Contrary to what people think, the life of the Duchess of Cambridge is not always glamorous. There is a strict protocol that Kate Middleton must follow. And living in the public eye the way she does, there are no exceptions. Since marrying Prince William, she has had to adapt to the lifestyle and the rules laid out for living at the court of Queen Elizabeth II — and trust us, there are lots of rules to follow!
The Strict Rules Kate Middleton Has To Follow
Some of the rules the Princess must follow aren't without controversy. The Queen makes the rules, and she has been in charge for a long time. Through decades of changes, some rules have never changed, leading to some interesting modern social conflicts.
From not being allowed to earn her own money to not hugging her husband in public — check out some rules that the Duchess of Cambridge has to follow!
The Duchess of Cambridge became a celebrity after she joined the Royal Family. However, she cannot sign autographs for fans. Under the rules of the crown, she can only sign official documents previously authorized by Queen Elizabeth II.
The reason for this rule comes from the fear that someone could falsify documents on behalf of a member of the Royal Family. Because of this, only photos and handshakes are allowed.
She Is Forbidden To Profit From Her Work
Some may find this a somewhat strange rule for the modern world, but Kate is not allowed to profit from any work she does. Kate is an avid photographer and has released professional photos she's taken throughout the years.
Under normal circumstances, she would be able to license her photos for profit. However, since she is a member of the Royal Family, her work is released to the public through the Palace and she does not personally profit.
This rule applies to you and Kate Middleton! Well, sort of...If one day, you have the honor of having dinner with the Queen, be aware that as soon as she finishes her meal, everyone at the table has to put down the cutlery and stop eating immediately.
This rule applies to other members of the Royal Family, including Kate Middleton. Now, imagine if the food is good and you have to stop eating.
No Mussels Or Oysters
Eating mussels or oysters is a no-no for Kate. The rule exists because of the health issues these foods present if they aren't stored correctly. This is something the Royals simply cannot risk.
As delicious as these mollusks are, Kate can never say yes. Hopefully, before she officially joined the family she went all out with one last seafood feast! Then again, she might not like oysters anyways, making these an easy rule not to break.
No Flashy Nail Colors
Do you think long and hard before choosing a polish for your nails? Kate Middleton has an easy time picking out manicure colors since she has minimal choices. The Duchess is required use a color palette.
Kate's manicure usually has two shades: Soft Pink 28 Rose Lounge (Bourjois) and Nude 423 Allure (Essie). Protocol says Royals should keep their nails natural tones at official events. Queen Elizabeth sets a prime example — she has worn the same enamel since 1989!
Strict Dress Code
Before she was married, Kate was seen wearing clothes you'll never find her in today, like leather boots and vibrant patterns. Although she can still wear leather, she can only do so if the animals have not been sacrificed.
This rule we approve! Animal cruelty is no laughing matter, and the royal family clearly agrees. This rule is in place for ethical reasons and to ensure her wardrobe isn't too luxurious.
She Can't Vote
No member of the Royal family can vote or submit an application to parliament. All monarchs must remain neutral so as not to damage the family's reputation. This practice also makes sure the family cannot influence the results of public elections.
Remember that the rule is a consensus because there is no law that actually prevents someone from voting. But who would dare to disobey the mighty Queen? We wouldn't!
No Provocative Dresses
At a younger age, Kate wore more daring clothes and had a more flamboyant style. Today, she has changed her wardrobe and is always seen in elegant clothes. You will never see her wear patterns or showing a lot of flesh.
Kate is almost always wearing a modest dress and hardly goes out wearing pants. If you want to copy her style, stock up on skirts and dresses in solid prints and don't forget the hat, of course.
Minimal Black Clothing
Members of the Royal family are instructed to avoid wearing black during the day. For Kate, black should only be worn during mourning and, on occasion, for nighttime events. To anticipate a funeral, members of the Royal family who are traveling to another country must carry a set of black clothes in their suitcase.
