Meghan Markle is going to have to curtsey to Duchess Kate, just FYI

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Visit Nottingham

One of the worst parts about Meghan Markle marrying into the British royal family is that she’ll have to deal with all of the pettiness around the royal etiquette of curtseying, which is really just about who is the most “important” within the royal family. Meghan is going to need to learn – unfortunately – who is worthy of a curtsey and who is not. Like, she’s going to have to memorize a list and remember to always curtsey to certain people. All of the people arguing that we should never, ever mention Meghan and Kate in the same breath are the same people who will likely be gleeful when they remember that Meghan will need to curtsey to Kate whenever they meet. The Daily Mail did a lengthy and detailed piece with a royal etiquette expert who tried to explain the hierarchy of the curtsey.

Curtseying, within the confines of the royal court, is not only a physical act but a political one, too. The rules and the pecking order can change, and they bear little relation to the order of succession. Meghan will be expected to become swiftly au fait with who’s above, and who’s beneath, her and Harry. For his part, as guide and mentor, Harry will need to take her painstakingly through the protocol. So does she curtsey to her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge? Yes.

Does she, a complete newcomer to the royal pack, curtsey to Sophie, Countess of Wessex — a one-time commoner but a royal since 1999? No, she doesn’t. Except if Prince Edward, Sophie’s husband, is in the room. In which case, she needs to flex those knees. As out-dated as it sounds, it’s the presence of the royal husband that ‘validates’ the status of the wife. A curtsey to Princess Anne? Yes. She’s the daughter of the Sovereign. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice? Yes. But not if Harry’s in the room when they should curtsey to her.

What if the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, wanders by? Now aged 80, she’s considered more regal than the Queen, boasting two royals for parents (Prince George of Kent, fourth son of George V, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark) rather than just the one. She still curtseys to Her Majesty, and to Anne (Sovereign’s daughter). But that’s all: Meghan, and everybody else, must pay obeisance to her. Then there’s Alexandra’s sister-in-law, Princess Michael of Kent, of whom legend has it the Queen, on being informed of her European royal credentials, remarked that ‘she sounds a bit too grand for us’. Grand or not, Meghan will never have to bob before her.

The current rules on who-curtseys-to-who come from a document drawn up by the Queen’s private secretary in 2005 and circulated among the family and courtiers only. Entitled ‘Precedence Of The Royal Family To Be Observed At Court’, its purpose was to clarify Camilla’s place in the firm following her marriage to Charles. As the new wife of the Prince of Wales, Camilla ought to have come second in order of precedence after the Queen — the position Diana occupied as Princess of Wales. However, owing to the circumstances and evolution of her relationship with Charles, Camilla was moved down a peg or two.

‘This was done at the behest of Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, both of whom had given their adult lives to royal service,’ a former courtier told me. ‘They saw no reason to make obeisance to this — at the time — highly unpopular woman. Anne in particular made it clear she had no intention of curtseying to her ever.’

Its effect was to put Princesses Anne, Alexandra, Beatrice and Eugenie ahead of Camilla — but not Sophie Wessex. Her nose was said to have been put severely out of joint when told she would not have the same seniority as the others. ‘She didn’t like that one bit,’ the courtier said. In 2012, the rules were updated to include the Duchess of Cambridge and her place in the order of precedence is behind the blood royal Anne, Alexandra, Beatrice and Eugenie (although when William is by her side she is not expected to curtsey to the last two). Without William, Kate would curtsey to Camilla; with him, she would not. That’s unless Prince Charles is present, in which case she would.

[From The Daily Mail]

As an American, I think this is dumb. I would be willing to bet that Meghan thinks it’s pretty dumb too, and a gigantic waste of time and effort. But she really will have to learn this sh-t, because if she doesn’t… well, it will be terrible for her. If she sees Princess Anne in public and forgets to curtsey, Meg will be crucified in the British press. As for Meghan needing to curtsey for Kate… well, enjoy it, Keen fans! Apparently, William and Kate enjoy enforcing that kind of protocol and I can just imagine the icy stares Meghan will get if her curtsey is deemed too peasanty.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the Children's Global Media Summit

Princess Anne visiting Anglo German Club

Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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281 Responses to “Meghan Markle is going to have to curtsey to Duchess Kate, just FYI”

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  1. minx says:

    Well, she wanted to marry into this BS, lol.

  2. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    Nope. Just nope.

  3. perplexed says:

    It’s the memorizing part that would cause me difficulty, not the actual curtseying. If I married into the family (not that any prince would ever be interested in me, but, er, you known what I mean), I wouldn’t argue against curtseying. I would see it as simply part of the job description — it is what it is. You have rules in the corporate environment that you follow; you have rules in the royal family that you follow.

