the monarchy is once again under the microscope.

Harry opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the difficulties of living under the strict rules that governs the monarchy in his recent Apple TV docuentary and Meghan Markle has previously spoken about her struggles too.

Here, Daily Star looks at seven of the Windsors' most rigorously applied guidelines.

No taking your coat off

Royals are not allowed to take their coats off in public.

According to OK! magazine, royal tradition states that if a female member of the Royal Family was to remove her coat in public it would be deemed "unladylike."

If wearing an overcoat, male members of the royal family are also encouraged to keep this on until in private.

Of course certain younger members of the monarchy have been known to sidestep this rule.

No selfies

According to Meghan Markle, the royals are not allowed to take selfies with fans.

She told a crowd in Nottingham in 2017: “We’re not allowed to do selfies”.

Again, Harry has been known to disobey this rule.

Always bring a black outfit

Royal Family members do a lot of travelling – and with that comes a lot of luggage.

Amongst staple pieces in their travel wardrobe, they are – rather grimly – required to always carry a black outfit.

This is to ensure they look suitably dressed should someone, such as a dignitary, politician, or even fellow family member die unexpectedly.

Walk behind the Queen

As head of the Royal Family, the Queen will always be seen walking ahead of others.

On public engagements, Her Majesty will walk ahead of others, who must also all curtsey or bow to her.

In 2018, the then US President Donald Trump met the monarch at Windsor Castle as part of his four-day "working visit" of the UK – and part of the historic meeting involved inspecting the troops together.

In a comical moment, as he walked alongside her inspecting the Coldstream Guards, he appeared to have some directional issues – and blocked her.

Trump walked in front of the Queen, with the monarch dwarfed by his large frame.

Male members cannot wear shorts after eight years old

While male children in the family will rarely be seen out in a pair of shorts, it is customary for them to be worn until only eight years of age.

After this age, boys are permitted to wear full-length trousers.

Female members of the royal family are also never allowed to be pictured at a formal or public engagements in a pair of shorts.

Tiaras are for after 6pm

Tiaras are reserved for formal occasions and evening events in the Royal Family.

A staple for any royal bride, Marie Claire previously reported that a tiara or crown cannot be worn before 6pm because diamond headwear is considered "formal attire".

No sleeping while the Queen is awake

At gatherings, it is tradition for everybody to refrain from retiring to bed until the Queen has also chosen to do so.

Writing in his book The Royals in Australia, former private secretary to the Queen, Sir William Heseltine, notes how Princess Di found this rule so hard she would routinely break it.

"For Diana the long royal evenings were agony,” he wrote.

“There’d be an hour or so in the sitting room of everyone sitting around making conversation.

“And Diana was driven to such extremes that she’d excuse herself and go to bed, which was thought to be rather bad form, going to bed before the Queen.”

  • Meghan Markle
  • Prince Harry
  • Queen
  • Royal Family

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