Tradition Out The Window: 21 Pics Of The Royal Family Breaking Their Own Rules

If you are a part of the royal family, you are going to have to deal with a lot of rules and regulations. From how you eat, walk, talk, and dress everything is very controlled. The Royals are meant to appear royal when they are in public, they have to stand out from the crowd of commoners. This is done by instilling a sense of propriety and decorum in royal children from the moment they are first brought out to the public. You will not see a royal toddler throwing a tantrum! The Royals have rules and protocols that dictate their behavior in public, how they interact with people, and even how they sit and stand. One could almost forget that they are human! But they are, and like the rest of us, they make mistakes too sometimes. No royal, including the Queen, has managed to adhere to the royal rules and protocols 100%.

There is also something super juicy about seeing a royal behave in a way that is unbecoming of their title. It is super satisfying for the rest of us because it makes them a lot more relatable. And it knocks them off their pedestal a bit! Some of the rules and protocols that the Royals have broken are totally innocuous and will leave you wondering why the rule exists in the first place. Some of them are a bit more scandalous, mostly thanks to Prince Harry and his wild child past. Read ahead to see royals getting caught breaking rules!

21 Royal Children Have To Carry Themselves With Decorum At All Times

From the moment they begin to make appearances as toddlers with their royal parents, royal children are meant to act in a way that is becoming a royal child.

This means even toddlers are expected to carry themselves with a certain level of propriety. No tantrums, no funny faces, and no attitude from the kids are allowed.

You can imagine how difficult it is to control this kind of thing when it comes to toddlers. And yet, you will be hard pressed to see a royal toddler acting out. Well, a young Prince Harry proved that no matter how you train them, kids will be kids when he made this silly face while out with his Mother, Princess Diana. Prince Harry did prove to be a troublemaker growing up!

20 Royals Should Never Be Caught Doing Something As Uncouth As Smoking

Women's Own

Prince Harry was at one time the black sheep of his family. He has been photographed in many compromising positions, that have probably gotten him into some serious hot water with the Queen. For the public, Prince Harry was behaving like so many other young men his age do. It was nothing out of the ordinary, but a royal is not supposed to act ordinary. Known for his hard-partying ways and proclivities towards unhealthy vices, Prince Harry appeared to not care about representing the royal family in a positive way. In the last couple of years though he has totally turned his image around and become a model royal. Known for his compassionate and charitable spirit, the Prince seems to be one of the more down-to-earth members of the royal family. Truly a Prince of the people.

19 You Guessed It, Royals Are Not Supposed To Take Selfies With Members Of The Public

Hello Magazine

Even though selfies seem very innocuous, the Royals are not supposed to take them! They have to politely decline when someone asks them for a selfie. It is difficult to discern exactly why the Royals are not supposed to take selfies, it appears to be more of a preference by the Queen that the rest of the family has chosen to follow.

When you are around a member of the royal family, it is considered very poor etiquette to turn your back to them. In order to take a selfie, you have to turn your back to the royal member so this could be one way of explaining why it is looked down upon.

It is also probably a bit too 'common' of an act for a royal to partake in.

18 Royals Are Not Supposed To Wear All-Black Unless At A Funeral


You have probably deduced by now that there are very strict guides as to how a royal should not only conduct themselves in public but also how they dress. From the style of clothes and colors they wear, to how their hair is styled it is all tightly controlled.

A royal family member is never supposed to be seen wearing all black, and you will not find a photo of them dressed in all black unless they are at a funeral.

That is until American actress Megan Markle burst onto the royal scene. She has already been photographed wearing all black at what was definitely not a funeral. Perhaps she has more leeway with her outfits before she is officially married into the family, but better start getting used to the rules now Megan.

17 PDA Between Royal Couples Is Very Frowned Upon

Hello Magazine

Public displays of affection between royal couples and even family members are very frowned upon. They are allowed to politely pose together, but no hugging or hand-holding. Forget about seeing them kiss each other in public! The Royals are only human after all, and a number of them have been photographed taking part in public displays of affection. Duchess Kate and Prince William could not help celebrating while watching a match, and they ended up embracing for the world to see. It seems that with every new generation of royals, the rules have less strictly adhered too which is the natural progression of things. You can bet that there are exactly zero photos of the Queen and Prince Phillip embracing in public! By the time Prince George starts dating this rule may not even exist at all anymore!

16 Prince Harry Has Lead The Way In Royals Behaving Badly

Prince Harry has found himself in trouble a number of times over the years. At least, he has been caught doing things that are not a good look for a royal. Photographed playing pool in the buff in Vegas? Yup, Harry has been there done that. Caught doing something that he has advocated against, yup done that as well, which you will see later on in the article.

Since he was in high school, the Prince has been pegged as someone who enjoys partying and the more salacious aspect of life.

Prince Harry just went through a phase that many young people do and come out on the other end just fine. Unfortunately for Prince Harry, he had the whole world watching his every move.