    But I’ll admit that remembering where everyone stands in the hierarchy when they’re with their husbands and when they’re not with their husbands would cause memory confusion for me.

    Until I read this article, I actually had no idea that a bunch of people had been put ahead of Camilla. I found that more interesting than Meghan vs. Kate or whatever. So I’m guessing Princess Anne doesn’t like Camilla? That’s the real gossip, I see!

    • LadyMTL says:

      Yeah, although I find the curtseying itself to be old-fashioned and anachronistic, it’s been around for ever so it’s not like this is anything new specifically for Meghan Markle. I personally think it’s silly and should be limited to just the Queen herself, but hey, it comes with the territory.

      That said, I would probably need a cheat-sheet for a few weeks, lol…or else watch me go curtseying to the Queen’s corgis! :P

    • LAK says:

      Camilla also pinched Andrew PB from Anne, so her refusal to curtsey to Camilla might be payback.

      • perplexed says:

        Interesting! See, that’s the real gossip!

      • Bella Dupont says:


        I love your use of “pinched” there….lol. By the way, are there any consequences for not curtseying to the right people? Say if certain people decided not to ever curtsey to Meghan, apart from say negative media coverage, would there be any actual real life consequences?

      • Bella Dupont says:

        @ LAK
        Sorry, not to bombard you, but how much do you know of Princess Michael of Kent? I sense she’ll definitely be one of the women Meghan will end up having problems with…….

      • LAK says:

        Bella Dupont: No real life consequences, but the family is very archaic behind closed doors such that they insist on these rules are observed behind closed door. And they are petty as hell with each other so they could make her life uncomfortable in subtle ways until she fell into line privately.

        Princess Michael isn’t as awful as her press. She’s actually pretty welcoming to others who marry in regardless of creed, race, station. She can be grand at times, but she’s not malicious.

        I remember she had a kerfuffle a few years ago at a restaurant in NYC which made her look like a racist, but simultaneously, her daughter was dating an Asian man whom she adored so it’s hard to make a definitive judgement on where she is or isn’t. She’s not someone who racially abuses people, even as microaggressions, so that incident still surprises.

        Ps: i understand that people can be friendly with other races and still hold racist prejudices against their race, but i really feel that that one incident was an outlier with PMKent.

      • Maria says:

        BELLA, LAK. Didn’t Princess Michael plagiarize a book?

      • Pedro45 says:

        Didn’t Princess Michael also tell Diana after she gave up her HRH that under no circumstances was Diana to curtsey to her?That seemed kind.

      • magnoliarose says:

        She is charming and has a robust and settled personality and for a woman that can be misconstrued. When she came on the scene her typically Germanic forthright nature stood out for British royalty. She divorced her first husband so she and Meghan might get along great.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        @ LAK

        Huh… don’t say…..

        …..very interesting to hear that you think she’s so different to how she’s portrayed. This is why I usually insist on knowing an individual for at least a little while before deciding if they are genuinely racist or sexist or just an arseh*le (not saying she is one!)


        I heard something about her plagiarising some passages for one of her books (if I remember correctly), but I don’t really know the details of it.

      • Princessk says:

        Princess Michael was very probably having an affair with her present husband whilst married to her first, just like Awful Anne.

      • A says:

        @magnoliarose, “Charming and robust and settled” is an awfully charitable way to describe a known snob.

        I will give her points because she’s cheeky and has a personality. But, much like Princess Margaret, she is prone to believing her own hype a little too much for most people’s tastes.

    • inthekitchen says:

      At least for the first several times she encounters the family members (over Christmas hols), Harry will be there. If it were me, I’d work out some kind of body signal Harry could give me to help me remember until I memorized everything…an ear pull, ala Carol Burnett, or something.

      In a sense, even though it will be overwhelming, at least she’ll meet a slew of family over the holidays and will get a crash course in the ‘to whom do I curtsey’ game. As an actor, I’ll bet she’s good at remembering things on the fly.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        They mentioned at the interview that she’d already met quite a few of them…..”all the key people” is how he referred to them, if I remember correctly.

        Which begs the question……if you were a member of the family and hadn’t met Meghan yet, how much of a clarification is that on your real relevance within the institution?

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      I believe Andrew pushed for this rule. Essentially princesses by blood – Anne, Alexandra, Eugenie, and Beatrice – never have to curtesy to Camilla because she was born a commoner. Sophie Wessex, however, does have to curtesy to Camilla because Charles is heir to the throne and outranks Sophie’s husband Edward. Or something like that.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Anne pushed for it earlier, when she was annoyed at the popularity of Diana and Fergie. That was also when she was granted the traditional Princess Royal title.

