To say the world is utterly obsessed with Meghan Markle right now would be an understatement. A year or two ago, chance are, you only knew who Markle was if you were a fan of the show Suits, or had happened to see one of the other projects she had been in. She was a successful, working actress, but she hadn't quite made it to the A-List. Now, though, she's the actress that everyone in the world is the most curious about — and it's all because of who she fell in love with.
Now, the world has been obsessed with Prince William and Kate Middleton for years, since they had a long, drawn out courtship before finally deciding to tie the knot. Harry, on the other hand, has always been a bit of a wild card. He dated a few women over the years, but never anything serious, and it was usually other aristocratic Brits that the average person wouldn't recognize. Then, through a friend, he was introduced to an actress by the name of Meghan Markle — and the rest is history. The two had a whirlwind courtship and eventually announced they were engaged, and would be married in the spring.
However, being a Royal bride comes with a lot of responsibilities — there are a lot of rules Markle will have to learn, and a lot she's already broken.
15 Rules She Has To Follow:
23 She cannot take selfies in public — ever
Okay, no one is saying that Markle can't take selfies in the privacy of her own home, provided she doesn't show them to anyone. The point is, she's not supposed to take selfies at public appearances, something that many people do. It's just not something that Royals are supposed to do, partly because they'd soon have a huge line-up of people wanting to take photos with them, and it would be a bit bananas. Now, there have been exceptions made to this rule from time to time, but in general, she'll likely have to learn to just politely refuse any selfie requests, and to avoid the temptation to snap a selfie when she's at an event, no matter how amazing the setting is or how on point her outfit looks.
22 She must curtsy to the queen — always, just like Kate does
The Royal family has a ton of rules when it comes to the hierarchy and family structure itself — after all, there's things like succession to consider. Now, when they're just hanging out, the Royal family isn't required to automatically curtsy to other family members. For example, Kate isn't about to curtsy when she walks into a room and finds Harry lounging there. However, when it comes to the Queen, it's a non-negotiable — bust out that curtsy, stat. Kate is well versed in this rule already, so perhaps she can give Markle a little nudge to remind her that you must always greet the Queen this way, no matter what. Markle seems to have fantastic manners, so we have a feeling it won't be that tough to remember this particular rule.
21 She's not allowed to eat shellfish anymore
This rule seems insanely restrictive — after all, what kind of rule forbids a grown adult from eating a specific food group — until you find out the reason behind it. Shellfish can be tricky, as it's a far more likely food to get some kind of illness or case of food poisoning from. The Royal family has a tight schedule and always has some kind of duty or appearance to make, so they can't afford to be out of commission unexpectedly. So, in order to avoid any potential shellfish-related sickness, they just make it a practice to ban shellfish from Royal plates. Now, some members of the Royal family will still indulge from time to time, but most just won't even take that risk, lest they be forced to disappoint the people.
20 There will be no Monopoly on game nights
We hope that Markle isn't a huge Monopoly fan, because in the Royal family, this is one of the games banned at any potential family game night. Why, you ask? Well, it has nothing to do with property or anything like that — it's just about plain old competitiveness. Apparently, the Royal family was playing a game of Monopoly and things got a little bit aggressive. So, Prince Andrew decided he would ban the game forever because that type of aggressive behaviour was very unbecoming for a Royal. So, if she wants to take Harry on in a game of Monopoly, she may just have to do it in private, where no one else in the Royal family can see. We're kind of curious about who got so aggressive — perhaps it was the Queen!
19 She must travel everywhere with a black funeral outfit, just in case
Like many rules that members of the Royal family have to follow, this one came from a mishap that they're determined never to encounter again. When Prince Elizabeth's father King George VI passed away while she was on a trip in Kenya, she had to return quickly — but she had no appropriate clothes to wear for that crucial moment when she stepped off the plane to a sea of paparazzi waiting for the first glimpse of the mourning Royal. So, the Royal family has had a rule ever since — Royals must travel with at least one black outfit appropriate for a funeral so that, if anything tragic were to occur, they would be prepared to step off the plane and face the public in proper mourning attire. Always prepared, those Royals.
