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10 royal protocol rules Prince Harry and Meghan Markle no longer have to follow

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 24 Jan 2020

There are certain rules every working member of the royal family is expected to follow.Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have resigned, there is plenty of protocol they no longer have to abide by, like not being allowed to hug fans or sign autographs.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were previously expected to follow the Queen's "never complain, never explain" mantra, and all of their communication with the public was monitored by Buckingham Palace.They broke this rule when they published a personal message announcing their departure from their senior roles, which was reportedly posted on Instagram without the consent of the palace.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.1. They can hug and kiss their fans.Grant Harrold, etiquette expert and former butler to Prince Charles, previously told Insider that it is frowned upon for the royals to physically touch their fans."As well as an etiquette rule, it poses a major security risk if someone is able to get so close that they are able to touch members of the royal family," he said.Although that hasn't stopped Harry and Markle from hugging (and in the duchess' case, kissing) their fans in the past, this has usually been reserved for younger children who they meet on royal walkabouts.2. They can sign autographs.When asked to sign autographs for fans in the past, Prince Charles was said to have responded by saying, "I'm sorry, they don't allow me to do that," Insider previously reported.Markle broke this rule when she signed a 10-year-old girl's autograph book back in 2018.3. Markle can go back to acting.Markle left her role as Rachel Zane in the legal drama "Suits" before entering the royal family in 2018.It wouldn't have been possible for the duchess to continue making her own income while at the same time receiving funds from British taxpayers.Prince Harry recently pointed this out as one of his and Markle's decisions to resign from their roles within the royal family."Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible," he said.It was recently reported by The Times that the duchess has signed a voice-over deal with Disney. The company apparently plans to make a donation to the wildlife organization Elephants Without Borders instead of paying Markle a fee.If the report is true, it could give an indication of the type of work Markle plans to do post-royal life.4. Markle and Harry are no longer required to represent the Queen at official royal family events."As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties," a palace spokesperson announced earlier this month.The duke and duchess were previously responsible for representing the Queen during visits to their patronages, or during important public events including Remembrance Day services.5. They don't need to have a christening service for their next child ' and if they do, it's likely they won't follow royal tradition.Royal christenings are big on tradition, and Harry and Markle made sure to acknowledge this for Archie's ceremony in July.He wore the traditional royal christening gown, which has also been worn by Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.The gown is a replica of the royal christening robe commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841. The original robe was worn by generations of royal babies, and the replica was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, in order for the "fragile historic outfit to be preserved."Like his cousins, Archie was also christened using water from the River Jordan, as it is said to be where Jesus was baptized.6. Harry and Markle will no longer be addressed as "Your Royal Highness," and instead will be called by their first names.However, this is something Markle and Harry had already slowly started to incorporate before leaving the royal family.Palace officials told Vanity Fair's royal correspondent Katie Nicholl that the duke and duchess were happy to be addressed by their first namesduring their royal tour of Africa.This was a direct contradiction to the official guidelines stated on the royal family's website, which state that royals should be addressed as "Your Royal Highness."Additionally, female members can be addressed as "ma'am" while male members can be addressed as "sir."7. They can show PDA in public ' though the couple were never shy about breaking that rule to begin with.Tim Rooke, a royal photographer for Shutterstock, previously told Insider that Harry and Markle are the most affectionate couple he has photographed."On my recent trip to Northern Ireland with Harry and Meghan, it was hard to not notice the amount of time she spent looking lovingly into his eyes," he said."I've not seen this much affection between two royals in my decades of shooting."Compared to Kate and William, they are much more affectionate in public which could be attributed to the different pressures placed on William as the next in line to become king. We don't often see Prince William and the Duchess holding hands, but the Sussexes do it if cameras are there or not."8. The duke and duchess no longer have to follow the Queen's "never complain, never explain" mantra.The traditional "never complain, never explain" mantra was first adopted by the Queen Mother when she became Queen Consort in 1936, and passed on to her own daughterour current Queen Elizabeth IIwho appears to have followed the rule closely during her reign.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex only broke this rule in their final months as working royals. In an ITV documentary about their tour of Africa, they spoke emotionally about how royal life had negatively impacted their mental health."I tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip," Markle said in one of the interview segments."I tried, I tried. But I think what that does internally is probably really damaging."The couple's communication with fans was also previously handled by Buckingham Palace's press office, who were in charge of sending out press releases for the couple as well as approving statements made to their Instagram account.The couple showed they are no longer co-operating with the palace press team (or at least, not to the same extent as they used to) when they sent out a statement on Instagram announcing their departure from their senior roles.This statement was said to have been sent out without the consent or knowledge of the palace.9. Markle could start dressing the way she used to before becoming a royal.Markle has worn various fascinators, coatdresses, and ball gowns as the Duchess of Sussex. However, now that she's not a working member of the royal family, it's likely we'll see her revert back to some more casual-wearsuch as jeans and jacketsthat she has worn in the past.10. Prince Harry could also start dressing more casually.Prince Harry's royal wardrobe consists of the same $170 J-Crew blazer that he's been spotted in time and time again, or for black-tie occasions, he'll opt for a suit and maybe even a hat.Like Markle, though, Harry now won't be attending these events and therefore has no reason to keep up with strict royal dress codes.Read more:Prince Harry wears the same $170 J Crew blazer time and time again, and a tailor says there's a good reason whyMeghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding souvenirs have been removed from the royal websiteHow Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's split from the royal family has shifted the dynamic of the 'Fab Four
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