Why You Don't Want to Be a Royal
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The Reasons You Don't Really Want to Be a Royal

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Why You Don't Want to Be a Royal
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Royal Pains

The royal life always looks glamorous in pictures. Duchess Kate Middleton just released a set of new portraits to commemorate her 40th birthday, and the images are truly elegant, of course. But have you ever thought about what it would actually be like to be a royal, with the whole world watching your every move? A ton of rules and traditions help the royals control their image, but there are plenty of pitfalls, big and small. Here are some of the reasons you may not want to be too eager to marry into the royal family. 


Related: The 16 Most Expensive Royal Weddings Around the World

The Queen Must Give Her Blessing
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The Queen Must Give Her Blessing

Be careful falling in love with a royal. If you do, you won't be allowed to wed unless the Queen herself gives her consent. This is actual law. According to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, the ruling monarch  must give formal consent of the union before an engagement can happen. The law has been relaxed a bit in recent years and now allows divorcees to marry into the royal family as well as Roman Catholics — assuming they have the Queen's permission, of course.


Related: The Oldest World Leaders Currently in Power

No Working Allowed
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No Nicknames
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No Nicknames

Once you do marry a royal, all nicknames must be dropped. This is the reason Kate now goes by Catherine. The press sometimes ignores this rule, but Catherine no longer answers to Kate.


Related: Etiquette Rules No One Follows Anymore

Hats Are Required for Women
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Hats Are Required for Women

The rules and traditions don't stop with nicknames. Women in the royal family are required to don hats for all official events before 6 p.m., and married royals must don a tiara after 6 p.m. No exceptions.

It Matters Where You Stand at Events
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It Matters Where You Stand

Speaking of official events, the royals have a very deliberate way of positioning themselves in the public eye: in order of succession to the throne. The Queen, of course, stands in front.

No PDA Is Allowed
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No PDA Allowed

Under no circumstances are public displays of affection allowed. Most royal couples don't even hold hands in public, although in recent years, that has happened on occasion with the younger generation.


No Politics Allowed
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No Politics Allowed

In addition to not working, you also don't get to vote or hold a political office. Although this is not a written law, the royal family is supposed to be politically neutral.


You Must Follow Strict Dinner Table Etiquette
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You Must Follow Strict Table Etiquette

When the Queen is done eating, you are done — even if you aren't really. You must also abide by the Queen's conversation: She has a specific order in which she speaks to dinner table guests. In addition, you must learn the proper placement of your silverware and what it signals. For example, utensils placed at an angle with the handle at the bottom right of your plate signal that you are finished.


Related: 17 Famous Food Fails by American Politicians

You Must Have a Black Outfit With You When You Travel
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You Must Have a Black Outfit With You When You Travel

In a rule dating back to 1952, all royals now travel with a black outfit in case of a death. This came about when then-Princess Elizabeth was away and her father, King George VI, passed away unexpectedly. She had to land and get appropriate black mourning clothes delivered to her plane before she could be seen in public.

You Cannot Play the Game of Monopoly
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Women Must Sit a Certain Way
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Women Must Sit a Certain Way

Yes, that's right: If you marry into the royal family, you're even going to be told how to sit. Legs crossed at either the ankles or the knee is the way to go. 

Women's Dress Code
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Women's Dress Code

Overall, women in the royal family are to be dressed modestly at all times. No cleavage is allowed, panty hose are a must-wear on bare legs, and nail polish, if any, must be pale and unobtrusive. Jeans are only allowed on a dress-down day, or at home walking the dogs, for example.

Men's Dress Code
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Men's Dress Code

Men are required to wear button-down shirts, a blazer or sweater, and chinos. As with women, jeans are frowned upon and reserved for dress-down days.

Children's Dress Code
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Children's Dress Code

Even the younger royals have a dress code. Royal children must be formally dressed when in public. For little boys, that means shorts (a signal of upper class) until the age of 8, and a button-down shirt, or a sweater. Girls must wear dresses with Peter Pan collars, cardigans, and matching hair bows and doll shoes that complement the outfit.

Two Heirs Cannot Travel Together
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Two Heirs Cannot Travel Together

It's been a long standing rule that two heirs may not travel together in case something happens to both of them. That rule was recently broken when Prince William started traveling with his family, including his successor and son, Prince George, but they got formal permission from the Queen first. They are now allowed to travel together until Prince George is 12 years old.

Your Children Will Be Raised in the Spotlight
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Your Children Will Be Raised in the Spotlight

Perhaps the biggest reason why you don't really want to be a royal?Your children. They would be raised in the spotlight, and wouldn't be anything you could do about it.