Kate Middleton’s surprising rules, including no selfies or hugging

Some were shocked when Meghan Markle revealed how many rules and restrictions there are for members of the royal family.

During an explosive interview, the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey there was "very little that I was allowed to do" and claimed she was stopped from going out to meet friends because she attracted so much unwanted media attention.

Meghan, 39, compared it to life during a coronavirus lockdown and said she felt very isolated and lonely, especially when Prince Harry had to go away for work.

She added: "I remember so often people within The Firm would say ‘Well, you can’t do this because it’ll look like that. You can’t’."

This has left many people wondering what else the other working royals, including her sister-in-law Kate Middleton, are not allowed to do.

Sign autographs

All royals are told they should not sign autographs, even though they are bombarded with requests from adoring fans every time they make a public appearance.

This is because of concerns about forgers getting hold of one of their signatures, reports The Independent.

However, this rule is occasionally broken and Meghan signed a 10-year-old girl's autograph book with a heart and smiley face during one of the first appearances she made after getting engaged to Harry.

No selfies or social media

Many fans have been knocked back after asking a royal to snap a quick selfie.

Due to security concerns, they are told not to stand so close to people while their backs are turned.

Some of Meghan's fans were miffed when she told them "we’re not allowed to do selfies" during an event in Nottingham in December 2017 and other royals have offered similar excuses.

They are also not allowed to have social media accounts, so if they did start taking selfies they would have nowhere to post them.

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Vote

The royals are not supposed to publicly express any political views, show support for a political party or cast a vote.

According to the official royal website, there is a convention that states The Queen and her family must "remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters".

In 2016, Buckingham Palace lodged a complaint after The Sun ran a story which suggested the Queen supported Brexit, claiming she is "politically neutral".

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Forget the curtsey

While the official royal website states "there are no obligatory codes of behaviour" for members of the public when they meet royalty, members of the family play by a different set of rules.

According to The Independent, Kate is expected to curtsy for anyone in the royal family who is a higher in rank, for example, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles.

However, when her husband William becomes King, she will be Queen consort (wife of the reigning king) and will only have to curtsy to him if he insists.

Dress casually

You won't see the Duchess of Cambridge wandering round in trackies and ugg boots anytime soon.

There is a strict dress code which states women in the family must dress smartly and modestly whenever they are in public.

That means no short skirts, low-cut tops or bright pink nail polish for Kate.

According to several royals experts, there is also an old rule which says women must wear a hat to every formal event, but after 6pm they need to swap it for a tiara, which should always be worn at a 45-degree angle.

"Flashy diamonds and tiaras are not worn during the day, and only married ladies wear tiaras," etiquette expert Grant Harrold told The BBC.

"For married ladies, it was a sign of status and would show you were taken and not looking for a husband. For the gentleman, it was a clear sign not to make advances toward the lady in question."

Kate is also told to pack a black outfit that is appropriate for a funeral whenever she goes away, in case of a death.

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Get touchy-feely

Most royals don't do public displays of affection and they try to avoid kissing, hugging and holding hands in public.

However, Princess Diana handed out a few hugs to adoring fans and both her sons occasionally do the same.

Harry and Meghan also raised a few eyebrows when they held hands in public at royal engagements, before they stepped away from their royal duties.

When members of the public meet royals, they are told there should be no touching unless they are offered a handshake.

The official royal website states: "Many people wish to observe the traditional forms of greeting.

"For men, this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way."

Go to bed before the Queen

Getting your head down before Your Royal Highness is seen to be very rude.

"Nobody felt it right to go to bed before the Queen did,” said former private secretary to the Queen, Sir William Heseltine, in his book The Royals in Australia.

"For Diana the long royal evenings were agony. There’d be an hour or so in the sitting room of everyone sitting around making conversation."

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