The royal family of Britain has an extremely long history and a lot of responsibility. So, over the hundreds of years and the changing of countless rulers, the monarchy has developed some superstitions. These policies never change, and the royal family refuses to discard symbols. Everyone has some superstitions, and the royal family is no different. From gems having specific powers to housing ravens in a castle, these are some of the royal family’s biggest superstitions.
The Coronation of A Royal
The day of a monarch’s coronation is the biggest day of their life. It marks the day that they are crowned as ruler. It is a significant and extravagant day. However, it is essential that nothing goes wrong.
If it does, both royalty and public superstition assumes that it is a bad omen for the rest of their reign. Everything must run smoothly or else you may be seen as cursed no matter how good of a ruler you may turn out to be.
Although royalty is often associated with wealth, diamonds, and jewels, not all of the royal jewelry is for flash. For example, the sapphire that was once Princess Diana’s and is now Kate Middleton’s has meaning.
Royal jewelry is believed to have magical powers which is also why they are kept in the royal family for generations. Sapphires, in particular, are considered to help deepen devotion and loyalty. They are also believed to increase prosperity and stability. Even Queen Elizabeth II wore a sapphire on her wedding day.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Crown
There is also superstition about Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation crown and the gems that are embedded on it. The crown has 2,901 gems including sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds.
However, the most noticeable is the 170-carat ruby right in the center. This was installed because rubies are believed to represent all things royal and also help with courage, power, protection against poisons, and a range of other benefits. This was specifically worn on her coronation day for these reasons.
Locking Of The Gates
A tradition that has now become a superstition is the locking of the gates at the Tower of London. It is also known as the Ceremony of the Keys. Every day, a guard called a Beefeater and a military escort walks through the Tower of London and locks every gate before 10 PM.
This is a 700-year-old ceremony which is done to protect the Tower where the Crown Jewels are kept. Although there are modern technology and security measures, they continue to do this for fear that if they don’t, something will go wrong.
Ravens Are Very Important
For over 300 years, the Tower of London has housed precisely six ravens. This is because King Charles II insisted that by protecting the birds, it would help to preserve the nation and the monarchy.
It is believed that if the Tower of London ravens were ever to be lost or fly away, Britain and the monarchy would fall. However, you can still visit the raven’s quarters today although that seems a little risky with such a powerful superstition behind them. All someone would have to do is let them loose, and Britain would crumble.
Ravens As Soldiers
On top of the ravens being crucial to the success of Britain, they are far more than just regular birds. These birds are official soldiers of the Crown. They even take an oath of sorts when they begin living in the Tower of London.
Apparently, this is done so that the ravens can be dismissed for whatever reason required. However, it has been going on for so long that to not name the ravens as soldiers might cause them to escape or leave purposefully.
They Don’t Eat Shellfish
One major superstition of the royal family is that they don’t eat shellfish. This is a superstition that has been going on for a while now for fear of being poisoned or having some kind of bad reaction.
Queen Elizabeth II upholds this because she sees it as her responsibility to put herself as far away from harm as possible. It will not be seen on the Buckingham Palace menu either. However, it is not a strict law, and other members of the family have been seen eating it such as Prince Charles and Kate Middleton.
The Hostage Tradition
The State Opening of Parliament is the beginning of a U.K. Parliamentary meeting. However, before this can occur, it is tradition, and now superstition, for the royal family to take a Member of Parliament as a hostage. This is done before the monarch arrives and is for her their safety, especially during times when the ruler and the Parliament were not on good terms.
The hostage is then held at Buckingham Palace until the meeting is over. Although this may not seem like it would be very productive today, it was established long ago and to do otherwise might lead to something happening to the queen.
Beware of the Ghosts
Because royalty in Britain can be traced back to the country’s inception, many of the royals are believers and superstitious of ghosts. Particularly in castles, British royals are conscious of who supposedly haunts that area such as Queen Anne Boleyn who haunts her childhood home in Norfolk.
Every year on the date of her execution, her ghost is supposedly seen riding in a coach with four headless horses. She has also been seen in the Windsor Castle of the Tower of London. It makes living royals wonder if they’ll be haunting a castle too.
The Royal Touch
The British royalty believed in something called “the royal touch.” Edward the Confessor, King of England between 1042 and 1066 was supposedly the first to practice the touch. It was said that he could merely touch someone sick and they would be healed.
This was believed to be possible because Kings are supposedly appointed by God, so they are also capable of godly powers. This belief in the royal touch was once more than just superstition and is possibly still rumored to be true today,
The Wedding Superstition Harry & Meghan Are Breaking
Until more recently, the monarchs of Britain did not approve of May weddings. They considered it to be unlucky to marry during the fifth month of the year and that it would bring about a bad marriage.