Then, if any family member dies, they have the chance to land in the UK properly dressed. The rule was stipulated because when George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, died, she was on a journey through Africa, and when she arrived in England, she had no black clothes to wear when she got off the plane.
Monopoly Is Not Allowed
This is the most unusual rule on our list! Inside the Royal house, it is prohibited to play Monopoly. The reason? The Duke of York in 2008 defined it as a "vicious" pastime, inviting the Queen's subordinates to refrain from such playful activity.
This may seem weird, but if you've ever played a game of Monopoly with family, then you know just how vicious it can get. It's a fun game, but it also has the power to break familial bonds!
The Royal Family Can't Travel On The Same Plane, Boat Or Train
A Royal family vacation? That calls for lots of planning! Members of the Royal family should not travel together on the same plane, boat or train. They probably have a vacation planner on payroll!
The rule was set in place to prevent potential heirs of the British throne from dying together in the event of an accident. Therefore, it is unlikely that Kate can travel with her husband and father-in-law Prince Charles at the same time.
She Can Only Be Protestant Anglican
Like other members of the Royal Family, Kate cannot belong to any religion other than the Protestant Anglican. The monarch of Great Britain is also the supreme head of the Protestant Anglican Church, so it would be pretty awkward if someone in the Royal family practiced a different religion.
In 2011, the Duchess went through a religious confirmation ceremony at the Anglican Church as part of preparations for her marriage to Prince William.
What if you were forbidden to hug or kiss your significant other in public? That's what life is like for Kate! The Queen finds public displays of affection unacceptable. As you know, if the Queen doesn't like it, then it's not allowed.
It is unlikely that any photographer will be able to record a moment of intimacy between Kate and Prince William. According to the rule, the couple shouldn't even be seen holding hands. Affection only behind closed doors.
Members of the Royal Family spend every Christmas together at Sandringham Palace in Norfolk. Rather than opening gifts after midnight or on the morning of December 25th, the Royal Family has another custom.
At the Palace, the exchange takes place during tea time, always on Christmas Eve. Does your family exchange gifts at the same time? Are you suddenly planning a new tradition now just to have something cool in common with royalty?
No Crying In Public
Can you control your emotions? Kate has no choice! Since joining the Royal Family, she has to remain calm all the time, as is expected to never cry in public. That sounds like it would be too hard for us!
Even when she participates in humanitarian actions or tributes, she is always calm, without showing much emotion. And if she were ever filmed at a wedding or funeral, you would never catch tear running down her cheek.
Jaw Placement Is Key For Photographs
Have you noticed how flawless Kate always appears in photos? You rarely see spontaneous or candid photos of the Royal Family because there is a protocol for how they are to be photographed.
When royal women pose for photographs they should be concerned about keeping their jaws parallel to the ground. They should learn this in an etiquette class because it is not intuitive at all.
She Must Walk Two Steps Behind William
The world has evolved, but some traditional standards remain the same in the Royal Family. This rule is as archaic as it is baffling, but Kate isn't fighting it while she shows respect for the family that made her royalty.
To show respect for her husband's traditions, Kate must put her pride aside and walk two steps behind William in official public appointments. What do you think of this rule?
No Social Media
In the Royal family, using social media is forbidden. Members have no private accounts. This rule exists to prevent secret data from becoming public. As crazy as this rule may sound, it is actually surprisingly logical when you consider how easily messages and pictures can be taken out of context.
There are official crown accounts but these are managed by communication professionals, who are in charge of choosing photos and texts very carefully.
The Gender Of The Baby Must Be Kept Secret Until Birth
The British Royal Family does not usually reveal the gender of the baby during pregnancy.
Everything is kept in the strictest confidentiality before the child is born. Society likes to speculate about this and even place bets.
She Must Go To The Beauty Salon Frequently
The Duchess must always look impeccable. She never knows when she will be photographed or invited to an important event with her husband. Therefore, she is always expected to look elegant, with her nails clean and trim, and with a beautiful hairstyle.
