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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
Next: A moment when Duchess Kate channeled Princess Diana
When Kate Middleton hugged some children
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
Prince Harry’s fiancee, 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 is making 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
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.
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