Months have passed since Prince Harry got engaged to his now-fiance, Suits star Meghan Markle. However, the British royal family has some strict rules, so this is what you need to know about what it means to be getting married in one of the most famous families in the world.
1. Royals have to get the Queen’s permission to marry
Meghan Markle is divorced and marrying divorcees has been frowned upon by the British royal family for decades. Back in 1936, Edward VIII famously abdicated from the throne to marry American Wallis Simpson, who was not only divorced but also married to her second husband during their love affair.
Edward’s family refused to meet Simpson and he had to choose between the crown and love of his life, with him famously going for the latter.
In 2013, the traditional Royal Marriages Act was repealed in favor of the Succession to the Crown act which claimed that only the first six in line to the throne need the Queen’s permission to marry someone. If she objects, the marriage will not happen.
But, the Queen set a precedent by granting her son, Prince Charles permission to marry Camilla Parker Bowles even though she was divorced before so Markle shouldn’t have to worry much.
2. Royals can marry commoners, with the Queen’s permission
The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 also prohibited the marriage of royal family member to commoners, but as long as the Queen approves of the individual marrying into the family, it’s considered valid.
Camilla Parker Bowles was also a commoner, whose marriage had to be approved by the Queen. Kate Middleton was a commoner who became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge after marrying Prince William in 2011.
3. Marrying a royal family doesn’t make you Queen, King, or a Princess
If the British Queen marries, her husband is known as a King consort but doesn’t become one. In this case, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Phillip doesn’t hold the title King because he is Greek.
When a British King marries, his wife is called Queen consort, rather than Princess, but if William becomes King, the Duchess of Cambridge will hold the title of Queen consort. So, when Markle marries Prince Harry, she will become a Duchess, like Kate Middleton.
4. Once married to a royal, you cannot be active in politics
Members of the royal family refrain from participating in political events such as voting or running for a public office. Even though the family is allowed to vote, they don’t do it because they consider it unconstitutional. This helps to keep up the appearance of the royal family’s neutral public role.
5. Once you have a royal title, you cannot be addressed by any other name
You just can’t call the Duchess of Cambridge “Kate” or the Queen “Lizzie”. You must call them by their full title or “Ma’am” or “Sir.” For example, if you’re referring to the Duchess, her title will be “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge”. If you’re referring to the Queen, she has a longer title so “your majesty” will do the job.
6. You’ll never get to play Monopoly with your in-laws
If you are a fan of the classic game, you will have to give that up. In 2008, Prince Andre Duke of York, banned playing Monopoly with the Royal Family because it became “too vicious” and vicious behavior apparently doesn’t fall under royal etiquette.
7. Shellfish probably won’t be on the holiday dinner menu.
In the past, they didn’t eat shellfish to avoid food poisoning or any allergic reactions. Today, Prince Charles is seen enjoying shellfish from time to time while the Queen abstains from eating it.
8. The Queen sets the tone for every family event
When the Queen stands, so do you. When she sits, so do you. The same thing goes for dining, so when she’s done with her dinner, the meal is finished. She decides how long the meal will last so if you’re hungry, just hope she is too.
9. Royal rank is a way of life
When you become a member of the royal family, your title and your place of rank with the family becomes your lifestyle. When making public appearances, the family must always be in royal ranking order and the same goes for the seating at banquets.
The ranking order is determined by whoever is next in line to the throne. Currently, the order leads with the current reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, who is followed by her husband, Prince Philip, then Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and lastly Prince Harry.