When you're a kid, life is easy, but when it comes to the youngest members of the British Royal family, the ground rules are endless. Being an heir to the throne might seem glamorous, but the do's and don'ts for royal children are not as easy as it looks. They must follow strict protocols, dress codes, and rules for the rest of their lives unless they make a dramatic exit like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Read on for some of the weirdest rules the royals follow and unknown truths that are just a part of their daily lives.
Strict No-Nonsense Training Starts at Just Two Years Old
Royal kids learn many customs throughout their childhood, and curtseying to the sovereign is just one of them. They can start etiquette training as young as two years old! They must learn how to behave in public and all the formalities when greeting various people. The training is extensive, from posture to handshake, even what topics are okay to talk about and which are taboo. This training can even go on for years.
It must be hard for them to always remain on their best behavior, as evident in this picture of Prince Louis thumbing his nose at Kate Middleton in public, making it look like the etiquette training isn't going so well.
They Must Accept Gifts but Don't Actually Get to Keep Them
It might not seem like a big deal when a royal child receives a gift, but there is a strict rule already put into place for how to react to this situation. Children in the Royal Family are spoiled with hundreds of gifts every year by people they've never met. They must accept the offering to avoid looking rude or snobby; however, they can only keep the gift under one condition.
If the gifts are from people they don't know and are worth up to $200, then it's perfectly fine to keep them.
Royal Children Can't Eat the Same Food as Regular Children
One of the many perks of being a part of the Royal Family is the chefs on hand. However, they can't just request anything because they must follow strict guidelines on what is permissible to eat. As it turns out, the royal children aren't allowed to eat processed or pre-packaged food. Maybe a box of organic apple juice sometimes, but their diets are decided for them, resulting in a refined palate from a very young age.
You'd think that royal kids can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, because of how rich they are! But unfortunately, this is not the case.
The Queen Banned the Kids From Playing Monopoly Because They Fought Too Much
Kids tend to play all kinds of games, including board games, but there's one in particular that is forbidden. That board game is Monopoly! What is the point of this oddly specific rule? Well, apparently, this game has been the cause of many fights in the Royal Family. When lying, cheating, and accusations are involved, the monarchy draws a hard stop. Therefore, the new generations can say goodbye to ever playing this game.
If fights over this board game end so bad a ban is required, we wonder how intense, more severe issues are handled!
Girls Must Only Wear Knee-Length Dresses
Members of the Royal Family are always dressed to a tee. For young girls, this means that picking out their outfits every day might be a little easier. That is because they are supposed only to wear dresses that end around the knee. This is why you will hardly ever see Princess Charlotte in shorts or pants! Though it is permitted on special occasions or in the privacy of their own home, it is generally looked down upon.
For public events or photoshoots, smocked knee-length dresses and mary jane shoes will almost always be the required attire, and it has been for generations.
They Must Behave in Public at All Times
Royal children may be able to rule and take the throne one day, so even as young children, they are expected to behave at all times. They are expected to have perfect manners compared to an average kid. Any meltdown in public is scolded. This is when the etiquette training comes into play, and the kids must remember all they were taught and display the utmost respect. This behavior must also stay put behind closed doors as well.
Every day these kids will be reminded and taught how they should carry themselves and what expectations they must meet. The public persona is incredibly important to royalty.
Two Heirs Cannot Travel Together so the Throne Is Always Protected
Air travel can be very dangerous, so two direct heirs are banned from flying together on the same flight. If disaster strikes and an heir dies while traveling, the next in succession is expected to take their role. To protect the lineage, this protocol is enforced. However, Prince William stirred controversy when he broke this tradition and flew with his son, Prince George. Although Prince George was just a child, it was still frowned upon.
Although exceptions have been made in the past to allow Prince George to fly with his father, it will most likely stop. As he ages, he'll be expected to start flying separately from Prince William.
Even the Young Kids Are Expected to Be Present at the Most Boring Events
Although the little royals don't have as jam-packed schedules as their parents and older members of the Royal Family, they are still expected to attend several events. For example, Princess Charlotte and Prince George have been on many official royal tours with their parents. By the time they are pre-teens and young adults, they will be expected to engage in walkabouts and charity events consistently. A guideline all royal kids must follow.
Regardless of age, the kids must be present at the yearly Trooping the Colour ceremony to show their respect and dedication to their country.
They're Not Allowed to Wear Black During the Day
It may seem odd that kids have a color they are not permitted to wear, but it's just another one of the traditions that have been carried over for generations. Black outfits are only allowed to be worn during the day for mourning. There was one exception ever when Prince George donned an all-black military suit at a wedding. But black is only for funerals if it's not a special occasion.