Magazines in England claim that Kate usually goes to the beauty salon three times a week. I think at least we would like that, right? Good thing she doesn't have to worry about money.
The Stock Code
Kate is expected to be always attentive to the Queen's signals. If Elizabeth wants to leave a dinner in five minutes, she puts the bag on the table. And remember that everyone needs to stop eating when the Queen ends the meal!
There is also a code to signal that she is tired of talking to someone! For this, she changes the bag from one arm to the other arm.
No Nicknames In The Palace
When they marry, members of the royal family gain a new title. Shortly after formalizing her union, she became the Duchess of Cambridge.
Diminutives should not be used before a member of royalty. Between the royal family, Kate is called Catherine Elizabeth Middleton. No nicknames inside the Palace!
The Bouquet Must Be Myrtle
Kate had no choice when it came to what her bouquet would look like. All royal brides enter the ceremony with a branch of myrtle, which is a symbol of good luck and happiness in marriage.
This tradition began with Queen Victoria, who received a myrtle as a gift from the groom's grandmother. Now the myrtle is taken from a tree growing in the royal garden.
The Royal Wedding Act of 1722
Kate could not marry without being approved by Prince William's family. Descendants of British royalty must follow the Royal Wedding Act of 1722. That's right!
According to the document, the Royal Family must give their approval before there is an official marriage request. We wonder what the world would be like if she was not accepted?
No Political Opinions
We already mentioned that Kate cannot vote but she can't even speak publicly about politics or run for political office of any kind.
She is expected to remain neutral whenever questioned about the subject at all times.
Dinners Must Be Carefully Planned
If she's planning a dinner party, Kate is expected to be very attentive, avoid carelessness, and to always call the same company for help. The Marshal's Office is responsible for helping organize the dinners.
Even the order of the people at the table needs to be thought out. Usually, seating arrangements are in order of precedence which takes into account factors such as age, language and interests.
No Dinner Made With Garlic
Kate has no choice if she likes garlic. Queen Elizabeth II hates garlic and so no dish made inside Buckingham Palace can have the ingredient.
The good news is that outside the home of the Royal Family, she can have as much garlic as she wants.
She Must Accept All Gifts
Kate can never refuse gifts from fans or other people. In fact, all members of royalty must accept the "gifts" they receive with a smile on their face. And hey, sometimes they get pretty weird stuff!
In 2015, the Queen got gifted a throne from the "Game of Thrones" miniature series. Prince Charles once received a doctoral thesis, while Prince Andrew was gifted a CD of the Arctic Monkeys.
No Hats After 6 P.M.
Women of the Royal Family must wear hats at all formal events. After 6 p.m. they can no longer wear hats, but rather tiaras and crowns.
Accessories should be placed carefully at the correct angle. Traditionally they are worn just in front of the head, now the more modern style is to put accessories at a 45-degree angle.
She Must Maintain A Clean Image
All members of royalty, especially women, are expected to have a clean image. That's why Kate Middleton never overdoes it when it comes to makeup and clothes.
Think about all of the photos of the Duchess out there — do you remember seeing her in daring makeup or colorful prints? Nope.
Being Cultured Is A Requirement
As a public figure who is always traveling in official appointments, Kate needs to be well-versed in different cultures.
It's necessary for her to know the history of the places she visits as well as the local culture. In addition, in the Royal Family, everyone must learn several languages.
She Can't Have Her Back To The Queen
One more rule involving the powerful Queen Elizabeth II! The Duchess cannot turn her back on the Queen — literally.
She must always be the first to leave a location and the rest of the Royal family must follow behind.
When To Announce A Pregnancy
There is also a protocol on how Royal women should act when they learn they are pregnant. Usually, the pregnancy of a member of the Royal Family is reported after the first 12 weeks, but Kate was an exception!
The Duchess experienced significant nausea during her pregnancy, so the family had to explain the reason for her absence at official events.
