All the Times the British Royal Family Has Broken Tradition

The British monarchy is getting more modern as the years go by. Still, anyone who has kept up with the royal family over the years knows how many rules and regulations they abide by. The British royal family, especially the queen, are sticklers for order and protocol. After all, they represent the Commonwealth and must be a shining example for everyone around them.

If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Crown, then you know how difficult it was for Queen Elizabeth II to put the crown over her personal desires. And yet, there have always been rebels in the royal family. The queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, walked to the beat of her own drum, and the late Princess Diana also did her own thing, despite what protocol called for. Here are all the times the royal family has turned their backs on tradition over the years.

When Queen Elizabeth carries cash

Queen Elizabeth II poses in a tiara and sash.

Queen Elizabeth II carries cash to give to the church. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

We’ve all seen the queen with one of her signature Launer purses. The rumor is she usually has lipstick, reading glasses, a fountain pen, and some other odds and ends in the handbag.

However, one thing that you will never find in her bag is cash. After all, it would be beneath the Queen of England to walk around with rolls of cash in her purse. That type of thing is reserved for peasants like us.

Still, the queen does break protocol once a week. On Sundays, one of her butlers irons a five or ten-pound note so that she can donate to the church. How lovely is that?

Next: When the people’s princess hugged very sick children

Princess Diana hugged HIV/AIDS patients

Prince Charles and Princess Diana are walking side by side.

She knew she had no reason to be afraid. | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Royals aren’t supposed to be touched by anyone outside of the royal family, but Princess Diana was known to shun tradition. Her warm spirit helped change some of the myths and stigmas against HIV/AIDS in the ’80s and ’90s. Though she’d visited HIV/AIDS patients in London, she shocked the world when she picked up a dying child with AIDS while visiting Harlem, New York in 1989 and hugged him.

The Los Angeles Times reported that, “[The] little boy’s head [lay] on Diana’s shoulder, his arms around her neck.”

Next: When Prince William made this unprecedented move with his family

The time Prince William traveled with his children

Prince William and Kate Middleton walking near a helicopter.

He takes on a more personal role than expected of him. | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Prince William and his 4-year-old son Prince George are second and third in line to the throne. Therefore they are not supposed to travel together in case of an accident. However, Prince William, Duchess Kate, and the kiddos recently went on a royal tour where they flew together.

Though Prince William got permission from the queen for Prince George and Princess Charlotte to attend, he will no longer be able to travel with his children after they turn twelve.

Next: When Princess Diana chose this specific piece of jewelry

When Princess Diana chose her own engagement ring

Kate Middleton wearing her engagement ring.

Princess Diana’s engagement ring on Kate Middleton | Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Typically, royals get their engagement rings custom made. However, we know that Princess Diana was an iconic fashionista who was anything but traditional. When Prince Charles proposed, she chose a 12-carat oval blue sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds from a Garrard jewelry collection catalog. At the time, the press called the then 20-year-old’s ring the “commoner’s sapphire.”

Prince William proposed to Duchess Kate Middleton with the same ring.

Next: When these royals packed on the PDA

When Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William showed PDA

Kate Middleton sitting next to Prince William.

A small gesture with huge meaning | CBBC via YouTube

Though they are a young couple who have been married for almost seven years, Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William usually remain fairly stoic publicly, not showing much PDA and sticking with British decorum. However, that all changed recently when the couple was awarded gold Blue Peter badges for their work on championing for children’s mental health.

In a rare display, the Duchess Kate touched her husband’s knee. We know this might seem very small, but this never happens. Many are speculating that the couple was inspired by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s loving and informal engagement interview and photos.

Next: When Princess William embraced this woman

When Prince William hugged a sobbing woman at a Grenfell Tower crisis center

Prince William is holding a microphone and talking on stage.

A very meaningful and touching thing for him to do | Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

In June 2017, 79 people were killed during a horrific fire that roared through the Grenfell Tower destroying the North London Tower. Prince William visited the crisis centers with Queen Elizabeth. During the visit, a sobbing and distraught woman who could not locate her husband came up to the prince.

Daily Mail reports, “The woman sobbed into the concerned Prince’s chest as he put his arms around her and told her he would do everything he could to help find her loved one.”

Next: The time Princess Diana told her truths

When Princess Diana told the world about her crumbling marriage

Princess Diana greets fans and shakes their hands.

Princess Diana was very candid about her marriage | Vincent Laforet/AFP/Getty Images

The world watched as Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage crumbled until they finally divorced in 1996. In a series of audiotapes recorded in May 1991, the princess revealed everything about her marriage including Prince Charles ongoing affair with his now wife Camilla Parker Bowles, her struggles with bulimia, and mental illness. A book based on the tapes, DIANA: Her True Story – In Her Own Words was published in 1992.

In the tapes, she called Parker Bowles, the “third person” in her marriage.