      • LAK says:

        Anne and Alexandra pushed for this rule back in 2005. At the time it wasn’t a big deal because Camilla wasn’t liked in public so most people and the press shrugged.

        When Kate was added to the order of precedence and the press realised that the rule now included the hated Yorkies, it was reported as a scandal designed to put down Kate.

      • Va Va Kaboom says:

        Anne pushed for it originally when Camilla married Charles, but Andrew took up the “Blood Princess” cause when Kate joined the family so his daughters wouldn’t suffer the indignity of curtesying to a Commoner.

        When Charles is King he can, and probably will, change the protocol right back so the Queen Consort and Princess of Wales take precedent over any Blood Princess. So, I hope Anne and the Yorks savor their small victory, it won’t last.

      • KiddVicious says:

        @Va Va Kaboom “When Charles is King he can, and probably will, change the protocol right back so the Queen Consort and Princess of Wales take precedent over any Blood Princess.”

        Does this mean Ann had to curtsy to Diana (when she was still married to Charles) even when Charles wasn’t with Diana? I’m assuming she had to when Diana and Charles were together.

      • Bridget says:

        @LAK: am I the only one that sees the irony in using this rule to put down Kate?

        And yes, the rule before was that the princesses royal would have needed to curtsy to Diana.

      • LAK says:

        Bridget: they are petty as hell.

    • jinsl says:

      They have private secretaries who attend events with them and remind them of such things.

    • Princessk says:

      Will Meghan have to curtsey to Harry?…!

    • Plantpal says:

      Because of my knees, I would find curtseying difficult. The idea is to get one’s head lower, isn’t it? I would be happier to bow. And then I’d just bow to Everyone. I would bow my head to the homeless person on the street (or if my knees were better, I would curtsey). I would curtsey to the Palace guard who held the door open for me. I would curtsey or bow to the chef who made my dinner. I’d drive everyone nuts with inappropriate curtseying LOL Do the men curtsey? Probably they bow? So the bow may be one way to modernize the monarchy vs the curtsey?

  4. babykitten says:

    Anne sounds a joy to be around. No wonder she’s her father’s favorite.

  5. Mar says:

    My head is spinning after all of this

  6. Beth says:

    I guess the rules should be followed. What the hell is the point of having to curtsey? If someone doesn’t, will it be considered a crime and they’ll be sent to jail?

  7. PettyRiperton says:

    It’s not too late to change her mind about marrying into the firm. If I was her after Christmas I would tell Harry you know what I don’t think this will work out toss him his ring and run like hell.

  8. Nicole says:

    If she doesn’t want to curtsy she should not be marrying Harry. If she doesn’t want to memorize protocol then she should’ve thought of that before.
    You either take it all or nothing. Not feeling sorry for her here.

  9. Who ARE these people? says:

    This kind of thing reminds me that the BRF really is a stupid institution. And if William and Kate don’t drop this nonsense, so much for being “normal.”

  10. Meow says:

    Wouldn’t curtsy to that hot blusher-caked mess lolz

  11. MeowuiRose says:

    The Rules:
    Don’t wear a tank top two days in a row.
    You can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week.
    On Wednesdays we wear pink.
    You can only wear jeans or track pants on Friday.

    All jokes aside, this sounds exhausting. I really don’t see Meghan fitting in long term. That isn’t an insult to her. I think she will be respectful and do her best to follow the rules but I don’t think stuff like this is important to her and once she’s married she’ll stop trying (unless she’s around the Queen or in public).

    But really Im just here for the pretty clothes and royal buttons.

  12. V4Real says:

    Kate is going to love that. Be careful what you wish for Megan, be careful.

  13. inthekitchen says:

    But wait, what if Kate (on her own) meets up with the duo of Meghan AND Harry?! Wouldn’t they then be “above” Kate and Kate would actually have to curtsey to Meghan? Seems like they would, based on the Sophie example in the article. I think it depends on whether the married in women are with their husbands or not. In any case, as H&M mentioned in their engagement interview, Meghan is choosing Harry so I’m quite sure she is aware of all the strange protocol she will have to live by and is on board with it.

    Also, have we ever seen Kate curtseying to anyone beside the queen and maybe Anne? Maybe the younger royals have decided to not cursety to each other? I can’t remember ever having seen Kate curtsey to Beatrice, e.g.

    • Nic919 says:

      They would. Because the status relates to the husband if you married in. Not exactly a feminist institution.

      As for Beatrice and Eugenie, I don’t think they have met Kate in public without William there so she doesn’t have to curtsey to them but vice versa.

      • inthekitchen says:

        I wonder if Kate studiously avoids meeting up with Bea and Eug – especially because of Kate’s years ago mean-girling – specifically so she doesn’t have to publicly curtsey to them.

