Why Queen Camilla can order Kate Middleton to change her outfit: Inside the rules and etiquette of the Royal Family

Queen Camilla has become a very popular royal family member. When she and Prince Charles began dating and later married, the public was still outraged with her as she had been Charles’s mistress during his marriage to Princess Diana. However, now, things are very different.

The former Parker Bowles has taken on a tremendous amount of responsibility when her husband went through with his cancer treatment. Her popularity rating continues to grow, and hopefully, we’ll see her perform royal duties with Kate Middleton again when she recovers from her cancer treatment.

Even though Camilla and Kate are said to have formed a wonderful relationship in later days, some things changed once she became queen. For example, it appears that Kate no longer has a say regarding what she can wear when out on official engagements with the queen—if she hasn’t OK’d it first.

The royal family has many rules and traditions – from what to eat to how to act when appearing at royal events, and even how to greet the public.

Royal royals and etiquette

Some royal rules are strict and absolutely cannot be broken. Others aren’t set in stone but are more guidelines for how a royal family member is supposed to act or behave in certain situations.

Even so, the royal rulebook likely differs significantly from when the average person and their friends go out for dinner.

Let’s start with one we all know: greeting a Royal Family member. Buckingham Palace writes on its website that there are “no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting [The King] or a member of the Royal Family.” However, “many people wish to observe the traditional forms.”

For men, one should greet in a neck bow (from the head only), while women do a small curtsy. However, shaking hands is also accepted.

There are several rules and guidelines for sitting down for dinner. When the king is dining with guests, following his lead is essential. In fact, Charles can even determine when people start—and stop—eating.

When dining with His Majesty, Kate, William, or any other royal family member, they should never begin eating before King Charles. Also, when the king places his knife and fork in the finished position—at 6.30 with the tines of the fork facing upwards—everyone should follow, whether there is food left on their plate or not.

“Starting your meal before or ending it dramatically after the [King] would be noticed by others,” etiquette expert William Hanson said.

Why shellfish is not allowed to be served to the royal family

Another formal rule is that you should never scrape along a near-empty plate.

“It is not a breach of protocol to make noise with the cutlery on the plate, if it happens once or twice by accident, no issue, but to continue to do so is especially unfortunate,” Hanson added.

When thinking about the royals and food, it’s easy to close our eyes and imagine grand buffets filled with all kinds of goods and treats. Of course, the royals eat very healthy and well-prepared food from their personal chefs and kitchen staff, but there are some things the royals are forbidden from eating.

Shellfish, such as shrimp, oysters, and lobster, are not allowed to be served when the royal family sits down to eat. According to Darren McGrady, a chef at Buckingham Palace from 1982 to 1993, this is because of the risk of food poisoning or allergic reactions. Especially when dining out or abroad.

Speaking with the Telegraph, McGrady dropped quite a bombshell, saying that carbs are also pretty much banned.

“No potatoes, rice or pasta for dinner,” the royal chef said.

The list of rules is long indeed. Some might seem ridiculous, but they are essential. However, while these rules exist, royal family members have broken them several times.

Although the royals follow many rules, they don’t like all of them. For example, Meghan Markle reportedly hated one of them.

The one royal rule Meghan Markle hated

In his book Gilded Youth: An Intimate History of Growing Up in the Royal Family, Tom Quinn cited a former staff member who claimed that Meghan struggled with one rule during her tenure as a working royal.

The royal source claimed that she “hated being controlled by royal protocol,” for example, when leaving the house.

One crucial rule within the royal sphere is that family members must always report where they are going before leaving their homes. And Meghan didn’t like this rule.

“The fact, for example, that at Kensington Palace, royals have to announce in advance when they are leaving the Palace and where they are going,” the royal source told Quinn.

“This is partly for security but partly also to avoid a situation where a senior royal is upstaged by a more junior royal leaving just when the more important person leaves.”

Royal rules regarding etiquette and how one should behave around, for example, the king, are one thing. However, some rules could even apply to young royal family members, for example, when it comes to toys.

King Charles can confiscate grandchildren’s toys

When on engagements or walkabouts, it’s common for the royal family to receive many gifts. However, even though it might be a teddy bear suitable for Charlotte or any of her brothers, the children don’t get to decide if they can keep it. So, who does? King Charles.

