How Much Do You Know About Royal Etiquette?

By: Isadora Teich
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Much Do You Know About Royal Etiquette?
Image: TheTalko

About This Quiz

Think you are posh enough to conduct yourself like a royal? Even if you have seen "The Princess Diaries" a dozen times, that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many rules that royals have to juggle with grace while conducting themselves in public. When it comes to how to dress, talk, walk, and even sit, there are rules for that. 

Some of the rules are more specific than anyone might think. When it comes to royals acting properly, there is not a hair out of place, or a tiara placed too far forward or too far back on that hair. Some of these rules have even changed over time. Styles and fashions change. The displays of wealth characteristic of past generations of royals are also no longer a part of the overall image. While some rules are tried and true, others have changed drastically over time. Some things that Princess Diana did in public, Kate Middleton most likely will not. The same could be said going back for centuries and centuries.  

If you are a royal etiquette expert who knows how to mind your manners, see if you can conquer this very polite quiz!  

What is the correct way for royal women to sit?
legs crossed at the knee
legs spread
knees folded
knees and ankles together
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A royal woman sitting in any other way than with her knees and ankles together is out of the question. It is OK if she crosses her ankles, which Kate Middleton is known to do.

Deep curtsies are a sign of what?
awkwardness
disrespect
irony
respect
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royal curtsies should not reach the floor ever. They should usually be subtle, but longer ones are a sign of respect.

How do most royals dress in public?
modestly
in sequins
in bold prints
for the beach
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While all the royals have their own sense of style, such as The Queen preferring neon colors, their public outfits all have one thing in common. They are quite modest and cover their bodies.

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What part of the body to all royal women always dress to cover?
ankles
bust
neck
arms
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dressing modestly and appropriately for every occasion is a big part of the fashion choices of female royals. Princess Diana famously carried a large purse which she used to cover her bust from the paparazzi whenever she got out of a car.

It is currently the fashion for royal women to wear their tiaras:
back
around their neck
at the hairline
just behind the hairline
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It used to be fashionable for royal ladies to wear their tiaras more forward on the head, but now it is fashionable to place them further back. They should be at a 45-degree angle when seen from the side.

Who must wear a tiara?
a royal bride
kings
princes
all royal women
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Any royal bride simply must wear a tiara on her wedding day. According to tradition, this tiara will come from her own family.

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In a royal procession, who enters and is seated first?
Prince of Wales
the reigning monarch
Duchess of Cornwall
the oldest male royal
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In processions, the royal family enters and is seated in order of who is on the throne and who is closest to it in the line of succession. The monarch enters first, followed by their spouse, and then their children and their spouses.

Do royals drink tea with their pinkies out?
yes
no
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While there is a correct royal way to drink tea, it does not involve holding your pinky out. That is considered too pretentious.

What is the correct way to sip tea out of a cup?
sip out of one spot
quickly
with a straw
one sip a minute
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When drinking tea, royal women will sip out of the same spot of the cup. This is to avoid getting lipstick marks all over the cup.

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Does the royal family take dining etiquette seriously?
yes
no
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While for many of us dinner might be a sandwich in front of the TV, the royal family has complex dining etiquette. How they hold their utensils is even different.

What is the royal way to use forks?
stab food
scoop food
cut food
balance food on the back
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royals hold their knives in their right hands and their forks in their left. They then balance food on the back of of their fork to eat.

How do royals politely leave the table if they have to use the bathroom during a meal?
They just leave.
They announce it.
They say "excuse me."
They wait until the meal is done.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royal etiquette demands that no one ever announce when they have to go to the bathroom. A simple "excuse me" is all it takes.

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How do royals let waitstaff know not to take their plate if they have to leave the table briefly.
They tell them.
They ring a bell twice.
They cross their utensils over their plate.
They take the plate with them.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The crossed utensils is a sign to waitstaff not to take their plate. When they are done, they place the utensils at an angle, with the handles at the bottom right of the plate.

How do royals fold their napkins?
in thirds
in half
into origami swans
They don't.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This royal etiquette tip has a practical purpose. If you wipe your face and hands into the fold of a halved napkin, it stops any debris from falling on your clothes.

