6 Times Prince Harry Couldn’t Help but Break Royal Protocol (Because He’s Just too Damn Nice)

Being royal sounds great in theory, but the family is required to abide by a strict set of rules. For example, did you know royals aren’t supposed to shut their own car doors? And there are absolutely no autographs (or selfies) allowed?

Some members of the royal family are known for making occasional exceptions, like Prince Harry, who has been pushing the etiquette guidelines for years. Although he recently stepped down as a senior royal, he committed several faux pas while he was on the queen’s roster. Here, six times the Duke of Sussex, 35, couldn’t help but break royal protocol, four of which were because he’s just too damn nice.

10 Times the Royal Family Broke Protocol This Year

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1. When Prince Harry Shut His Own Car Door

In 2019, Prince Harry attended the fifth anniversary of the Invictus Games at the Guildhall in London. When he arrived at the reception, Prince Harry got out of the vehicle and shut the car door on his own, so no one had to do it for him. Gasp! There’s an unspoken rule that members of the royal family aren’t supposed to open or close their own doors; someone else should.

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2. ...on Multiple Occasions

Harry repeated the mishap when he met the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Center in Dartmoor. The Royal Marines sarcastically apologized on Twitter for the breach in royal protocol, writing, “We thought the visit had gone so well until we saw this report of an epic planning fail on our part. We can only apologize to the nation for letting you all down. You have a right to expect better Royal car door etiquette from your Commandos.”

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3. When He & Meghan Markle Showed Pda

Flashback to the royal tour of Africa, when Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, broke protocol by showing PDA. On the first day of their tour, the royal couple held hands and touched each other’s backs while meeting children and dancing with a group of teens. They also clutched hands as they visited the District Six Museum and Homecoming Centre in Cape Town later that day. Scandalous, indeed.

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4. And Chose A Non-traditional Wedding Cake

Believe it or not, Prince Harry’s wedding cake broke royal protocol. Instead of selecting a traditional vanilla-cake-and-white-icing confection, the royal couple opted for a modern dessert, which included a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting and fresh flowers.

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5. When He Took A Photo With Meghan's Mini-me

During the royal tour of Australia, Prince Harry couldn’t help but say “yes” to a girl who asked for an unofficial photo. While he’s not supposed to take selfies with the public, the Duke of Sussex made an exception because the girl looked like a young Meghan Markle (and he’s a genuinely nice guy).

prince harry broke royal protocol

6. And Finally, When He Hugged A Charity Worker

During a recent charity visit, Prince Harry comforted an emotional volunteer, whose son had just lost his father. Although the royal family isn’t supposed to hug members of the public during official outings, the duke abandoned coronavirus protocol and embraced the tearful woman as a kind gesture. Now that he’s stepped down as a senior royal, Harry is no longer tied to the family’s rulebook, so we’ll let it slide.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...