15 The Prince And Duchess Letting Loose And Cutting A Rug


These days Prince William and Duchess Catherine are model royals who always look and act their best in public. With their two little children and one on the way, they make up a picture perfect royal family. Most people forget that just a few years ago, William and Catherine had a taste for the nightlife and enjoyed going out just as much as the next young person. It can be strange to try and reconcile the above photo with the way that the royal couple presents themselves in public today, but the proof is in the pudding. They certainly look like they know how to have a good time! We hope that despite always being on their best behavior in public these days, they still let loose behind the scenes once in a while!

14 When Princess Diana, One Time Future Queen Was Photographed In A Bikini

Daily Express

Princess Diana did not shy away from wearing bikini's when she went to the beach, and she was photographed often enjoying her time in the sun.

After the first photo broke, it was less of a big deal each time the Princess was photographed in a bikini but when it first happened it was a big deal.

A member of the royal family being photographed so scantily clad was probably a hard pill for the Queen to swallow, but the public still loved Diana. Perhaps even more so after her divorce, because it was obvious that the marriage was an unhappy one with both sides have done bad things. It will be interesting to see if we ever get to see a picture of Duchess Catherine or Megan Markle in a bikini, something tells us it will not happen.

13 Duchess Of York, Fergie, Is Photographed Having Her Foot Licked

Duchess Fergie of York is the ex-wife of the Queen's second son, Prince Andrew. She has provided plenty of material for the tabloids throughout the years, but her biggest scandal happened in 1992 when this photo came out. It is a picture of the Duchess in the south of France, and her foot is in the mouth of American businessman John Bryan. Duchess Fergie and Prince Andrew had just announced their separation at the beginning of 1992, and when this photo came out in August of that year it was clear that their marriage was over. The public ridiculed her, and the royal family was very angry with her. Duchess Fergie had to apologize for this, but all we see in this situation is someone's privacy being ignored.

12 Nothing Like A British Royal Dressing Up As One Time Evil War Enemy


This was a huge deal when it happened. As it should be! If for some reason you don't remember, in World War II it basically came down to the Nazi's and their allies, against the British and their allies.

So not only is Prince Harry wearing the uniform of one of the most sadistic and evil regimes in human history, he is wearing the uniform of Britain's one-time sworn enemy.

Way to represent Britain in a positive way like a royal should Harry. The public backlash when this story broke was swift and critical. Imagine being a British WWII veteran and seeing a member of your royal family dressed as your war-time enemy? Prince Harry of course publicly apologized when the scandal happened, and it appears he has not dressed as Nazi since so he clearly learned his lesson.

11 A Divorced, Bathing Suit Clad Princess Diana Shares An Intimate Moment With Her New Man


Princess Diana provided a lot of fodder for the tabloids during her heyday, the world could not get enough of her and her life. You can't blame the public, Diana lived a whirlwind life that was filled with drama, royalty, divorce, affairs, and extravagant luxury. She caused more than one scandal during her time, and she truly captivated the entire world. When photos of her in a bikini came out, that alone was salacious enough for a royal, but Diana tends to top everything. On top of being photographed barely clothed, she was also photographed after her divorce to Prince Charles with her new man Dodi Fayed. When Diana got into her fatal car accident, Dodi was with her and lost his life as well.

10 Megan Markle's Messy Bun Is Totally Against Royal Hair Protocol


There are rules the Royals have to follow that dictate what they look in public from the tip of their head to the bottom of their toes.

And a big part of these rules is how you style your hair, which should be immaculate. There should be no messy buns or flyaway hairs.

Megan Markle is already proving that she prefers to do things her own way, and has approached becoming a royal family member with a casual disregard for some of these rules about appearance. In the above photo, her messy bun hairstyle is very frowned upon by the Royals, who are supposed to look perfectly put together at all times. Megan is changing those standards though, and she still looks fantastic with a messy bun!

9 Royals Are Not Supposed To Give Out Autographs

Hello Magazine

On the surface, this may seem like a silly rule but there is a practical reason for it. The reason that members of the royal family are not supposed to give out autographs, is because there is a fear that it will be replicated and falsified by the public. As with most royal rules, it is meant to protect the royals and ensure the integrity of their status and name remains intact. Even though this is a rule that has been around for ages, it appears to be the one most commonly broken as well. Usually, the Queen is a stickler for rules that the younger royals are not so keen on following. But even she can't resist giving her autograph out when the situation calls for it. People who do manage to get an autograph from royal should feel extra special about it!

8 Prince William Becomes The First Royal To Ever Go To Public School

Hello Magazine

As you can imagine, throughout the history of the United Kingdom, royal children were not educated with members of the public. They had their own private royal educations under the watchful eye of private tutors on palace grounds. Then Princess Diana, the Princess of the people came along and changed that tradition. When it came time for Prince William to go to nursery school, Princess Diana wanted him to go to a public one. The above photo is a picture of his first day at Ms. Mynors' Nursery School in London marking the official first time a royal child went to nursery school outside of the confines of Buckingham Palace. Diana used to work as a nursery assistant, and she had a specific view of how she wanted her little son educated.