When should royal men offer their spouses a hand?
when they go down stairs
when they enter an event
when they walk outside
wherever cameras are
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

At many events throughout history, royal women have worn cumbersome shoes and elaborate dresses, making navigating stairs difficult. This is why it is customary for their men to give them a hand.

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What ancient tradition does Queen Elizabeth II follow?
only wearing red
not eating shellfish
footbinding
vow of silence
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For centuries, royals did not eat shellfish to avoid food poisoning. While it is not still required, Queen Elizabeth II holds to it.

What food do royals skip when they eat out to avoid food poisoning?
chicken
sushi
rare red meat
pasta
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For centuries the royal family avoided shellfish altogether to avoid food poisoning. While not all hold fast to this rule, many still avoid rare red meat and shellfish when eating out to avoid getting sick.

Does dinner have a dress code?
no
semi-formal
formal
business casual
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royal family dinners have a strict dress code. Formal wear is a must.

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When should you stop eating at a royal dinner?
when you are full
after seconds
25 minutes in
when the queen stops eating
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

At royal dinners, it is important to keep one eye on the Queen. When she stops eating, everyone else must, too.

How must Prince Philip walk with Queen Elizabeth in public?
next to
in front
behind
to the left
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In public, Prince Philip must always walk two steps behind his lady. Those are the rules.

Do members of the royal family get involved in politics publicly?
yes
no
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is a big no. Royals are not allowed to run for office and they also do not vote.

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What religion do all royals have to stay loyal to?
Islam
Catholicism
Hinduism
The Church of England
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It is only as of 2011 that the royal family is allowed to marry Catholics, which was a no go before then. The royals themselves still must stay loyal to the Church of England.

Royal women are instructed to pose and walk down stairs with their chins in what position?
up
down
to the side
parallel to the ground
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royal ladies are told to walk downstairs with their chins parallel to the ground and hands at their sides. They are also told to pose for photographs with their hands in that position.

Which of these is a necessity for handshakes?
a firm grip
multiple pumps
eye contact
gloves
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For a proper royal handshake, maintain eye contact. Any more than two pumps is also an etiquette no.

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What is necessary for royal ladies to wear at formal events?
wedges
pearls
sunglasses
hats
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hats are a formal event must for royal women. For older royals, they often match exactly, while many younger royals opt for hats that compliment their outfits.

Who are the only royal women who can wear tiaras?
over 50
under 20
married
engaged
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tiaras have fallen out of fashion mostly for royals who are out and about, but you will never catch an unmarried royal in one. That is definitely a no.

Which of these are royals not supposed to wear?
blue
emeralds
fur
animal prints
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Due to a 12th century proclamation from Edward III, royals are not supposed to wear fur. While there have been some slip ups over the centuries, you will almost never catch them wearing it.

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What is customary for princes to wear as children?
dresses
shorts
onesies
a small crown
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Young royal princes only wear tailored shorts, never pants. You will not see a male royal child dressed in pants.

What is off-limits for married royals in public?
talking
PDA
eating
being without the other in public
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Royals are expected to maintain full decorum in public. Even if married, public displays of affection and getting touchy in public are out of the question.

Can royals call each other nicknames in public?
yes
no
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Full decorum is expected of all the royals in public. The only exception is toddler-aged prince George, who calls The Queen "Granny."

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What do royals have to do if they get a terrible gift?
punish the gift giver
accept it graciously
not accept it
burn it
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Decorum and manners always come first. Even if a gift is truly terrible, they must accept it graciously.

Could you get an autograph or take a selfie with a royal?
yes
no
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is not just a matter of preference. It violates their royal protocol and security to do so.

What is a travel rule for heirs?
They can't leave the UK.
They can't leave London.
They can't take valuables.
They must travel separately.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This old rule stems from security concerns. Heirs must travel separately so in case something happens to one, the other is still next in line for the throne.

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What must all royals pack when they travel?
one all-black outfit
a gun
royal jewels
cigarettes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The royals pack one all-black outfit in case there is a death in the family while they travel. When a family member dies they all must be seen to be in sync with public mourning by wearing black.

If you are talking to the Queen and she moves her purse from her left arm to her right, what should you do?
nothing
stop talking
talk more quietly
leave the room
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is a way that the Queen signals that she's done chatting. At a royal dinner, she also signals that she is done with the meal by putting her purse on the table.

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