Actress and activist Meghan Markle has won Prince Harry’s heart, a feat in and of itself. Now she has to navigate the rules of decorum that govern the British royal family, which may be foreign to her since she’s American. Here are just a few of the rules she needs to familiarize herself with before she causes a royal scandal.
1) She can’t cross her legs at the knees.
Many women find sitting with their legs crossed to be most comfortable for them. When Markle’s with the royal family, however, that can’t happen.
Instead, she’s expected to sit with her knees and ankles together. If that gets uncomfortable, she is allowed to cross her legs at the ankles.
2) She’ll have to mind the position of her chin.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a proper way for royal women to position their chin. This is something most of us would never consider, but Markle now must be aware of it.
The chin is always expected to be parallel to the ground, no higher and no lower. If the chin is held too high, it will give the appearance of being haughty. If the chin is too low, it will show a lack of confidence.
3) She’ll be expected to kiss family members in a certain way.
If Markle marries into the family, she’ll be expected to greet family members with a kiss. There are certain rules that govern this kiss.
She’ll need to press her right cheek to the other person’s right cheek. She should not make a pucker noise or do an air kiss. Generally, it will follow the British style of a single kiss, not the French style of kissing both cheeks.
4) Aside from those polite kisses, there should be no public displays of affection.
When Markle and Prince Harry are in public, they should conduct themselves with a certain sense of honor. That means no public displays of affection.
When they are married, a slight peck on the cheek might be acceptable, but even that is pushing it. Generally speaking, no displays of affection are appropriate.
5) When eating, she’ll have to follow specific etiquette.
Markle will have to display proper manners when eating with the royal family. If not, she runs the risk of committing a serious faux pas.
When she sits down to eat, she should first place the napkin on her lap. Her elbows should be kept close to her side (never on the table!), and her knees and ankles should be kept together.
6) She also has to pay attention to the most senior royal when eating.
Queen Elizabeth II is currently the most senior member of the royal family. When Markle sits down to eat, she should pay close attention the queen. That’s because she’ll dictate a lot about the meal.
No one should begin eating until the most senior royal has begun eating. Once that member of the family is finished eating, everyone is done. If Markle’s hungry, she’ll have to make sure she finishes before the queen!