She Cannot Reveal Her Child's Name Before Birth
Kate is not permitted to reveal the child's name before birth. Therefore, the name of the couple's third heir has not been disclosed. The names most cited so far for the boy are Arthur, Albert, or James.
If tradition is maintained, as in the case of the Duke and Duchess' other children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2, it is likely to take a few days for the baby's name to be released.
She Gets No Discretion After Childbirth
Kate does not have the choice to keep her discretion after the birth of a child. To announce the arrival of a baby of the Royal family, a golden easel is placed near the palace with a sheet with information on the baby's gender and date of birth.
This function is fulfilled by a messenger who informs the people on the streets of London. Besides, she needs to look beautiful even after a few hours after delivery to introduce the baby, and it's time to get out of the maternity ward and wave to fans.
The Children Must Be Well-Behaved
Kate is expected to ensure her children are well behaved at all time. While one can hope for mild-mannered children, the royal couple is parents to three children under five which is likely hectic.
The Duchess seems to have everything under control — at least in public. Her children, George, 4, and Charlotte, 2, are always impeccably dressed and on their best behavior in front of others.
The Royal Family Tree
The average family has 2.4 children. As of April 23, 2018, William and Kate have three. According to a statement released by Kensington Palace for the local press, the baby was born at the Saint Mary Hospital in London at 11 a.m. local time.
Now people are wondering if the couple will stop at the third. There are no written rules regarding the number of children the couple can have. However, they have reportedly been told to lead by example and have been urged to not have any more children due to climate change and limited resources.
Keep Good Posture Always
All women of royalty must sit in a certain way. They can not simply put one leg crossed over the other. The correct position of the legs is with the knees together.
You can still cross your ankles, tilting your knees to one side. Oh, and good posture is an absolute must!
Tea Cups Must Be Held Right
Drinking tea is "sacred" in the UK. But you need to know how to drink the tea the right way. When it comes to drinking tea properly, you cannot put your finger in the cavity of the handle.
The cup should be held up with your thumb and forefinger, underneath the middle finger, and finally the little finger. This, by the way, can never separate from the other fingers! Kate must have rehearsed many times not to disappoint the Queen! And you still want to be Princess or Duchess?
The Queen Must Know
When a baby is born, there is one person that needs to be notified first before anyone. That person is the Queen.
No matter the circumstances going on, this rule must be followed every time. Take note that Prince William called his grandmother on an encrypted phone when Prince George entered this world.
A Careful Announcement
After the Queen is properly informed about the birth, then there is an official person who announces it to the public.
This person is called the crier. Tony Appleton currently serves in this role. This tradition started back in medieval times because people couldn't write or read.
Make Sure To Cover Up
Kate Middleton must always be sure to not show cleavage. Princess Diana used to put her clutch against her chest while getting out of the vehicle to help aid with this.
She did that to lessen the chances of paparazzi taking revealing pictures. That's an overall good idea anyway.
When the family is in a group, it is imperative for them to enter a room by precedence. They must also be seated in the same manner.
This means they are to go in the order of who's going to be taking the throne next.
Politely Excuse Herself From The Table
When eating meals at an event, royals must not cause too much of a fuss. If Kate Middleton needs to use the restroom, all she needs to say is "excuse me".
No one needs to know she has to relieve her bladder.
She Doesn't Remove Her Coat in Public
One thing you'll never see Kate Middleton do is removing her jacket in public. She can't even do it inside when it is hot, or she is uncomfortable.
The reason is that it is said to be unladylike. Royalty always has to look and play the part.
Don't Forget This Gesture
You can't forget to show your respect as a member of the royal family. One thing Kate Middleton must always do is curtsy in front of the most senior royal.
Whenever Queen Elizabeth comes around, a curtsy is sure to follow. Just how you see in the image above.
She Can't Wear Wedges
Kate Middleton has a rebellious side. One thing she should not be doing is wearing wedges. She does it anyway but she should for sure not do it in front of Queen Elizabeth.
