10 rarely-known things about British Royal Family that may surprise fans
Even in our modern times, people are obsessed with the monarchy. It’s probably because we associate royalty with fairytales. We will always be curious about their lives and no matter how much time passes there are still new things to learn about the Royal Family. The following list shows a bunch of fun facts.
10. The Queen likes to wear bright colors.
If you have ever seen the Queen at an event, you know that she’s always wearing a monochromatic dress-suit but in very bright colors. This is something she decided on her own.
The Queen once told her crew, ‘I can’t wear beige-colored clothing because nobody can recognize me like that.’ We doubt that people would mistake her for someone else but what a great choice.
9. Two birthdays for the Queen.
Elizabeth II celebrates two birthdays. One is her official birthday celebrated on several dates in different countries. The second is her real birthday on April 21st. She was born on that day in 1926.
Her real birthday is also celebrated only with those closest to her heart and family while the official one is celebrated throughout the country with parades and great big parties all over.
8. A non-royal can’t touch a royal.
People are often told this rule before getting to meet someone in the Royal Family. However, despite this widely-spread knowledge, it’s a rule that’s often broken. This has been known to happen when they meet celebrities.
In 2009, former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama got scolded for hugging the Queen and in 2014, basketball star LeBron James put his arm around Kate Middleton for a picture, breaking protocol.
7. The Royal Family has to accept every gift.
Just like most of us are taught in our lives, these monarchs have to accept all the gifts handed to them. No matter who the giver is. According to the official gift policy, several things can happen to these gifts. They are kept and used if they are worth less than $150.
They might be kept in storage for five years. They might be added to the Royal collection. They might be donated or they might be thrown away. Meghan Markle recently received her first gift as part of the Royal Family in the form of a drawing from a fan.
6. The Queen decides the tone for all meetings.
Everything must be done according to how Elizabeth II does it. If you get the chance to eat with the Queen, you have to watch out because as soon as she is done, everyone has to be done. Literally, you have to put your cutlery down.
This applies not only to visitors but to the rest of the Royal Family as well. Another rule is that no one can sit at the table until the Queen does. However, if the little ones in the family forget to follow these rules, she won’t get offended.
5. The Queen doesn’t need a passport.
Any British passport is given in the name of Her Majesty. This means that the actually Queen doesn’t need a passport to travel. The only thing she needs to do is show a coin or a bill with her image but nowadays that’s not even needed.
However, the rest of the Royal family does not have this luxury. British passports read, ‘Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.'
4. The Royal Family has income.
Contrary to popular belief, the Royal family doesn’t live only on the state’s money. Most of their income comes from Duchy of Lancaster, which is a land of several commercial, agricultural and residential spots. All the proceeds go the Treasury and then they give money to the Queen for certain matters.
The Queen also has private properties like Sandringham House in Norfolk, Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, among others. But the main source is the Sovereign Grant, a fixed percentage that dates back to 1760. They also have stamp collections, art, jewels, cars, and more.
3. The Queen doesn’t need a license plate.
No one else in the United Kingdom has this right. This rule applied even during World War II when she was a mechanic-driver of an ambulance. She doesn’t even need to take a driving test.
Much like passports, British licenses are issued in the name of the Queen. At the age of 92, her majesty still loves getting behind the wheel and last year, she was photographed attending the Royal Windsor Horse Show on her Range Rover.
2. Royals have to get a marriage license from the Queen.
This doesn’t apply to all the royals. Only the first six people who are in line to the throne. It’s basically her way of giving her permission. However, if she doesn’t like the match, the wedding can’t happen.
This is part of the revision to the Inheritance Act done in 2013 when they passed the Succession to the Crown Act. This means that Prince Harry had to get permission from his grandmother to marry Meghan Markle as he was fifth in line to the throne. He is now the sixth in line since the birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge.
1. Marrying royalty doesn’t make you a monarch.
The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, is considered King-Consort, which is not the same as being King and he will never be one. The King-consort is from Greece and he has no right to ascend the throne.
This also applies to Prince William. Once he becomes King, his wife Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will become the Queen-Consort. Her daughter Charlotte, however, does have a chance to be Queen like her great-grandmother. She is currently fourth in line to the throne.
Some of these rules date back hundreds of years and though they might seem dated, it’s great to maintain legacies and traditions. We know that the whole world will keep watching the Royal family closely.