        Although…{smirk} Kate seems to studiously avoid doing anything, so I’m guessing it’s not really going to happen where she’d meet up with the York women without William.

      • SoulSPA says:

        @inthekitchen I’ve read somewhere that Kate avoids being alone with B and E so that she wouldn’t have to curtsy to them. That said I have no idea if the blood princess were ever mean to her but yes, a royal reporter by the name of Katie Nichol I think wrote a piece in the DF detailing how mean Keen Kate was towards B in one social occasion. Pippa was there too IIRC. Keen middle-class sisters vs. bloody princesses. Classy! Not!

  14. Natalie S says:

    They all take the money so they all have to follow these silly rules they have for each other. It’s when non-royals curtsey, that I cringe.

  15. Peace says:

    It’s no big deal. In my country, we curtesy as a sign of respect. Men prostrate and women kneel as a sign of respect. Meanwhile, the Sun reports that MM and Victoria Beckham have become BFFs.

  16. Josie says:

    I would assume the hierarchy is because they are princesses “of the blood”, and the etiquette goes back 100’s of years, though it’s obviously now symbolic.

    I’m liking Princess Anne even more after this story.

  17. Luca76 says:

    Yes whenever someone says it’s romantic I think of this BS. Hopefully their love for eachother and communication skills are strong enough to overcome this crap.

  18. Talie says:

    It’s a courtesy…if I were her, the only ones I would do it for are The Queen, Philip and Charles.

  19. Meghan’s an actress for goodness sakes!She will make this part of her thing,you know remembering all the correct people in the correct order,and I bet she’ll curtsy with grace and a smile even if she’s burning inside.And the big one -like many others have said,she knows what she’s getting into and she can still run!(I dunno think I’d run like the wind)

  20. perplexed says:

    Maybe she wouldn’t mind curtseying to Kate. Meghan sort of seems to enjoy hanging around this kind of set. Her best friend doesn’t exactly seem unpretentious. I’m wondering what Meghan thinks of Camilla though! Is she Team Diana? It seems even Sophie doesn’t want to curtsey to her. Hilarious.

    • SoulSPA says:

      From what I know, people curtsy to the title, not the person. I don’t know if M will have any problem with that. In my opinion though curtsying to the DoC is a hack of an issue because of the person. Duchess Keen Kate Snowflake Dolittle Doormat Mattress Lean Legs Hair Wiglet and Flashy Biscuit of Middleton and Lamebridge. Who herself does not honour her title through good deeds and respect to the title and so on. She’s more of a lame Middleton than Cambridge or Windsor.
      I really hope Meghan will put her to shame. No worries about curtsying.

    • Bella Dupont says:


      Re Meghan’s thoughts on Camilla…..I wondered the same thing as well……

      I think for political expediency, she needs to cultivate a good (great if possible) relationship with Camilla. As the wife of the future King, Meghan needs to have her onside if she wants /expects an advantageous arrangement for herself and her kids, once Charles ascends the throne (given he is so keen to make lots of changes).

      • Nic919 says:

        Camilla was very complimentary about Meghan at her first appearance post engagement announcement so I think Meghan has already made positive inroads in that regard.
        I don’t recall Camilla calling Kate a star when they announced their engagement.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        I wonder if its true that Kate and Camilla don’t really get on (as such)? If it is true, then maybe this is Camilla recruiting Meghan to her side, nice and early?

      • Tourmaline says:

        It would be nice if Meghan could have a great relationship with Camilla. Camilla seems motherly and cozy and Meghan’s own mom is going to be far away most of the time (if she continues living in California). I could see Kate not being that chummy with Camilla because Kate has her own mom close by, plus I think Kate takes all her cues from William and if he’s not close to Camilla, Kate won’t be close to her.

  21. Heat says:

    Frankly, I don’t doubt that these types of things are seen as rather ‘dumb’ to the Queen, herself. But, part of the job with The Establishment, means that rules must be followed.

  22. Brunswickstoval says:

    I highly doubt Meghan hates any of this. She knows what she’s getting into.

  23. Liane says:

    What happens if she curtsies when she shouldn’t? Just as scandalous or okay?

    • perplexed says:

      Honestly, I think the media cares more about finding a faux-pas than the royal family does. I don’t see the Queen or Charles going postal because someone curtseyed at the wrong time. But I suppose the British tabloids would never let the person forget.

      • LAK says:

        Early in her marriage, Kate curtseyed to HM and DoE on the balcony at Trooping the Colour and lipreading wags said the Queen told her,’too late!’