18 She must learn how to sit like a Royal — Kate can give her lessons
You may have noticed that Kate Middleton always sits in a very particular way — with impeccable posture, and her legs folded but not crossed. It's simply a way to prevent any potentially scandalous shots from emerging. Even when she's wearing a longer skirt or dress, she makes sure to cross her ankles rather than crossing her legs, just in case. Markle, pictured at the Invictus games, is rocking jeans and full on crossing her legs, something she'll have to put a stop to once she becomes a Royal. The way you sit seems like such a minor detail, but to the Royals, nothing is minor — everything they say and do is scrutinized, even moreso than a celebrity is, so they need to be on their best behaviour at all times.
17 She'll have to shut down her personal social media accounts
It's rare to find a celebrity who doesn't have some kind of social media presence, because in the entertainment industry, it can be invaluable. It's a way for celebrities to engage with their fans, to promote projects they have coming up, and to just give the public a view into their private life and into a different side of their personality. Markle has a fantastic social media presence, filled with great food shots and fun outings, but when she becomes a Royal she'll have to shut that down. Certain photos of the Royal family are shared through official accounts controlled by the Royal family's staff, but no one is allowed to have their own account. So, don't expect any foodie shots of Markle's meal at important occasions, she won't be allowed to do that anymore.
16 She'll have to hang up her acting hat and be a full time Royal
Kate Middleton has been a Royal for a while now, so some might not remember, but before William proposed and they became an officially betrothed Royal couple, she worked as a fashion buyer. However, once she became a Royal wife, she had to give that up and focus solely on the Royal family and attending engagements. Markle will have to do the same. She currently has a successful acting career, but when she and Harry tie the knot, she'll have to hang up her acting hat and focus on being a full-time Royal. It may seem tough to stomach, but Markle herself has expressed that she doesn't see it as a sacrifice, but rather a new chapter in her life. What a positive attitude to have about it all!
15 She's never allowed to vote
This particular rule makes a lot of sense, but it would likely be tough to stomach for someone who is as engaged with the world as Markle is. It turns out, since the Royal family is supposed to be totally neutral and never show any outright preference for any particular political party, they're not allowed to vote. Ever. So, when Markle becomes a Royal, she'll likewise be unable to voice her opinion at the ballot box with a vote. She can still likely make her voice heard within the Royal family itself, and try to steer them in the direction of supporting certain causes, but at the end of the day the Royal family is bigger than just her, and they have to make the decisions that they feel are best for Britain.
14 She has to give up colourful or crazy nails — neutrals only
Markle has an elegant, sophisticated style already, so she won't have to go through a huge style transformation when it comes to her Royal wardrobe. Likewise, she tends to be tasteful with her make-up, never looking like she's wearing too much or going for crazy colours. However, Markle has shown a fondness for darker nail polish shades — something she'll have to give up when she becomes a Royal. Apparently, any kind of ostentatious colour or crazy manicure is strictly off limits. Meghan will be expected to have manicured, polished nails, but she can only opt for a neutral colour — no reds, no Union Jack flag nail art, no crazy long nails, none of that. We're not sure what the reasoning behind this particular rule is, but it'll definitely make it easier to choose what shade to wear.
13 She must greet people with the correct British terminology
Markle has amazing manners, and is always very articulate and well-spoken in any interviews or appearances she makes. However, apart from the odd international press tour, she primarily spends her time in North America — which means she still needs to learn the particular quirks of British manners. For example, when she's greeting someone as a member of the Royal family, she's not supposed to say things like 'hello' or even the standard North American 'how are you?' She has to go with the very British 'how do you do.' They seem like such minor rules, but you know she'll be chastised if she doesn't learn them, so hopefully she's studying hard in her etiquette lessons to ensure that she makes a good impression when she begins attending all the events.
