Selfies have become as quotidian as brushing your teeth or having an email account, yet for the British royal family they’re totally taboo. Today we learned that not all royal family protocol is created equal because Queen Maxima of the Netherlands just took a selfie.
The 47-year-old queen visited AFAS Software in Leusden, Netherlands to present the King Willem I Award and was stopped by a well-wisher asking for a selfie. She happily obliged, and it was clear this wasn’t her first selfie rodeo (nor the woman’s, who had a whole set-up on her).
So how does this differ from the British royal family’s policy on selfies? Well, according to royal protocol it’s a no-no. During Meghan Markle’s first official charity outing for World AIDS Day with her then-fiance, Prince Harry, back in December 2017, she politely declined to take a selfie with a fan. Why? Well, it wasn’t because she wasn’t having a good hair day. The Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family aren’t permitted to take selfies because they’re not only kind of impersonal, but they’re also problematic from a security standpoint.
Just think about it—snapping a photo with Markle isn’t quite the same as chatting about her due date, and a selfie requires people to get really close. And as chummy as the royal family is with their fans, the stranger danger is real.