        They curtsey / bow to each other the first time they meet, and the number of times Kate is seen publicly curtseying to HM indicates she often arrives at these public events from elsewhere even though to the family, including Kate, appear to arrive as a collective.

        For Trooping the colour, they all curtsey to each other behind closed doors before they go out to the balcony so it was funny to see Kate drop a curtsey when she was already on the balcony.

      • spidey says:

        @ perplexed. – not just the media. :)

  24. Jussie says:

    Well, yeah. This is what she signed up for. It’s not just a marriage, it’s a job. A spectacularly stupid and pointless job, but again, she chose to sign up for it.

    • G says:

      Exactly. I don’t see how her having to curtsy according to established etiquette is “one of the worst parts” — she would just be doing her job. She is well aware of this, and she has still chosen to join The Firm.

      Let’s not expect her to be revolutionary.

  25. trillian says:

    Yeah, that alone would put me off marrying anyone royal. A “hi everyone” should be fine imo.

  26. Naomi says:

    Damn it no human should bow or curtsy to another, I probably won’t live to see it (I really hope I do as I am only 25) but I can’t wait for the British monarchy to end!

    • Bella Dupont says:

      I hope you die very old and happy, AND I hope you don’t see it’s end! :D ;)

    • Stevie says:

      I agree 100%. No one is above another to show such subservience. This is an outdated tradition that needs to go.

    • Yup, Me says:

      When I was 25 I would have said the exact same thing. Now, I’d say that I can absolutely see bowing or curtseying to the monarch (especially one who has spent so many years of her life in service to the position) but all the trickle down whoopty whoop still seems foolish.

      I’ve attended different religious rituals where bowing or prostrations were part of the ceremony and I was really resistant until a teacher explained bowing to me from his perspective. It was a beautiful talk and made me love the practice. But I still think that the people who are most insistent on being bowed to are often the very people least deserving of the show of respect.

      • African Sun says:

        @Yup, agreed, I think QE has earned a curtsey from anyone in the UK at this point, though I realise it is not obligatory.

        I think some people are overthinking the bowing, curtseying of various traditions. Look at the situation you are in and go from there. Megs has to do this and that’s that, and I am sure she knew this before he gave her the ring.

    • Merritt says:

      Please don’t travel to Japan, ever.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Monarchy is an institution and if you want to play in their arena, you’ve got to play by their rules. If it was so objectionable to Meghan she can either not marry in or get Harry to drop out of the fam and the system.

      I know its not the same thing as royalty, but I think of going to a court hearing. Everyone must rise when the judge comes in. It’s part of the institution. Even if the judge is a meritless jerk you do it, because it’s about more than showing respect to someone as an individual. (Although unlike BRF curtseying if you don’t rise for the judge you surely risk getting thrown in jail).

  27. Really? says:

    So basically she’s going to be flexing those knees a lot. Girl knows there’s a trade off for everything. Don’t feel sorry for her.

    Bow to Kate!

  28. Tan says:

    Royal family sounds like the big wig version of Indian / South Asian families where you have younger than your age masi or someone’s someone you have to respect, specially as a new bride

    Just bunch of horsepotty.

  29. sus says:

    Yeah, that is part of the job. It’s one of the reasons I don’t understand all the fawning over Harry. He’s a part of the BRF as much as Will is.

  30. Amanda says:

    Best pet of this story is princess Anne pulling the Camilla curtsey-card. Love it!

  31. manda says:

    Omg, this would stress me out so much!! I would cry every night for months, for sure

  32. Cee says:

    She only has to if she encounters William with Kate. If Kate is solo and Meghan is with Harry, then Kate should curtsey to THEM. It is the presence of the royal husband that which determines the curtsey. Neither Kate nor Meghan are royal although I suppose this will change if and when Kate is Princess of Wales.

  33. dimsummum says:

    Last week, Prince Carl Philip visited my daughter’s classroom in Hong Kong. My father, on hearing this news, said, “She doesn’t have to curtsey, does she? Man should not curtsey to anyone, except God.”
    I replied, “Dad, you’re an athiest.”
    He responded, “You know what I’m saying.”
    I do agree with him – the concept of bowing to someone because of their lineage (or marriage choices) – does not appeal to me.

  34. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Although I’m not reading about curtsey etiquette, I enjoy reading the comments. I couldn’t care less about Royals as I, too, find it exhausting and odd in this age of so-many-things-more-important. The fact that they’re simply a nation’s face reminds me of costume parties and magnificent masks. But hey, we have Seacumblob running our nation into the ground while he chugs diet soda and watches himself on TV all day. Oh. And he has a base cheering him on with every cheeto and chicken nugget dropped. Curtsey away. Curtsey to everyone day and night, 24/7, every day for all time. I’ll take your curtsey and raise you a human sea cucumber blob fish.