7 Princess Diana Breaks Tradition And Designs Her Own Engagement Ring

Hello Magazine

Princess Diana was only 19-years-old when she got engaged to the future King of England, Charles. Normally when a royal gets engaged, they do not design their own ring and it definitely is not chosen from a selection available to the public. This is exactly what Diana did though. She knew she wanted a sapphire engagement ring, which was by itself out of the ordinary. She also chose it herself from Gerrard jewelers.

She did not choose the biggest diamond either, rather the one that was most beautiful to her. It was not a unique ring that only she would wear but was part of the jeweler's collection that anyone could buy from.

After their divorce in 1992, Diana continued to wear the ring. These days, it is on Duchess Cate's finger.

6 You Will Not Catch Prince William And Duchess Cate In This State Anymore


When Prince William and Prince Harry were in their early twenties, it was no secret that both Princes had a predilection for the party lifestyle. Both men have matured since then, and it has been so long since we have had a scandalous story about them and their party lifestyle in the tabloids that people forgot how wild they once were. This includes Duchess Cate! When we see them these days they are the perfect example of royal poise and decorum, but don't forget about the trouble they used to get into! The Queen is probably relieved she does not have to open the newspaper anymore and see her grandsons coming out of a party looking worse for the wear. Royals, their just like us!

5 One Day He Is Advocating For Wildlife Protection, The Next He Is Hunting Wildlife


As members of the royal British family, a certain level of activism and charity is expected from the family members. Prince Harry has come under fire for the dueling nature of his activism and what he does in his personal life.

At times an outspoken advocate for wildlife conservation, Prince Harry came under fire when he was photographed doing the exact thing he was campaigning against. You can imagine this is not a good look for a royal.

It makes Prince Harry appear insincere in his activism, and like he only does it because he has too. Not because he actually cares about the things he is campaigning for. You can bet the Queen was unhappy about this situation. This photo was taken years ago, and it does seem the Prince has matured since then.

4 Every Time Prince William And Prince George Fly Together They Are Breaking Royal Rules Meant To Protect The Royal Lineage

The British royals have very strict rules intended to protect the royal lineage. One of the most important rules is that a monarch and their heir cannot travel together, nor can two heirs in line to the throne travel together. This is to ensure that if there is a tragic accident that takes peoples lives, the heirs to the throne will not be extinguished at once. Prince William has broken this rule every time he fly's with baby Prince George. He also breaks the rule every time he fly's with his Father, Prince Charles. Prince William is not the first royal to break this rule, as he flew with his Father Prince Charles from a very young age. Travel has become much safer these days, so perhaps the rules about heirs traveling together have eased up in response.

3 The Queen Shocked The World By Going Against Protocol And Embracing Michelle Obama

The Telegraph

It is clear that while the younger members of the royal family have a more lax approach to royal traditions and protocol, the Queen strictly adheres to them. So when it came out that the Queen broke a royal tradition, it was certainly big news!

When then President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama went to Buckingham Palace and to everyone's surprise, the Queen could not help but put an arm around Michelle Obama.

This is an extremely rare moment where the Queen has let her royal guard down a bit. This made headlines around the world. If you try to look up photos of the Queen embracing someone else in public, good luck because you won't find any. She probably forgot what a hug felt like before this.

2 PDA And An American Fiancee, It Is Almost Like Prince Harry Wants To Be Kicked Out Of The Royal Family

Hello Magazine

The world was stunned when news broke that Prince Harry was not only dating American actress Megan Markle but that they were engaged to be married. She will be the first American to marry into the royal family since 1937. It is not only the fact that she is an American that makes her a surprising choice for a royal fiancee. She is also an actress and has been married before. All unusual factors for a potential royal family member, but the heart wants what it wants. Even from their engagement photos, it is clear that this is one royal couple that wants to do things their own way and not adhere to some abstract standards of propriety for royals. This will be one wedding that no one will want to miss!

1 Royals Are Never To Be Touched - Big No-No LeBron!

Hello Magazine

The extent of physical contact between a royal family member and a member of the public is a handshake. This is why the Queen and many other royal women wear gloves so that their regal skin does not actually come into contact with commoners. This rule has been broken lots of times. Princess Diana was known for embracing people, something both of her sons do as well. In that situation though, the royal is making the first move so to speak.

LeBron James made a big faux pas when he put his arm around the Duchess for the photo. You are never supposed to touch a royal unless they touch you first!

Had he done that a hundred years ago, he probably would have lost that arm.


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Tradition Out The Window: 21 Pics Of The Royal Family Breaking Their Own Rules