NextA moment when Duchess Kate channeled Princess Diana

When Kate Middleton hugged some children

Kate Middleton waving and greeting fans at a marathon.

Kate Middleton can’t resist hugging cute children. | Paul Lewis/AFP/Getty Images

Though she is typically reserved with her husband, Kate Middleton is always hugging her kids and other children. Like her late mother-in-law, the duchess has a soft spot for the innocent. While on a trip to Germany she stopped at the charity Strassenkinder and gave all of the kids the sweetest hugs.

The “handshakes only ” protocol is weird anyway.

Next: Princess Diana’s choice for her sons’ education.   

When Princess Diana enrolled her sons in public school at a young age

Princess Diana sits next to Prince Harry while wearing a white suit and pearls.

She wanted her children to have a real education. | AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

Princess Diana was an epic mom. She took her sons William and Harry to amusement parks, they ate McDonald’s together, and she even enrolled them in public school when they were very young. Typically, royals begin their education inside of the castle with governesses and tutors. However, when Prince William was 3, she registered him at Mrs. Jane Mynor’s nursery school. Prince Harry followed a few years afterward.

Prince William and Duchess Kate have taken the same approach with their children. Prince George attends Thomas’s Battersea.

Next: The tradition the queen breaks each Christmas. 

When the queen toasts with her staff

Queen Elizabeth stands in front of a Christmas Tree in a decorated hall.

An experience to look forward to | John Stillwell/PA Wire

Once a year, the queen breaks tradition and toasts with the royal staff. During Christmas lunch, the most senior chef greets her in the dining room, a place usually reserved for the royals.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady told Mirror,

Right before the Christmas buffet, the senior chef on duty goes into the dining room and carves the rib roast or turkey or ham, and once he’s done, Her Majesty presents the chef with a glass of whiskey, and they toast. That’s the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whiskey with the royal family. It’s one of the chef’s favorite traditions.

Next: When Prince Charles showed an immense amount of compassion

The time Prince Charles signed an autograph

Prince Charles stands in front of a microphone in a suit and tie.

Prince Charles surprised us with this one. | Carl Court/Getty Images

Though it’s been 20 years since the late Princess Diana’s death, it’s no secret that Prince Charles isn’t exactly the most popular royal. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a kind person at heart.

In 2010, he visited victims of the devastating flash floods in Cornwall. While he was there, a young couple asked him for an autograph for their son. Typically, this is a huge “no-no” for royals. However, Prince Charles agreed.

Royals are banned from signing autographs so that their signatures can’t be copied.

Next: When the queen initiated a regal hug

The time the queen hugged former first lady Michelle Obama

Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth stand with Michelle Obama and Barack Obama.

Our hearts melted! | Ben Gurr/WPA Pool/Getty Images

OK, so it wasn’t a full-fledged hug, she is the queen after all. In 2009, former President Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama visited Buckingham Palace’s G20 Summit. Not only did Queen Elizabeth joke about her and Mrs. Obama’s height difference (5-foot-4 vs. 5-foot-11), she also sort of embraced her in a side hug. Of, course it was super regal.

Next: When this royal couple lived outside of London

Prince William and Duchess Kate just moved to London

Kate Middleton and Prince William sit together as they listen intently at someone's conversation.

They’ve found themselves living in London. | Arthur Edwards/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Though the couple has an apartment at Kensington Palace, which is practically next door to Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s flat, they used to live at Anmer Hall on the grounds of Sandringham in Norfolk. It’s about 3 hours away.

The distance allowed the duchess and the prince to be close to Prince William’s job and have a bit of a normal life. However, now that Prince George is in school, they’ve moved to the city.

Next: When Meghan Markle received this invitation. 

Meghan Markle’s Christmas invitation

Meghan Markle smiles as she brushes her hair away from her face.

She spent the holidays with Prince Harry’s family. | Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Prior to her wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle attended the royals’ Christmas festivities in 2017. Though this might not seem like a big deal to us common folks, it’s actually unprecedented. Typically, only married partners can participate in the queen’s traditional Christmas fun at Sandringham House.

However, the queen made an exception to make Markle feel welcomed.

Next: The time the queen chose family over the crown. 

When the queen and the royal family left the palace after Princess Diana’s death

Princess Diana smiles as she watches Prince Harry and Prince William.

Queen Elizabeth took her grandsons away from the public so they could mourn. | Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images

The death of the late Princess Diana came as a horrible shock to everyone across the globe, especially for the queen and Princess Diana’s sons, William and Harry. In the aftermath of the car accident, the queen packed up and took her family to the Balmoral estate, 500 miles away from the palace. She made sure that the media would not have access to them.

The public was furious that the queen abandoned them during their time of grief. However, the queen felt it was important that her grandsons grieve in peace.

Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.

Read moreBritish Royal Family Drama: Craziest Feuds You Won’t Believe Actually Happened

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