12 She must learn to keep an eye on the queen to pick up her cues
The Queen is, well, the Queen — of the nation, of her family, everything. So when it comes to occasions where the whole family is present, Markle must learn to keep her eyes on the Queen for any cues. For example, when the Queen stops eating, everyone else must finish eating immediately — regardless of whether or not they were finished. When the Queen stands, you have to stand. She won't have to know quite as many cues as the Queen's actual staff, who have to do things like interpret the meaning of where she's placed her handbag, but she will need to follow her cues in order to ensure everything goes smoothly and she doesn't accidentally offend the Queen by continuing to eat her dinner once Liz has already put down her knife and fork.
11 She won't be able to go by or give a nickname
Many of the Royals have nicknames to the general public — for example, most people call Catherine Kate. However, within the Royal family itself, nicknames are apparently not a thing. Kate Middleton is called Catherine, always. Meghan Markle will likewise remain Meghan — no Meg, no Marks, nothing that is a nickname. She'll likewise not be allowed to bestow any nicknames to her new family, because again, it's just now allowed. Now, what goes on behind closed doors between a couple is a different story — perhaps she and Harry may develop nicknames for one another that they use in private. They'll have to be careful that they never accidentally use those names in front of the Queen or any other family member, though — at least, if they want to stay out of trouble.
10 She won't be allowed to sign autographs — something that will be strange for a former actress
Markle has worked as an actress for many years, so she's probably signed more autographs over the years than she can even remember. Celebrities are always signing autographs for their fans — it's a nice gesture that the fans really appreciate. However, she'll have to put down that pen once she becomes a member of the Royal family. It turns out, Royals aren't allowed to sign autographs, because there are too many potential issues with it — someone may forge the signature, etc. So, even though she's a very warm, kind person who will likely want to do anything she can for her fans, she'll have to stop herself from giving any autographs if she wants to stay out of trouble. Who knows — it may be a huge relief, after all those signings she's done over the years.
9 She can't buy the house of her dreams — they have to live in a royal residence
Markle's Toronto rental home has been in the news lately, as she'll be giving it up when she moves to England to be with her hubby to be. However, if you figured she and Harry could tour any luxe property in the UK as their potential home, you'd be wrong. It turns out that, if they were to move in together somewhere, they would have to go to a royal residence. Now, they don't necessarily have to move into a home with other Royal family members — Kate and William, for example, set up their own little spot, which Meghan and Harry could do as well. They'll likely never be able to just snag any old regular home and buy it, though, because of all those Royal rules. Ah, well — it's not as if the royal residences aren't totally luxe.
8 Rules She's Already Broken:
8 She didn't wear pantyhose in her engagement shots (the horror!)
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did their engagement shoot, many were buzzing about how gorgeous she looked, what a fantastic coat she was wearing, etc. However, one particular part of her wardrobe caught everyone's attention — and not because they liked it. Markle apparently broke the unspoken rule about Royals always wearing pantyhose in public. Now, it's not a rule relegated solely to the older Royals — you'd be hard pressed to find Kate wearing a dress with bare legs rather than pantyhose. So, once Meghan begins attending more Royal functions, she just may want to invest in a few pairs of pantyhose, lest she be given the stink eye by everyone at the event. It seems like such a minor rule, but it's very important to the Royal family.
7 She's planning a May wedding, something Queen Victoria would have vetoed
Everyone who is obsessed with the courtship between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry knows that not only are they engaged, they've set an wedding day. Now, let's just get one thing straight — no date would have been possible without the Queen's approval, so Markle didn't break this rule by ignoring everyone else and just picking the date she wanted. However, it can't be forgotten that Prince Harry's great-great-great grandmother Queen Victoria had a very strong opinion about May weddings: "marry in May, and rue the day." Apparently, she viewed May marriages as very unlucky, and would likely never have allowed a May wedding to take place under her watch. The rules are a lot more relaxed now, though, and hopefully nothing bad comes of the marriage simply because they decided May was the right month.