She will let you know about it without hesitation. Middleton will try and get away with it as much as she can.
No Baby Showers
While celebrities have baby showers all the time and publicize them, Kate Middleton is not allowed to have one.
She already receives free gifts all the time so that's a nice filler but it goes against Queen Elizabeth's royal rules to have one. It would be funny to see a royal play one of those baby games.
Keep Quiet About Any Pain
During a pregnancy, Kate Middleton has to be strong. A rule she must follow is never to complain. No matter how bad her stomach hurts, she won't let you know.
If she said anything negative about her pregnancy, the media would go into a frenzy over it. You'd never know what she's going through.
Looking Back at the First Announcement
The entire world was delighted to hear that Kate and William are engaged. Their engagement was announced on November 16, 2010. William proposed while the couple were on holiday in Kenya. Clarence House confirms the engagement and the couple were photographed smiling from ear to ear.
Kate wore the now-famous royal blue dress by London-based designer label Issa. After appearing in the dress, Issa couldn’t keep the dress in stock. Women were clamoring for this gorgeous dress. This may have been the start of “the Duchess effect” but who knows for sure! Kate is undoubtedly stunning in everything she wears.
The Royal Wedding of 2011
The couple married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey, and it was quite the international event! Kate wore the now-iconic lace gown from Alexander McQueen pictured here. McQueen saw profits jump 30% just because Kate wore a wedding dress from his collection.
But we can’t say she didn’t look incredible in this dress! With the long lace sleeves and modest neckline, she looked so stunning. If anything, this dress choice just affirmed what women were already thinking; Kate is a style icon and always will be. Since then, her style choices support designers and push fashion trends in a regale or royal direction.
Taking the World by Storm in 2012
In 2012, Kate was selected as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine. The magazine described her rise to royalty: “Kate Middleton was an ordinary college girl on a path to an unremarkable life. Then she met her Prince Charming, became the Duchess of Cambridge and in two years has emerged as a remarkable figure on the world stage.”
Well, we can’t agree that she would have lived an “unremarkable” life, but we would like to point out how spot on they are about her style: “Her elegant wardrobe has enormous popular appeal that has boosted the British fashion industry.” So elegant, like this stunning, flowing lavender gown.
The Future Queen is Fit for the Crown in 2013
And in 2013, she was selected as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine—again! Time is quoted as stating, “The future Queen is dignified, dutiful and unflappable, with a modest reluctance to steal the spotlight from her husband, Prince William. As patron of a growing number of charities, she has embraced the royal family’s tradition of public service, whether promoting scouting around a campfire or discussing sustainable fishing with trawler owners.”
In 2013, the Duke and Duchess had their first child, Prince George (born July 22, 2013). Kate introduced the new royal family member in a light blue, polka dotted dress that was simple, traditional and yet modern, all at the same time.
Horizontal Stripes Are Appropriate
2013 was a great year for Kate’s fashion and style. After a quiet summer, spending time with her new baby and William, the 31-year-old made a gradual return to the public eye. Even after giving birth and being a new mom, Kate didn’t stop with her sense of style. This simple, horizontal striped tee is a staple of her wardrobe and is still one of her go-to choices.
Later in the year, the fashionista Duchess stunned on the red carpet in October at her first official royal engagement with William and was busily scheduled in the run-up to Christmas supporting their various charities and interests. They spent Christmas with the royal family and the New Year with Kate's family in Berkshire.
Kate Becomes a Fashion Icon in 2014
2014 was arguably one of the most fashionable years for Kate. And if you know anything about Kate Middleton, you know one of her favorite colors is red. She loves to wear red and has been seen as our favorite lady in red going about her business around the world.
The Duchess looked stylish in a Katherine Hooker Shift Dress at an Event in Norwich—and yes, she is a true lady in red when she chooses this ensemble. She is so endearing, and able to connect with both the “commoners” and the elite and it is no wonder why—she is truly personable and captivating.