  35. Nene says:

    I find the idea of a monarchy in an age where “everyone is equal” to be ridiculous.

  36. aquarius64 says:

    I look at it as joining the military. There are people you have to salute to and people that salute to you. Meghan wasn’t forced and probably understood the rules before the engagement announcement. Meghan will be expected to curtsy before the queen on her wedding day, she refuses she will be branded ugly American and Donald Trump knock off with a quickness for not respecting another country’s customs.

    • Stevie says:

      The difference is that in the military, officers earn that title – they are not born tomit, or marry into it. And saluting is not an obseqious, bowing dow to another person, posture. You are both upright.
      No one else has mentioned this, but as an ancestor of slaves, the idea of Meghan bowing to her “superiors” makes me very queasy. I know she signed up for this. It’s her choice, but that is my visceral reaction.

      • African Sun says:

        I don’t think her ancestry in this situation plays any role into it. I’m from a fairly conservative African country, and in the rural areas, it is expected to ”curtsey” when greeting elders if you are a woman. I don’t find it disrespectful, I don’t think they are above me – just honouring tradition and older family members off my back.

        But saluting is still showing someone else outranks you?

        I think Megs will be fine with the curtseying, she knows she has to do it, so she will carry on.

        I think the curtseying is seeming to affect American commenters on this site more, because it’s fairly standard where I am from in rural areas for example.

      • A says:

        That’s not the point that @Stevie is making. There is a difference between being African, and the connotations that curtseying or bowing before royalty would have for African Americans given the history of slavery. Slavery in North America began as a colonial institution. That’s not an analogue between having to respect an individual culture’s traditions, that’s something quite different.

        I come from a culture that’s similar in terms of having to respect elders. I dislike it, and I’m hardly alone in thinking that, nor is it a generational push back (my grandma’s father, several of her brothers, several of their children, all of them have refused or voiced their dislike for the custom). Respect is earned. And many old people have not earned it, nor do they earn it by virtue of their age.

      • StillTotalled says:

        People who are so convinced military titles are always earned haven’t actually spent any time in the armed services. Plenty of salutes required to people one doesn’t respect, who may or may not return the salute (which, since the lower ranking person is supposed to hold their salute until it is returned, can get tiresome.)
        As an American, I see it as local protocol. If Meghan knows her own worth (and I’m sure she does), she realizes it doesn’t diminish her in any way to simply follow custom.

      • Princessk says:

        I can’t see what slavery has got to do with this. During the days of slavery white people curtsied to each other. Also Meghan’s ‘slave’ ancestry is always dredged up but for all we know she may be descended from royalty in Africa. Many members of royal families were captured and enslaved. Anyway on her father’s side she is descended from British nobility and I bet her mother has white ancestry too.

  37. Jayna says:

    Who cares.? She knew what she was signing on for and it’s worth it to her. She and Harry will be living in wealth with tons of subordinates to take care of their every need.
    So I really don’t care when and where she has to curtsey.

    • Olenna says:

      Agree. Having to curtsey is not a BFD. If she thought it would be, she wouldn’t be marrying him. Anyone who has spent time in the military knows what it’s like to have give some shithead their due with a salute or maneuver to walk on their left side when one of them outranks you. Like it or not, it’s a sign of respect for the rank.

  38. spidey says:

    Wouldn’t you love it is Charles banned curtseying on his accession, if he outlives the queen.

    And I just love how much some posters “know” about the RF, especially what they do in private.

  39. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I would struggle with this for two reasons: First, the idea of curtsying to anyone makes me cringe. I’m far too much of an egalitarian for it. And second: having to remember who to curtsy to and when would be insane. I’m sure Meghan knows she would have to curtsy to certain people. I have no doubt Harry has told her about protocol since she’s already met the Queen. But having to memorize the protocol for each person according to who is or isnt in the room? Yikes.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It really isn’t that difficult to memorize. When with Harry, take the lead from him. When solo, take the lead from highest ranking person & their spouse.

    • A says:

      It goes Queen, blood princesses (Anne, Alexandra, Beatrice, Eugenie), Camilla (w/o Charles), Kate (w/o William), Meghan (w/o Harry), Andrew’s spouse, and Sophie.

      If Camilla, Kate, or Meghan are accompanied by their spouses, then the order changes.

      ETA: Wasn’t there also a period of time, before Camilla was married, and after the Diana + Fergie divorce, when Sophie was the highest ranking lady after the Queen? I don’t blame her for being miffed about getting bumped just because of Anne’s desire to shaft Camilla.

  40. Other Renee says:

    So do commoners have to curtesy to any of them too or do the royal family just flex their knees for each other? My knees would not be happy. Just saying.