According to the Daily Record, a strict rule denies Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, or William and Kate, for that matter, the right to “own” gifts that are presented to them. According to the news outlet, they have a seven-page handbook regarding receiving gifts, for example, what they can accept, what they must return, and so on.

In other words, a teddy bear given to, for example, William and Kate to be given to Charlotte is not theirs per the rule. It automatically belongs to King Charles.

“Gifts are defined as official when received during an official engagement or duty or in connection with the official role or duties of a member of The Royal Family,” the rule guidance states

“Official gifts are not the private property of the Member of The Royal Family who receives them but are instead received in an official capacity in the course of official duties in support of, and on behalf of The King.”

So, King Charles owns all the gifts given to royal family members, per the rule. However, in reality, he is a very loving grandpa who ensures his grandchildren receive these beautiful gifts.

Queen Camilla introduced a new rule for Kate Middleton

However, before a gift can be handed over to the royal children, it must undergo a strict security test. First, it is registered on an official “gift receive form,” the Daily Record reports. Second, the security test proceeds, and if it passes inspection, it can be handed over.

At the same time, for any gift valued under £150, the royal family members can hand it to an aide or give it to any charity they like.

Of course, clothing is another big thing in royal life. King Charles, Prince William, and the other male members always wear the nicest suits, but the women’s attire is a little different.

Over the years, we have seen the now late Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, former members such as Meghan Markle and now Queen Camilla and Kate MIddleton, the Princess of Wales, wear amazing outfits combined with extraordinary hats. It’s safe to say that their wardrobes – and the royal jewelry collection – aren’t exactly cheap. But although they can wear many different types of clothing, there are some rules.

In fact, one rule changed just a short while ago, when Camilla became queen.

Why Queen Camilla can choose her outfits before all the other women in the royal family

Speaking with Express, a source close to the queen’s official dresser has revealed Camilla’s unusual demand for Princess Kate and Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, the two other senior royal women. While all three enjoy wearing blue to official royal duties, the queen has a say in whether that’s a go or no-go.

Queen Camilla is highest in rank – and therefore gets the first choice on what to war. The insider told Express that Camila’s official dresser, Jacqui Meakin, initially “ruffled a few feathers” at the Palace due to Camilla’s strict idea of who could wear what color. And in most cases, that includes wearing blue.

Although Camilla was said to be very strict about it at first, later on, Kate and Sophie were allowed to wear the same color, just if it looked different enough.

“The Queen is now able to choose her outfits before all the other women in the Royal Family. It’s part of the royal pecking order and that includes the clothes and colour,” the insider said. “Her Majesty’s favourite colour is blue, and so is Kate’s. Sophie is also quite fond of it.

The source continued, “There was a time when Jacqui [Meakin] was a bit apprehensive to allow blue to be worn at the same time as the Queen, but she’s relaxed that now as long as the blues are very different shades. In the end, it all became a bit comical with all the ladies seeing the funny side.”

Queen Camilla’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moments

It’s all about dressing properly for the royal family members, but sometimes, even they can have what some might call mishaps, although they were accidental.

Last year, Camilla had a “Marilyn Monroe moment,” but fortunately, the dress stayed down. Yet, it isn’t actually the first time it has happened to her.

When Princess Charlotte was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, Norfolk, Camilla experienced another Marilyn Monroe moment when a strong gust of wind threatened to lift her dress.

Camilla might have had her Marilyn Monroe moments, but she isn’t the only royal to have experienced them.

In 2012, Kate Middleton was caught by a sudden gust as she changed planes in Brisbane, Australia, revealing too much of her legs. Another time, when she and William ended their Canadian tour in 2011, her dress was caught in the breeze, nearly giving fans an eyeful.

It happened again in 2016 while she was laying down a wreath at the India Gate in the Indian capital of New Delhi and again in 2019 while she was practicing archery in Bhutan.

Luckily, Queen Elizabeth II used a very clever trick of having curtain weights underneath her skirt to prevent it from happening. Maybe that’s something Camilla and Kate Middleton should consider as well.

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