6 She's a divorcee, and her ex has some eerie similarities to Harry
There was a time when members of the Royal family would have been absolutely banned from marrying anyone who had been previously married. Princess Margaret had to split from her partner Peter Townsend, and Edward VIII actually abdicated the throne in order to chase his true love an American socialite. Luckily, those rules have relaxed a bit — Prince Charles himself married a divorcee. Markle was previously married for around two years to Trevor Engelson, a film producer and manager. The marriage didn't work out, and now Markle has found her second chance at a happy union — hopefully it will turn out better than her first marriage! The two share some similarities in their appearance, but when it comes to their personalities and backstory, they couldn't be more different.
5 She's talked to the press about her relationship
Generally, the Royals keep a pretty tight lid on personal things such as relationships and the things they do in their private lives. That's why Markle's magazine profile caused quite the stir. Now, being featured in a magazine is no new thing for Markle — as an actress, she's always talking about her latest projects and giving fans a glimpse into her personality through profile pieces. However, when it comes to sharing details about your relationship with a Royal, that's an entirely different matter. She spilled the beans, saying that "we were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people's perception. Nothing about me changed. I'm still the same person that I am, and I've never defined myself by my relationship."
4 She and Harry engage in way more PDA than is typically allowed, including — gasp — hand-holding
In general, the Royals don't engage in much PDA at all. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to see William and Kate holding hands in public, even though they're a young couple with a young family and obviously totally in love. That's because it's just not something that's done — according to an etiquette expert, it's because Royals are technically "working representatives of British Monarchy" when they're out and about, which means it would be unprofessional to indulge in any PDA. Markle and Prince Harry broke this rule at the Invictus Games, however, when they were spotted walking around together and holding hands. Prince Harry's always been a bit of a rule breaker, so we kind of expected that he'd throw those rules away when he met someone he truly cared about.
3 She's talked politics in public
Markle is an intelligent, engaged citizen with a lot of opinions about the world, and that means she's got some opinions about the political situation in the world. She's been outspoken about her support for Hillary Clinton, and has made her opinions about Donald Trump known, calling him "misogynistic. And, as an actress, those opinions were fine — many celebrities discuss their politics and throw their support behind a particular party or individual. However, once she's a Royal, that kind of opinion is officially breaking the rules. Royals are supposed to be utterly impartial when it comes to political matters, which means that no matter how passionate she is, she'll have to keep her lips zipped about anything political unless she wants to get into some major trouble with the Queen.
2 She doesn't always follow the unspoken dress code
Meghan Markle has an incredible sense of style, and always looks utterly sophisticated and elegant. However, given that she's young and loves fashion, she's worn a few outfits over the years that show off quite a bit of skin. While the Royals don't technically have a strict dress code, there's a bit of an unspoken rule — that's why you'll almost always see Kate in a dress or skirt that's knee length or longer, and with very little cleavage or anything like that showing. Markle has a great sense of style, so we have no doubt that she'll have no trouble finding pieces that appeal to her and also fit in with the unspoken Royal dress code — plus, every designer in the world will likely want to get her to wear their clothing, so she'll have no shortage of options to choose from.
1 She doesn't belong to the Church of England
Now, Markle hasn't really been outspoken about supporting any particular religion, although she did apparently attend Catholic school back when she was younger. However, apparently members of the royal family cannot be Catholic — at least, not if they want to stay in the line of succession to the throne. Now, Meghan's religion isn't as big a deal as Harry's is, obviously, but we have a feeling it may be a bit of a bone of contention if the entire family follows one religion and she remains a bit of an outlier. She may find herself becoming a member of the Church of England just to put on a united front with her hubby and new family — plus, if the two decide to have children one day, it'll definitely make things easier.
Sources: marieclaire.com, sheknows.com, whimn.com.au, express.co.uk