The children must always have a black outfit already picked out and ready in case of a sudden death—a strange yet consistent custom to follow.
Archie Was Expected to Receive a Title When He Was Born
A huge controversy that stirred plenty of commotion is the fact that Prince Harry's first-born son Archie wasn't immediately given a title. William and Kate's children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, already have titles but their cousins are very different from them. Although Harry and Meghan claimed they requested a title for him and weren't given it, so he is known as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. However, it's unclear if his title will change.
Now that Charles has become King, Archie should become His Royal Highness, Prince Archie, although it is still not confirmed, which is unheard of for kids born into royalty.
Boys Must Wear Only Shorts to Show They're High-Class
It may not come as a surprise that those in the Royal Family have to stick to a strict and specific dress code. However, the minor details pertaining to what the children can wear might be unknown. For the boys of the Royal Family, shorts are to be worn until the age of eight. Once they reach that age, they are then allowed to wear trousers. Considering this is so random, it might seem strange, but this rule has a history.
Allegedly this dress code signifies class and manhood. It is viewed as middle class for a young boy to wear trousers and also seen as a clothing item meant for older boys. Don't they get cold?
They're Not Allowed to Ever Eat Shellfish
The young members of the British Royal Family are kept on relatively healthy diets. They are still treated to ice cream and eating out in restaurants like any kid would love, but there is one utterly off-limits thing. Not only is this item not allowed to be fed to any royal kid, but it's also even discouraged from the entire Royal Family. You'll never find shellfish on the menu of any royal meal.
What's so bad about shellfish? It has a higher risk of carrying bacteria or giving someone food poisoning. Therefore, no royal children will ever know the taste of shrimp; better to stay safe!
Young Princesses Can't Wear Tiaras Until They're Married
You might associate princess with a tiara, but this isn't exactly the way it goes for the British Royal Family. Only those who are married can don a tiara. That means despite Charlotte being the Princess of Cambridge, she is forbidden from wearing the fancy headgear! Although Lilibet didn't have a Princess title, with the passing of the Queen and Prince Charles, now King, things have changed. She is now technically a princess as well, which means this strange rule also applies to her.
So it seems that Charlotte and Lilibet can't even dress up in a tiara for fun; they'll have to wait decades before they can sport one!
All Royal Children Must Wear This Gown From the 19th Century
One of the first events a royal baby must be a part of is, of course, the baptism. And yes, even for this newborn, there is an expected dress code. A tradition in the Royal Family since the days of Queen Victoria is to baptize your baby in the Honiton christening gown. This garment is so crucial that a replica has been made, so generations to come can continue to wear it.
This is one of those traditions that won't disappear, and every royal child will be expected to grow up and do the same for their own children.
Playdates Require Top-Notch Security
Of course, like any other kids, royal kids would love hanging out with their friends, but being royalty, there are extra steps involved before a playdate can ensue. Before any other kids and their parents can come over for a playdate, they must be entirely vetted by security. You might've thought playdates were utterly out of the question, but as long as certain protocols are followed, they can make friends just like any other kid.
Of course, the royal kids must be protected at all costs, so as long as there is no security threat, they can meet other kids as they please!
They're Not Allowed to Express Any Personal Opinion
An important rule that members of this family must follow is remaining impartial at all times. However, every now and again, this rule is broken, although highly discouraged and even looked down on. Prince William and Princess Kate were accused of making a huge mistake when they dressed their son Prince George in an England soccer jersey. They clearly showed their affinity for the team despite royal protocol.
This incident showed Prince George clearly favoriting a certain team, although he is supposed to remain neutral. With so many protocols to follow, it must be so hard to avoid breaking any.
The Young Royals Have to Greet the Public With a Special Wave
There are tons of traditions that this famous British family has kept up over the years. One small gesture cannot go unnoticed, and that's the Windsor wave. Even as a small child in the family, you are taught this wave to use whenever you greet the public. It's intended to prevent them from injuring their hand because constant waving could put a strain on their wrists. And we cannot have injured royalty!
The smile and wave are meant to show just enough attention without too much excitement in order to appear classy and sophisticated.
The Royal Boys Must Serve in the Military
It has long been a tradition for boys in the Royal Family to enter the military. Prince Harry, Prince William, and their father, Prince Charles, all served. Therefore Prince William's boys, George and Louis, will be expected to follow in their footsteps. Although they are only 9 and 4 years old, the military will be calling their name as soon as they are of age. It's another way to show dedication to their country.
