Maybe those Disney princess fairy tales make Royalty look like a dream, the reality is that it is not all fun and games. There are many responsibilities that many are surprised to hear are expected of members of the Royal Family. As Meghan Markle in a recent interview with Oprah pointed out, being part of the Royal Family isn’t for everyone. For instance, the Queen approves of any marriage proposals and wedding dresses worn, banquets are prepared more than a year in advance, and the Royal Family cannot go to bed before the Queen.
Just a few of the unexpected or not-so-pleasant expected duties of Royalty include:
- Royals cannot share their political views on any topic.
- Royals are required to donate to charity
- There are common words that cannot be spoken in public by members of the Royal Family.
Here are several more odd duties and rules:
Members of the Royal Family are expected to attend 2,000 events each year. All of these appearances are scheduled typically 8 weeks ahead of time. Many are listed on their website so the public can keep track. They must attend holiday celebrations, participate in charity events, attend garden parties, present awards, be present during changing of the guard, and that’s just to name a few of the events in the UK alone.
They must own the most expensive cars, boats, and airplanes. Compared to the Belgian Royal Family, the British Royals are 18 times wealthier and 29 times wealthier than the Spanish Royals. They use their money to spend on expensive cars, clothing, and adventures. They have the best cars, yachts, and eat at the most expensive restaurants. But, this is not merely a perk of having money. It is required of them. Seeing a member of the Royal Family in an outdated broken down car is unheard of.
Not only can they not vote, but they are not allowed to share their political opinion either. At least, not outside of the palace. The Queen is to remain consistently neutral at all times in respect to political matters. If they were to share their opinion, many believe it would sway the public’s opinion as well as the Commonwealth and Parliament. Some family members are not held to this standard, but they often choose not to express their political views out of respect. In regard to voting, it is not illegal for a member of the Royal Family to vote, but it is considered to be unconstitutional. The Queen has not voted since her 1953 coronation.
It may appear as though they are extremely kind and generous, but the truth is that Royals are required to work with charities. They have links to hundreds of charities, supporting more than 2,000 nationally and internationally. As a member of the Royal Family, they give speeches, present awards, open new centers, and even do hands-on work. They are also required to make donations. Each year, the Queen donates about 25% to various charities.
They respond to fan mail. Well, at least they hire someone to respond to fan mail. They are required to provide a response to any fan mail they receive. They are expected to receive gifts, but they are not allowed to provide autographs or take selfies.
To uphold the image of proper breeding and manners, there are common words they are not allowed to speak in public. They are not allowed to use slang or unsightly words such as “toilet” or “bathroom”. The list is extensive with forbidden words including:
- perfume to be replaced with a more sophisticated word like scent
- couch to be replaced with sofa
- living room to be replaced with drawing-room
- pregnant to be replaced with expecting
Royals can also not say words such as “pardon”.