  41. Hazel says:

    Gah! I would need a cheat sheet! You know, like they have for poker? I’m always thinking, what beats what again?

  42. Nej says:

    Why does this site dislike Kate so much? Isn’t it very possible Kate and Meghan will be friends, considering they’re sisters -in-law and their husbands are pretty close too? Pitting women against each other for a story is pretty sad in 2018. #justsaying

  43. Ollie says:

    She’ll do what they say and make the best out of it.

    I wonder how Meg feels about Harry the Sporthunter. How deluded and entitled Harry is. Using a private jet so he can join his bestie hunting. By the way Harrys arito friend has his own YouTube channel with videos of his hunting trips plus death counter. No wonder Harry liked him so much.

    The german press says Harry got special treatment. He brought his own weapons.
    60 aristos and friends with guns in a german forest… How brave they are. Harrys world.

  44. Adele Dazeem says:

    If I were Kate/Meghan I’d form a fast friendship and alliance. They could stick together and make these events slightly more tolerable. Not to mention the positive pr of the two couples working together on things. They have a lot more in common than a lot of these old fussy duds and it’s nice to have a friend behind palace walls. Kate could bitch to Meghan about William…it’s not like Meghan would/can tell on her!

    • SoulSPA says:

      Kate does not need an alliance with Meghan. Kate has her blood family and except for them, her kids and William everything comes from second place down. I have the feeling she’s not loved much in the BRF.
      The only things the two have in common is that they are women, speak the same language and have a connection with the royal brothers.
      Meghan enters new territory with a world of opportunities. I see Harry’s cousins warming up to her. Camilla might genuinely like her. Charles might find her at least interesting as they share some interests. Even the corgis like Meghan!
      If anything, Kate needs Meghan to improve her declining image. Kate’s, mind you. Meghan is already a star.

  45. Chaine says:

    It all sounds so incredibly ridiculous. It should be easy, there’s one person that’s the monarch and one that’s the monarch’s spouse, how about everyone curtseys to those two and no one has to curtsey to anyone else?

  46. perplexed says:

    If I were Meghan or Kate, I’d probably want to make friends with the other, simply because we’d be in the same age range and we’d both be outsiders.

    I respect Princess Anne’s work ethic, but for some reason I feel having a conversation with her would stress me out (I don’t eat hay). I can already see her face judging me from the computer screen.

    Camilla may be a perfectly nice person to talk to, but she’s old and from a different generation. I also think I might accidentally look at her strangely at times given everything I’ve read about the Charles and Diana saga. I don’t think Meghan has read royal biographies, but she probably knows the basic details.

    Charles may also be a fun person to talk to on an intellectual level, but he seems like the sort to have a. timeline on how he goes about his day.

    The Queen. I respect her commitment to duty, but given all that she has on her plate I really don’t think she’s into small talk. I see her as a symbol as much as as a person and CEO.

    Then there’s Andrew. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

    I seriously think both Kate and Meghan would have the easiest time dealing with each other, work ethic or no work ethic, notwithstanding. Meghan is probably a hard worker, but since she’s an actress she also has some frivolous interests like all of them do, and that’s where hanging out with Kate probably wouldn’t be so bad. They can talk about the best mascara or whether Kristen Stewart will keep jeggings in style (hey, I’m not an actress, and I wouldn’t mind having these conversations. I don’t have a burning desire to talk about horses with Princess Anne).

  47. MrsFToYou says:

    Odd situation . . . So does get granted full British Citizenship upon marriage?

    Americans are not subjects of the Royal family. So does mean she is considered a subject?

    • Tina says:

      We’re not subjects either. We are citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Pretty much no one has been a British subject since 1983. As for Meghan, I understand that she will apply for British citizenship following the marriage and will retain her US nationality at least until that is granted (and possibly beyond, we don’t know).

  48. Mary says:

    SHE Has to courtsy to Kate? I agree part of the job description

    Like how I have to say hi to my boss everyday


  49. 42istheanswer says:

    None of that is particularly surprising, is it ? Obviously, it is archaic and arcane but then, the very concept of a monarchy is somewhat archaic and arcane so it fits the bill ^^

    Meghan Markle is a “commoner” (I loathe that word with a passion, it sounds so disparaging…) and she is about to marry a prince who will soon drop from fifth to sixth in line to the throne; William and Catherine, for better of for worse, will be king and queen someday so the calculation in terms of prominence is fairly easy.

    The latest YouGov’s figures are fairly interesting in that regard (and may shed a different, non-internet light onto the British public’s perception, interest and/or lack thereof into this) :,4711849,subid=110410X1568323X4a2992915a218ec86e6ed35f8ff304c8&pdl.rlid=203577

  50. Juliaoc says:

    Meghan will somehow manage to curtsy with style and grace, I have no doubt.