Many believe they will follow the traditions of the men before them and attend university and then the armed forces, or else they'd be breaking strong family traditions.
The Royal Kids Don't Open Any Presents on Christmas Day
The German custom of only opening presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas day is a tradition that the Royal Family has followed for generations. This may sound strange to most of us, but it only means that they get to open their presents before most children who only get to open theirs on Christmas day, so in that sense, they must feel lucky!
Another custom all the children must follow is attending a church service and lunch on Christmas day in which they have their own table to sit at just for the junior royals. While ordinary folk have family meals at home, the royals have theirs at a church!
7-Year-Old Charlotte Could Receive the Princess Royal Title
Charlotte already holds a special place in the Royal Family. There is a reserved title that is only used for one person in the family at a time and the eldest daughter of the Sovereign, Princess Royal. Princess Anne holds that title, but Charlotte is next in line. This would be a historical moment since Princess Anne has held the title since 1987, meaning Charlotte would only be the eighth person to become a Princess Royal.
Young Charlotte may not even know the responsibility and honorary custom she may soon take on. For now, she will remain a Princess; still something most people can't say.
Archie and Lillibet Can Still Receive Royal Treatment Despite Living in California
Considering the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their royal duties, most of the public would assume nothing is expected of their children. However, Archie and Lilibet are still considered family and in the line of succession for the throne. Although they have many other members in front of them, if need be, they would still be expected to rule. Although they live far from royalty now, the custom is expected.
Archie and Lilibet may live with their parents now in California but could one day be told to return to Buckingham Palace when they are older. Who knows what the future holds?
Even the Youngest Royals Have Their Own Security Guards
Being a part of the Royal Family is quite an honor; unfortunately, it also puts you at risk. For the children in the family, security is especially important. There have been scary incidents in the past of attempted kidnappings, so this takes top priority. Therefore, kids like Prince George and Princess Charlotte already have personal security that always travels with them. This protocol is something no one can argue with.
There's no room for error when it comes to the safety of the youngest members of the royal family. Even as they age, this will be a protocol they will always follow.
You Must Learn to Curtsy as Soon as You Start Walking
You can probably expect a toddler or young child to be wreaking havoc. Running around, playing with things they're not supposed to, and generally doing what little kids usually do. But the expectations for young Royalty are very high. Beginning at age five, they must learn to curtsy whenever they greet the king or queen. Just like other member of the family are expected to do so, kids must follow along.
You might wonder if they ever feel awkward addressing other family members so formally. After all, most of the royal kids curtseying to the king are curtseying to their great-grandpa!
They're Expected to Speak Multiple Languages
Most of the royal kids have the opportunity to study multiple languages other than English. Although this isn't a strict rule that has repercussions, it is a strongly encouraged custom. This is inspired by the late Queen's affinity for the French language. Prince Charles, Prince William, and Kate also speak French! The tradition continues as they began teaching their children Spanish when Prince George was only around two years old.
It would most definitely be considered highly odd if they refused to learn another language, although they would not face any consequences.
They Were Not Allowed to Call the Queen "Grandma"
Back when Queen Elizabeth II was still the reigning monarch, up until very recently when she passed on September 8th, 2022, the royal grandchildren and great-grandchildren were forbidden from calling her "grandma". This goes all the way back to when Prince William and Prince Harry were children and were not allowed to refer to Her Royal Highness as grandma either. Though thankfully they didn't have to use any of her royal titles either.
The great-grandchildren and grandchildren of the Queen called her "Granny" or "Gan-Gan", according to royal sources. And it's known that Prince William used to refer to her as "Gary". We don't know if any of the current generation of kids use that one, but we sure hope so.
Their Childhood Is Spent in the Most Luxurious Properities
Royal children have access to some of the most luxurious and sought-after properties. They are born in grand hospital rooms, and the lavish lifestyle continues as soon as they get home. This is just a normal part of their childhood. Who gets to call the Kensington Palace home? Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children! Like Prince William and Prince Harry got to be in fancy playrooms, the kids have over 20 rooms to play in.
From countless bedrooms to choose from, tennis courts, swimming pools, and more, there is no lack of impressive living quarters for royal kids.
Even the Royals Need a Driver's License to Drive
The Queen was once the only person in the United Kingdom who could drive without holding a driver's license! Despite being royalty, the children in the family will still have to study and take a driving test to earn their licenses. That means Prince George and Prince Louis will have to pass a test when they're of age! They may receive tons of privileges, but this is one custom they must follow like the rest of UK citizens.
