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Being part of the British royal family isn’t all tiaras and travel, you know. In fact, there are some pretty stringent—and strange—etiquette guidelines and traditions that the Windsors adhere to. For example, did you know that members of the fam can’t eat garlic in the presence of the queen? Here, 24 of the most bonkers rules that the royal family must follow.

RELATED: The One Surprising Royal Rule That Would Disqualify Heirs from Becoming King or Queen

Queen Elizabeth II walks in front of Prince Philip
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1. Prince Philip Is Required to Walk Behind the Queen

Since their marriage, Her Majesty’s husband must walk a few steps behind her at all times. Who run the world?

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge receive gifts on Canada tour1
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2. They Must Accept All Gifts Graciously

While the royal family has to accept every gift that they receive (even if it’s something super lame), it’s up to Queen Elizabeth who gets to keep which gift.

The Queen wearing The Imperial State Crown
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3. They Can’t Just Propose Willy-Nilly

According to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, royal descendants must seek the monarch’s approval before proposing. (Ahem, Harry and Meghan.)

RELATED: The 9 Royal Wedding Traditions We Can Expect to See When Harry and Meghan Tie the Knot

The Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge dressed up in formal attire1
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4. There’s a Strict Dress Code

Members of the royal family are expected to dress modestly and never overtly casual. (Serious question: Can you imagine a life without sweatpants?) That doesn’t mean that they can’t have some fun, though.

RELATED: Breaking Royal News: Kate Middleton Isn’t Allowed to Wear Nail Polish

Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attend the annual Remembrance Sunday Service
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5. And They Always Travel with an All-Black Ensemble

The royal family is nothing if not prepared. A respectable all-black outfit is packed with them on their travels in case of a sudden death where they must attend a funeral.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge with family step off plane
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6. Two Heirs Cannot Fly Together

That’s in case something tragic were to happen. Once Prince George (who is third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William) turns 12, he will have to fly separately from his dad.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William
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7. No Politics Allowed

Members of the royal family are not allowed to vote or even publicly express their opinion on political matters.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge  during their visit at the Taj Mahal in Agra
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8. PDA Is Frowned Upon

Although there is no formal law that forbids future monarchs from showing affection, Queen Elizabeth II set a precedent that encourages royals to keep their hands to themselves. This is why you rarely see Prince William and Kate Middleton smooching in public, or even holding hands. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the other hand, are not under as much pressure to adhere to this protocol.

Queen Elizabeth II views the Iron Throne on the set of Game of Thrones
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9. The Queen is Not Allowed to Sit on a Foreign Throne

Even if the throne is from the Seven Kingdoms.

Britain s Queen Elizabeth II toasts with French President Francois Hollande at a state dinner1
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10. When the Queen Stands, So Do You

And don’t even think about sitting until Her Majesty has done so.

Duchess of Cambridge laughs during the Queen s Diamond Jubilee Lunch in Westminster Hall
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11. They Leave the Table Discreetly

If a royal must use the restroom during a meal, they don’t announce it to the table. Instead, they apparently simply say “Excuse me,” and that’s that. (If only your toddler would do the same.)

Duchess of Cambridge wears tiara in car
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12. Tiaras Are Only Worn by Married Women

No ring? No tiara.

Prince Harry meets the crowd
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13. There Are No Autographs or Selfies Allowed

So put that selfie stick away.

Duchess of Cambridge performs a curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II
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14. Curtsies Are Encouraged

While the official website for the British Monarchy says that there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the queen or a member of the Royal Family,” it also states that many people wish to observe the traditional forms. That means a neck bow (from the head only) for men and a small curtsy for women.

Queen Elizabeth II takes a tea break
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15. They Rarely Eat Shellfish

This isn’t a requirement, but a wise rule that many royals, including Queen Elizabeth, adhere to because of the increased likelihood of food poisoning.

RELATED: You Won’t Believe the Delicious Foods the Queen Forbids from the Royal Family’s Diet

The Queen standing with her purse
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16. The Queen Signals When a Conversation Is Over

If you see Her Majesty move her purse from her left arm to her right, then it’s time to stop talking. That apparently signals to her staff that she’s ready to move on.

Queen And Prince Philip At A Formal Luncheon In Paris During An Official Visit
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17. When the Queen Finishes Eating, Then So Must You

Dining with royalty? No extra portions for you.

Prince William  Duke of Cambridge and Catherine  Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey
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18. Royal Wedding Bouquets Contain Myrtle

This tradition started with Queen Victoria and continued with the Duchess of Cambridge's marriage in 2011. This pretty flower symbolizes good luck in love and marriage. Aww...

RELATED: 14 of the Most Stunning Royal Wedding Dresses of All Time

London tower at Thames River water front
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19. Six Ravens Must Live at the Tower of London

According to legend, at least six ravens must remain at the giant fortress or else the monarchy will fall. But no one actually believes that, do they? Well, apparently so, since there are indeed seven (one spare) birds living at the Tower currently.

Prince Andrew  Duke Of York
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20. They’re Not Allowed to Play Monopoly

When the Duke of York was presented with the board game, he revealed that it’s forbidden in the royal household because “it gets too vicious.” Royals—they’re just like us.

RELATED: 8 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Kate Middleton’s Kids

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle meet with Britain s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
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21. You Must Address Royals Properly

This one’s a little confusing. Apparently, when you first meet the queen, you should address her as “Your Majesty” and then “Ma'am.” For other female members of the royal family, you should use “Your Royal Highness,” and then again “Ma'am” in later conversation. For male royals, it's “Your Royal Highness” and then “Sir.” And under no circumstances should you address the queen as “Liz.”

queen elizabeth handbag
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22. Never Touch Her Majesty’s Purse

According to Capricia Penavic Marshall (former U.S. chief of protocol and author of Protocol), the queen’s handbag isn’t only for looks. In fact, the 94-year-old monarch uses it to send non-verbal signals to her staff. And under no circumstances should anyone else touch it.

kate dress
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23. Wedding dresses must be approved by the queen

Not only does the queen need to approve the wedding in general, but she also has to say yes to the dress. Kate Middleton showed her grandmother-in-law her custom gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen in the design process, as did Meghan Markle.

queen elizabeth garlic
Anwar Hussein / Getty IMages

24. Eating garlic is a “no-no”

Elizabeth is not a fan of the cooking staple, and therefore the ingredient is left out of all food prep.

According to the Sunday Express, “Garlic is banned from being included in foods eaten by royal family members. With many meetings between official visitors, it is thought to be advised against to prevent any awkward bad breath.” Go figure.

RELATED: All 8 of Queen Elizabeth’s Grandchildren—from Oldest to Youngest

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