When you’re a member of the British monarchy, rules of etiquette obviously exceed the rest of society’s expectations. Some of these protocols involve slight alterations to everyday life (think crossing your legs at the ankles instead of the knees or performing a curtsy as a formal greeting). But the royal family also adhere to traditions that can range from a tad bizarre to overtly extraordinary: Certain foods, names and even a board game are banned. And it appears soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle might be bound by these dictates, too, once she marries Prince Harry (five more days!). Here, ten of the most unusual rules that prove even the Queen herself isn’t above royal law.
Nicknames Are Not To Be Used
She may be Kate to us (or Squeak to her former St. Andrews classmates), but to her family she's Catherine. The royals don't adopt nicknames—though we're keen to mention Queen Elizabeth's endearing alias, Lilibet, as popularized in The Crown.
Wedding Bouquets Are Actually Symbolic
Every royal bride carries a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet as part of a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria's reign, with some reports indicating the flower itself originates from the queen's very own more-than-a-century-old garden.
A Strict Dress Code Must Be Observed
From hats for formal events to tiaras only if married, the official dress code varies depending on occasion and status. And in Prince George's case, those shorts aren't just adorable—apparently they also convey his membership in an aristocratic class.
Shellfish May Not Be Eaten In Public
This culinary choice stems from shellfish's higher risk of food poisoning than other dishes. The royal family is also advised not to eat rare steak, drink tap water in foreign countries or binge on too-spicy meals.
The Queen May Use Her Purse To Send Secret Signals
Should the Queen feel the need to end a conversation due to its length (or awkwardness), she can simply move her purse to her right arm. This gesture sends a subtle signal to her staff that she's ready to wrap up the chitchat.
An All-Black Ensemble Must Be Packed In Every Suitcase
It's a pretty morbid reason, but members of the royal family travel with a spare black outfit in the grim event that a family member dies while they're abroad.
Monopoly Is A No-Go Board Game
"We're not allowed to play Monopoly at home," Prince Andrew once said. "It gets too vicious." Perhaps Parcheesi would make for a better family holiday activity?
The Queen's Corgis Are Fed Four-Star Meals
So you thought you spoiled yourself with that $50 dinner last night? Well, the Queen's dogs are prepared individually designed gourmet meals on silver platters. Oh, and they're handed out in order of seniority.
Signing Autographs Is Banned
Providing handwritten mementos to eager fans is a breach of royal protocol because it opens up the possibility of signature forgery. Instead, take a picture—it'll last longer.
Prince Philip Must Walk Two Paces Behind The Queen
This follows the order of precedence, as famously required—because if there's one thing the royal family does right, it's keeping hierarchy.