1. Women must wear hats when attending formal events
Royal etiquette requires a hat to be worn by all women in the royal family to all official events. The tradition is reportedly a stipulation that dates all the way back to the 1950s when women were starting to first ditch their hats when going out in public. Although the tradition has been a little more relaxed in modern times, the Queen is still a fan of the long-running rule and insists the tradition be kept alive to this day, especially at formal engagements like weddings and christenings. In fact, the Queen rarely forgoes a headpiece, often swapping a hat for a crown or a headscarf.
2. Myrtle must be in a wedding bouquet
Myrtle is known as a sign of luck and happiness in a marriage, which is why it’s shown in all royal wedding bouquets. This tradition started during the reign of Queen Victoria when the grandmother of the groom presented Queen Victoria with myrtle. These days, the Myrtle is plant and has pieces taken from a tree grown in the royal garden. The tradition has most recently been viewed in the recent weddings with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and as well in the 2011 royal wedding with Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
3. Heirs must travel separately
There’s an unofficial rule in the royal family that says two of their heirs to the royal throne should never ever be on the same plane together, in order to protect the royal lineage easier should anything happen to the plane. According to the family tree, Prince William is the second heir, right after his father Prince Charles. Meanwhile, George is the third heir and Charlotte is the fourth. Although as of late, George and Charlotte have been travelling with their parents due to practicality.
The rule is of course an unofficial one, which means there’s some wiggle room that wouldn’t be present with official royal rules. The first exception was first put in place back in 2013 for Prince William’s family, which was granted by the queen back soon after George was born when the family traveled to Australia and New Zealand. The queen always has the final say in when the rule can be broken. The family have since traveled together to Canada, Poland, Germany, etc.
4. The royal family must travel with only 1 black outfit
When the royal family decides to go on holiday, the royals always have to be prepared in advance with a black outfit. The reasoning behind this tradition is that they must always be prepared with mourning attire, just in case there is a death in the family.
The tradition reportedly began with Queen Elizabeth II, back in 1952. While on royal tour with Prince Philip in Kenya, her father King George VI passed. A suitable black dress was not packed for the Queen, so prior to exiting her plane in the U.K., a black dress had to be brought onboard for her to change into.
5. Young Princes can’t wear regular pants
One of the strangest rules seems to be that you’ll never catch a royal child wearing shorts, but there is also a reason behind this.
“Trousers are for older boys and men, whereas shorts on young boys is one of those silent markers that we have in England,” British etiquette expert William Hanson told Harper’s Bazaar. “A pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class—quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban.”
The tradition is dated back to the 16th century and the practice of breeching, or when a tot grew out of gowns and moved on to wearing breeches. Adds Hanson, “The usual custom is that a boy graduated to trousers around 8 years old.”