The Weirdest Rules Royals Must Follow

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Mar 01, 2024

Being a member of the British royal family comes with many advantages. However, there are plenty of rules that must adhered to at all times, whether they are within or outside of Buckingham Palace. 

Ranging from banned foods at the dinner table to a strong dislike for one particular board game, here are 11 weird and odd rules members of British royalty must follow.

Permission to Marry

In order for any high-ranking member of the royal family to marry, they must first ask the reigning monarch for permission. 

King Charles pictured in a pin-striped navy suit during an event in London

Source: Jonathan Brady/Getty Images

According to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, the first six people in the line of succession must ask for permission to tie the knot. So anyone wishing to marry must first seek the approval of King Charles III.

Two Paces Behind the Queen

Prince Philip, the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was often pictured walking directly behind his wife and seldom beside her. This was due to an unusual rule.

A man and woman stop for a moment at the entrance to a castle to talk

Source: Freepik

Philip was forced to walk two paces behind his beloved wife because he was a consort, not a co-monarch.

Dress Code for Dinner

When the royals sit down in the evening for their meal, they must come dressed in formal attire.

A couple dressed in formal attire join their friends at a fancy restaurant

Source: Freepik

So, if invited to dine with Prince William, Princess Catherine, or King Charles and Queen Camilla, avoid jeans and opt for a nice suit.

No Carbs for the Queen

The former queen, Elizabeth, followed a stringent diet, according to a former royal chef, Darren McGrady. 

A carb-heavy meal consisting of pizza, burgers, chips, and popcorn is laid out on a white table

Source: Freepik

“No potatoes, rice, or pasta for dinner,” he said during an interview with Express. For supper, they’ll usually have “something like grilled sole with vegetables and salad.”

Garlic Is Banned from the Menu

During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II had a strong dislike for garlic, and so banned it from any meal. 

A collection of garlic is pictured sitting on a small plate

Source: Freepik

During an interview, John Higgins, who served as a chef at Buckingham Palace, said, “At Buckingham Palace, you don’t cook with garlic” (via Eat This, Not That). He continued, “I suppose in case you get the royal burp.”


Don't Bring Your Monopoly Board

Queen Elizabeth appears to have greatly despised the popular board game Monopoly, so much so that she banned the royal family from playing it. 

A group of friends pictured playing a board game together in one of their homes

Source: Freepik

While the rule wasn’t seriously policed, it was still a rule set into place by the former monarch herself, according to CBS News.


Unconstitutional to Vote

Seldom will a member of the royal family share any kind of political view. This is because the British nobles are not allowed to vote in public elections.

A woman pictured in a black dress as she stands beside a voting box

Source: Freepik

According to Newsweek, on the United Kingdom’s Parliament webpage, “It is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election.”


Only Black at Funerals

Members of the royal family are only permitted to wear black outfits when they attend funerals. 

A group of people dressed in black hold hands as they attend a funeral

Source: Freepik

According to Alexandra Meservy, founder of the prestigious English school, The English Manner, “Generally it is thought that black is not usually worn unless in mourning, although Diana Princess of Wales did occasionally wear it for evening functions” (via Marie Claire).


Hats for All Events

Wearing hats to formal events is one rule upheld by all female members of the royal family. 

A woman dressed in a white dress is pictured with a hat on her lap

Source: Freepik

“Up until the 1950s, ladies were very seldom seen without a hat as it was not considered ‘the thing’ for ladies to show their hair in public,” said Diana Mather during an interview with the BBC. “But all that has changed, and hats are now reserved for more formal occasions.”


Unusual Christmas Rules

One unusual royal rule takes place during the festivities around the Christmas period. 

A family pictured as they gather around a table for a Christmas meal

Source: Freepik

According to CBS News, members of the royal family must all be weighed right before they sit down to eat their Christmas dinner and right after. Those who gained the most weight are said to have enjoyed themselves the most. 


Nude Pantyhose for Public Appearances

Nude pantyhose for any kind of public appearance has been a long-standing rule for the royal family. 

A woman dressed in pantyhose sits on a concrete wall on a sunny day

Source: Freepik

“They are generally a rule for more formal or conservative royal events,” said a royal fashion expert in an interview with E! Online.