There was even a saying for it “Marry in May and rue the day”. Although the Crown has been more lenient in reason years, Prince Harry’s and Megan Markle’s wedding on May 19 is in direct defiance of this, so lets all keep our fingers crossed for the sake of their marriage…
In England, the High Sheriffs are appointed by the Queen in a rather interesting way. She holds a ceremony known as ‘pricking’ where she chooses names of the list by poking a hole in it in with a needle for sewing.
This is believed to have started back from the first Queen Elizabeth who didn’t have a pen on hand while choosing her High Sheriffs. It has gone on ever since, and to do so otherwise would not only go against tradition but might cause issues between the High Sheriffs and monarchy.
The Monarch Rules Parts of the Church
Spread out across the United Kingdom, there are various places of worship that fall under the ruler’s jurisdiction rather than the Bishop. The Bishop is usually in charge of all the churches, but there are things known as royal peculiars which means that they are under the jurisdiction of the ruler.
These places include Westminister Abbey, the Chapel Royal at St. Jame’s Palace, St. Georges’ Chapel in Windsor Chapel and the Savoy Chapel near the Stran in London, as well as others. The ruler is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and it would cause superstition if they suddenly stopped this practice.
The Royal Quarters
When the Queen is in London, it is assumed that she is staying in Buckingham Palace with the Duke of Edinburgh. Contrary to popular belief, Buckingham Palace is not where the Queen’s living quarters are.
She lives in a building close by called St. James Place. While it may seem odd that the monarch wouldn’t stay in the palace that was built for them, staying in Buckingham Palace is believed to be bad form for a ruler due to its extravagance and attraction to tourists.
The Queen of England goes by many titles all over the world. However, the strangest of them would have to be The Duke of Lancaster. This is so because Duke is usually a title that is reserved for a man.
Queen Victoria felt that the title of Duke was superior to that of a Dutchess and decided to add it to her list of titles. Originating with Queen Victoria, it would be against the norm for a Queen of England to not respond to the title of the Duke of Lancaster and may even be held in suspicion otherwise.
The Waterloo Ceremony
Every June, the Waterloo Ceremony takes place. This is when the Duke of Wellington travels up to Windsor to pay The Queen rent for his home, the Stratfield Saye House. This is done because the house was originally a gift from the people of Britain for defeating the French during the Battle of Waterloo.
There is a simple yet symbolic ceremony in which the Duke of Wellingham presents the Queen with a new French Flag every year which is hung on the bust of the first Duke of Wellington in the Guard Chamber at Windsor Castle. For the Duke not to do this would be disrespectful to the crown and Britain’s history.
The Majestic Plural
If you’ve ever heard the ruler of Britain refer to themselves as “we”, it’s because they are using the Majestic Plural, also known as the Royal We. This began hundreds of years ago when Kings believed that they were speaking with the voice of God as well as their own when they addressed people and the public.
Although the Sovereign don’t consider themselves as directly connected to God like old kings, it is still used in formal circumstances such as in letter patent and acts of Parliament. To do away with it entirely would downplay the ruler’s role in the church.
Prince William Flew With His Kids
For the royal family in England, there is a superstition that they don’t travel together, let alone fly as a family in an airplane. They are afraid that if something were to happen in the family and every member died, it would be the end of the royal bloodline.
If one member of the family, usually the father, the bloodline is preserved. However, Prince Harry recently broke this unspoken rule and flew in an airplane with his entire family. Although it isn’t part of the royal protocol, he did ask the Queen for permission first.
Don’t Touch Royalty
Another thing that is held as a superstition is touching the royalty. Except for handshakes, touching a member of the royal family is totally off-limits. This is both for safety reasons and because since the time of the early English kings, touching them was forbidden.
This was also partially because they were believed to be directly appointed by God and were, therefore, Gods themselves. The no-touching of royals has continued until today because it’s worked in the past, so why stop now? When Canada’s Governor General David Johnson accidentally touched Queen Elizabeth II’s arm fearing she might fall, it created a media uproar.
Emeralds Bring Prosperity
For the royal family, emerald is a very precious stone, especially for Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout European history, rulers have thought that emeralds help to bring prosperity, love, and foresight.
Many would have crowns and other jewelry dedicated to the stone that they would wear when they felt they needed it. Queen Elizabeth II, in particular, has an astounding collection of emerald-based jewelry. She even as a tiara with teardrop emeralds lining the top.
The Checking Of The Cellars
Today, the cellars are regularly checked after Guy Fawkes and a band of conspirators known as the Gunpowder plotters tired to assassinate King James I in 1605. Their plan was to blow up the building he was in while giving his speech to parliament using gunpowder that they smuggled into the cellar.