Therefore, the kids will have access to the best driving lessons! Even the kids in the kingdom have to deal with this royal pain.
Sending Royal Kids to School Is Extremely Expensive
A custom that royal children partake in is attending a specific private school that happens to be extremely costly. It used to be tradition to be educated by private teachers and tutors, but starting with Prince Charles, it became customary to attend an actual school. Princess Charlotte, Prince George, and Louis all attend a school that comes with some expensive fees. Each semester their parents cough up thousands per child.
They must attend private schools so they're protected at all times and can have security follow them each day. Quite a life to live.
Princess Charlotte's Chances of Becoming Queen
The line of Succession is a huge deal since it dictates who could potentially become the next ruler. It used to be a tradition that any male in the family would succeed any of his female siblings, regardless of age. However, the Succession to the Crown Act was passed in 2013 and changed how the British throne would continue. Now Princess Charlotte has a chance at the throne before her brother, Louis.
Having the potential to be the Queen in your future sounds like a heavy burden to carry, but this is just typical life for royal children.
Royal Children Still Need Passports to Travel
The children of the Royal Family have many perks, including opportunities to travel the world. In fact, they're lucky to travel abroad quite often; this is why they're issued a passport the moment they're born! The only people who can travel around without a passport are the Queen and King. But for the royal children, these documents are still very important and necessary, especially since they accompany their parents on tours around the world.
Although these royal kids are lucky because they can fly all over the world in a private jet, they still need the proper documentation.
Where the Queen's Great-Grandchildren Stand in the Rankings
There is, of course, a strict line of succession to determine who takes the throne. Now that the Queen has passed away, things have changed quite a bit. Prince Charles has become King, which makes Prince William his heir and next in line for the throne. William's eldest child, George, will be next. Following him will be Princess Charlotte and then Prince Louis. The real question is if the line will extend to Prince Harry's children.
The odds of reaching the throne are pretty slim for some of the King's great-grandchildren, with Savannah Phillips being 12 years old and currently 18th in line.
Diana Really Tried to Give Her Children a Normal Life
Princess Diana was a member of the Royal Family who stressed the importance of giving their children a somewhat normal childhood. When Prince William and Prince Harry were children, she took them on various excursions that would give them a taste of normalcy. Diana took the boys to theme parks and skiing and let them play as much as she could. She wanted to shield them from the pressures that would inevitably face them.
This sentiment continues as Prince William and Kate try to do the same for their kids. Prince Harry and Meghan even stepped down from their duties to give their kids a normal childhood away from the UK.
Royal Kids Can Expect Their Titles to Change Throughout Their Lives
As time goes on, the titles of the children in the Royal Family can continuously change. The closer they are to the throne, the more titles they receive. Since Prince William is next in line for the throne, his firstborn, Prince George, will most likely acquire his titles like Duke of Cambridge. This is a common practice; usually, the kids don't even use their last names but their titles instead.
Along with the titles, their rank for the throne and royal duties will also change. British nobility may seem outdated, but these kids will still have to adhere to these traditions.
William and Kate Encourage Their Kids to Be in Nature Like Normal Kids
There are plenty of rules, customs, and traditions that royal children have to learn and abide by, so William and Kate think it's important to try and give their kids a chance at experiencing some normalcy. George, Charlotte, and Louis may never know what it's like not to live a life full of honor and privileges, but their parents start with small things. This is why they appreciate and encourage their kids to be in nature.
They may be royals, but they are kids first, so their parents let them play outside and get dirty in nature without batting an eyelash; it's the least they can do.
Royal Kids Receive so Many Perks While Traveling That Never Go Away
When the kids reach a certain age, they must start traveling separately and apart from their father. However, there is no need to worry because the perks they receive are excellent. Royalty gets to travel in first class and can even take private jets if they please. This is a tradition that separates them from ordinary people and distinguishes them as royalty because ordinary people don't have private jets on hand.
After all, the royal kids do deserve the royal treatment. However, it is not strictly prohibited if they ever want to take a commercial flight.
The Birth of a Royal Child Must Be Announced to the Public
The moment a royal baby is born, the expectations are ever-present. Could you imagine the second giving birth, you need to immediately announce all the details of your new baby to the world? Well, this is exactly what must happen. A sign revealing the news is placed outside Buckingham Palace, so the public knows exactly how the birth went, the name, and the gender. From this moment on, the guidelines persist.
Although Prince William and Princess Kate had no problem adhering to this, things were different for Prince Harry and Meghan. They kept the information hidden for longer than the protocol called for.