Baby Bump Watch!
Do we see a mini bump here? It looks like little Charlotte is poking through her mom’s belly! Baby bump or not, Kate Middleton always looks stunning and polished. The Duchess is ready for whatever the day has in store for her. Here, she is attending the Place2be Wellbeing in schools award at Kensington Palace and looks incredible in her sheer polka dot blouse and knee-length navy skirt.
Whether she is visiting a prep school, hospital, shaking hands with dignitaries—or she’s being seen with commoners, hurdling a stack of tin cans, in wedge heels, performing philanthropic work to the far reaches of the globe—she is always ready and able to take on a job. No matter what, she does it in style, with her signature smile on her face.
A Favorite of 2014
So we know Kate loves red, and simple looks that she personally takes to the next level but that doesn’t mean that she dislikes prints, patterns or shapes. Sure, you probably haven’t seen her in anything too “loud” or tacky (and there is a reason for that) because she sticks with the motto “less is more.”
This dress is a favorite look of ours from 2014. Here, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is wearing the Temperley London Emblem Flare Dress. She was attending the Action on Addiction Autumn Gala Evening at L'Anima on October 23, 2014 in London, England. Could she look any more gorgeous?
2015, Now A Mother of Two
On May 2, 2015, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, who is fourth in line to the British throne, was born. And leave it to new-mom-of-two Kate to impress the world with her grace and poise even after giving birth. She is able to effortlessly mix high end with high street easily.
Kate is often seen recycling old outfits to demonstrate her thrifty skills, which is relatively unheard of for royalty. Here, while presenting her new baby girl to the world, she is wearing a simple, sweet, yellow dress with a simple print and nude heels. Yes, heels—after just giving birth. She is a fashion champ!
2015, Beautiful in Lace
Later in 2015, Kate was back at it again with her timeless style. To mark the second day of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan's visit to Britain, Middleton slipped on an eggplant-colored Dolce Gabbana dress that looks absolutely gorgeous in general but especially with her hair color.
This little lace number featured a high neckline and sheer sleeves—which believe it or not, is considered to be quite risqué for the royal's standards. Her fall-ready dress was matched perfectly with pumps, a clutch, and a pair of delicate drop earrings. And her hair was kept simply down like Kate always does it.
Kate's Red LK Bennet in 2016
Kate Middleton has rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to her sense of style. The Duchess seems to favor British talents including Alice Temperley, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham. Kate’s fashion choices always fly off the shelves minutes after she’s first photographed wearing them.
Which brings us to Wimbledon 2016. Who can forget this gorgeous red LK Bennett dress Kate wore that sold out within four hours!? That is the power of Kate Middleton's style. And who can resist this lady in red? She stuns fashion lovers over and over again and she does it so effortlessly. It looks like that is the key to being a princess!
Smart Style at the End of 2016
The Kate Middleton style evolution has been one transformation we’ve been glued to watching over the last decade. From a smart, young woman who is journeying from a university student to a stunning Duchess of Cambridge in one seemingly effortless move, she has truly dazzled the world.
Most recently, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been on an epic royal tour. But this doesn’t mean Kate’s style takes a backseat; Kate’s overseas wardrobe has been nothing short of perfection, with her chosen brands ranging from Thornton Bregazzi to Alexander McQueen. And most recently, Kate wore a stunning Catherine Walker powder blue peplum suit.
Kate Middleton is Timeless
Kate maintains her own sense of style while gaining experience in the way she carefully chooses outfits that respond to the reality of being permanently photographed. As a royal, she conveys a sense of modest elegance, while as a fashion icon she bears her own fashion mark.
We can’t help but love all of Kate’s style choices and the Daily Mirror said it best. “Some critics believe that the Duchess of Cambridge’s new style proves she has 'come of age' and found her place with the Royal hierarchy,” wrote the Daily Mirror. “She isn't afraid to walk in her own light and out of the shadow of William and the royal family.”