However, their plan was foiled when the conspirators were apprehended below the House of Lords the night before. Now, the cellars are checked on a regular basis.
The Royal Family Always Travels With Black Clothes
Although a bit morose, whenever the Monarch or royal family travel outside of Britain or abroad, they always pack an all-black outfit. This is in case someone dies and they can all change into their black clothes to match the mood when they eventually touch back down onto home soil.
It doesn’t happen very often, but its a precaution that they must take since shopping for black clothes to mourn a death while abroad may not be the most tasteful thing to do.
Monarchs Get To Choose The Name They Reign Under
When a new Monarch succeeds the throne, they are asked which name they would like to rule under. Their first name isn’t the name that they have to use, but instead, can chose whatever name they prefer, although most have connections to past rulers.
For example, Queen Victoria’s birth name was Alexandria, King George IV was Albert, and King Edward VIII was David to name a few. However, some names are left unused, as Prince Charles will most likely reign as George III rather than Charles III for the negative connotations surrounding the name.
The Royal Family Can’t Play Monopoly
Interestingly enough, members of the royal family are no longer allowed to play Monopoly, specifically. While some people see no harm in the game, that’s not the case for the Royals.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, banned the game for the members of the royal family because it was apparently getting too competitive and was causing people to react in undesirable ways. Hopefully, Monopoly is the only board game that causes this to happen because otherwise, they might have to miss out of board games altogether.
When The Queen Is Done Eating, Everyone’s Done Eating
According to royal etiquette, the Queen dictates the way mealtime goes… no matter how anyone else feels about it. When she’s finished with her meal, no one else is allowed to continue eating — even if they still have food on their plate. Royal sources have said that the queen eats pretty fast, so that means if you’re hungry, you’d better get used to eating fast, too.
It sounds like something that a newcomer to the family, like Meghan Markle, would definitely have to adjust to over time. Even though it doesn’t exactly sound fair to everyone else at the table, let’s face it: This is the Queen. Shouldn’t she get to be in charge of meals if she wants to be?
There Must Be Myrtle In Every Bride’s Bouquet
If you were just as obsessed with Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William as the rest of us were, you might have noticed that her bouquet included plenty of myrtle. This tradition started back with Queen Victoria, who was the first to carry it in her bouquet and then grow it in her garden. Now, every royal bride must carry that tradition on, and yes, the myrtle still comes from Victoria’s garden.
As a bonus, Myrtle represents love and marriage, so could there really be a better addition to a bride’s bouquet on their wedding day? And of course, Meghan’s bouquet included myrtle, along with Princess Diana’s favorite flower, Forget-Me-Nots.
No PDA EVER When Traveling Or In Public
If you’ve paid any attention to Kate and William when they make public appearances, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t engage in PDA on camera — not since after they’ve tied the knot, anyway. There’s a rule in place that forbids it, so that every couple in the royal family always appears professional.
This is an example that the Queen herself has set, and since then, it’s just stuck and become kind of official. Meghan and Harry have deviated from the norm, however, as the two often do hold hands and appear affectionate. That diminished somewhat once they were officially married.
They Can’t Eat Garlic Either
While Meghan Markle might be the envy of every little girl who has dreamt of marrying a Prince, this one would be hard for us to swallow. Duchess Camilla, Prince Charles’ wife, confirmed that garlic is a “no-no” while appearing on MasterChef Australia.
Apparently this is to avoid an embarrassing bad breath situation while engaging in small talk. This has to be a particularly challenging rule for Meghan, as she is a self-described foodie. Having a royal title and access to stunning jewelry probably helps make up for this though.
George Can’t Wear Pants
You may have noticed that Prince George is never photographed wearing a pair of full-length pants — he’s always wearing shorts. As it turns out, that’s not just a fashion preference for when his mom, Kate, gets him dressed for the day — it’s actually a sign of status. Young boys are to wear shorts, and they’re not supposed to graduate to real pants until they’re older since that’s seen as a strictly adult wardrobe choice.
We’re a little worried about him having to wear shorts in cold weather, but fortunately, this rule doesn’t apply for long. Apparently, once he turns eight years old, he’s allowed to wear full-length pants. Don’t worry, George. Warmth is coming!
Tiaras May Only Be Worn After 6 P.M.
If you’ve ever wondered why Kate and the Queen don’t don their tiaras when they make official public appearances during daylight hours, here’s the reason why. Apparently, tiaras are so formal that they may only be worn at night, after 6:00 p.m., because it seems they’re far too fancy to wear during the day. Before then, women are permitted to wear regular hats (something you see Kate and the Queen do quite often).
Meghan received her crown on her wedding day because only married women are allowed to wear tiaras. It’s a sign that a woman has been taken. If only that rule applied everywhere! Women all over the world would get to feel a lot more fancy on a daily basis.