What to Do If You Meet a Member of the Royal Family

If you’re like us, then your interaction with the royal family is probably limited to Instagram and The Crown. But for the lucky few who actually stand a chance of rubbing elbows with Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles, there are a few important things to know. Although the royal family’s website says there are “no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting The Queen or members of the Royal Family,” that certainly doesn’t mean you should just wing it. If you ever find yourself face-to-face with a member of the royal family, rest assured that there are only four things you need to do.

royal family curtsey
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1. Bow Or Curtsy

Women should pull a Kate Middleton and break out their best curtsy for the occasion. If you’ve never curtsied, don’t worry. All you have to do is place one foot behind the other at a 45-degree angle and slightly bend your knees. Simple, right? Men, however, should slightly bow their neck and head. There’s no need to go overboard with a full-torso bow. A handshake is perfectly acceptable as well, but when else would you get a chance to bow or curtsy? Carpe that diem.

queen ellizabeth meeting fans
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2. Address Them By Title

If presented (a fancy way to be introduced) to the queen, you may greet her by saying “Your Majesty.” With formality out of the way, you may then refer to her as “ma’am.” When meeting a male member of the royal family, like Prince Charles, you should address him with “Your Royal Highness” and subsequently refer to him as “sir.” The same “Your Royal Highness” structure applies to greeting female royal family members, but instead of “sir,” you’d obviously call them “ma’am.” Simple enough, right?

kate middleton accepting flowers
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3. Consider If A Gift Is Appropriate

If you’re meeting a member of the royal family with some advance notice, consider whether a gift is appropriate. Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tend to accept gifts like flowers, they’re mostly donated to charity. Queen Elizabeth, on the other hand, has a policy of not accepting gifts. However, she did bend the rules…once.

kate middleton chatting with children
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4. Keep Calm And Carry On A Conversation

Remember: They’re still people. Gawking and fawning just makes things awkward for everyone. Instead, do your best to stay calm, and if they want to talk about the weather or their children, remember your manners and chat away. After all, it’s not every day you get to hobnob with royals…unless you’re really fancy.

Consider us prepared.