  51. Julaho says:

    I’ll be honest, I’m petty enough that I’d make my in laws curtesy to me too. Y’all acting like you don’t have in laws 😂

  52. katie3 says:

    All I can say is “Meghan, you still have time – run”!!!!

  53. lascivious chicken says:

    Grown women curtsying looks ridiculous. Should be saved for ren fairs and sarcasm only.

  54. Bliss 51 says:

    The figures linked @42istheanswer tell me Americans are the ones following this engagement and coming marriage. Too bad she can’t work. Didn’t Sophie work or did she resign after her engagement or marriage? I expect Harry, or I hope he did, fill her in on the curtsey folderol. My cats expect one from me, but understand they are genuine royals, don’t you know.

  55. Ozogirl says:

    The whole institution is dumb and outdated. They serve very little purpose besides gossip.

  56. A says:

    If this were a movie about her life, this would be the part where she throws the brief outlining how to curtsey into the air before breaking out into a song and dance sequence that teaches the stodgy old palace stuff a thing or two about American egalitarianism and being kind and nice to others.

    At any rate, you couldn’t pay me to curtsey to any of these people. Maybe the Queen, but only the Queen. And possibly Camilla, but out of sheer spite for every one of her naysayers.

    • Dixiebells says:

      I love this. I think all these curtsying stories have always been overblown. Fine they’re hung up on it behind closed doors. But even then I feel like reporters and sources are embellishing. Who really knows? I’m not sure it would be the greatest disaster to have ever occurred if someone messed it up. Especially a new family member. The queen strikes me a good balance between tradition and respect and duty but she’s not like an idiot about modern human interactions either. She’s posed for kids selfies. I think if a new, younger, family member, especially one who didn’t grow up with a monarchy as part of the national identity messed it up the queen would probably be reassuring more than anything. I get probably not bffs as she does seem to appreciate protocol and distance but I doubt she’s gonna ostracize mm either if she messes up. Sorry this was major stream of consciousness commenting. I’m tired lol.

      • Dixiebells says:

        And actually to support my point I went down a bit of a google black hole and found this:

        In the video of everyone arriving for George’s christening you can see the range of formality. I think it’s clear they’re a family and these are family rules per the queen and everyone respects them, but it also seems very friendly too. And noticeably William doesn’t really do anything because he’s holding the baby. I guess it all just supports my notion that the queen expects it but isn’t like a dictator about it either. Plus babies are distracting. Especially in that getup 😂

      • A says:

        No no, I agree with you. I think the media blows it out of proportions a lot of the time. Yes, they are likely a stickler for protocol, even behind closed doors. But I doubt they’ll rake a new member over the coals just because they don’t know the rules right away or are unfamiliar with the custom. At any rate, I don’t think they get hung up on curtseying as much as people assume they do.

  57. Electric Tuba says:

    I too have to courtesy to my sister in law every time I see her but I do it with my middle finger.

  58. Bliss 51 says:

    Y’all call that curtseyin’?! Pfffttt! Watch a Texan debutante perform one!

  59. perplexed says:

    Does Harry have to bow to William? Does Anne curtsy to Charles? Does this sort of thing only happen you marry? It’s strange that I’ve never pondered this question until now.

    I don’t necessarily think it’s a hard thing to adapt to though, even if you are marrying into the family, when you consider all of the free money and status you’ll get in return for following protocol.

    It is a status-oriented institution, but I do also think the people who choose to marry into it fall for their partners partly because of the status they’ll get as well. It might be suffocating, but I don’t believe they’re not attracted to the status as well as the man/woman. Heck, I think Camilla wanted to be Charles’s mistress because she knew she was going to be a mistress to the Future King.

  60. Bridget says:

    My. That was an awful lot of commentary when it comes to Kate.

  61. sage says:

    I remember reading, probably the DM, that Zara said she would no longer curtsy after the queen passes. I don’t believe any of the women in the brf want to curtsy to Camilla or Kate.

    • Dixiebells says:

      I thought I read she thought people didn’t know how to do it anymore and she had always known how. Or something about growing up around it. I think she likes Charles, I’ve seen them chatting and being really happy in pictures. I can’t imagine as a member of the family that she’d put such a hard stop to it if they all buy so heavily into this practice about respecting the monarch. But who knows I don’t follow Zara as closely as the more high profile people so definitely could have missed article. I do feel like Charles might reinstate the logical order of precedence though, in that the number in line you are is how you’re ranked. That’s what makes sense to me!

  62. Shannon says:

    I’m fine with them both and think this rule is dumb but whatever the protocol I guess.