Members of the British Royal family can’t sneeze in public without causing a flurry of headlines. “Does Prince Harry have a cold?” “Is he allergic to Meghan’s new shampoo?” No, he doesn’t and he isn’t. We’re just obsessed.
But they are extremely interesting subjects–what with their extravagant lifestyles and detailed traditions and customs–so a little obsession is permissible. On that note, here are a few of the most interesting and surprising facts about the Royal family we love to love.
Royal children can’t wear pants until age eight.
Ever wonder why there are so many adorable photos of Prince George in shorts? It’s not because it’s always so balmy in the UK. In fact, tradition mandates that royal children not wear trousers until they’re eight. Guess we know what he’ll be getting on that next birthday…
The Queen is the first to know about a Royal baby being born
Most new parents would phone their parents before announcing the birth of a child publicly, but the Royals allegedly have a rule, just in case. The Queen is to be notified before the public, capisce?
A Royal baby’s birth is announced with a 62-gun salute
The Royal Gun Salute happens outside the Tower of London whenever a new royal baby is born. It’s kind of a big deal.
Royal women mustn’t cross their legs
Instead, they’re to sit with their knees and ankles touching, and may cross their ankles, but never over the knee. Legs can also be moved slightly sideways, which makes the legs appear longer in photos.
And Royal women must always wear nylons when in a skirt or dress
Nylons are a staple in all Royal women’s wardrobes, partially because they’re a versatile sartorial tool, and partly because it’s a rule to always be wearing them in public. Both Kate and Meghan make it look easy.
Abduction scenario training comes with the job
The fame Meghan Markle earned as an actress pales in comparison to what she’s experiencing as a future royal. Earlier this year, the 36-year-old underwent a special security training course conducted by the British Royal Army’s Special Air Service.
The Queen doesn’t need a driver’s license or a passport
Speaking of driving, Her Majesty the Queen is the only person in the UK permitted to drive sans license, or even a plate on her car, though she hasn’t been spotted behind the wheel since May of 2017. But if she ever did get as far as the border without her papers, it’s no problem, because she doesn’t require a passport either. Both documents are issued in her name, after all.
British monarchs have two birthdays
It’s tradition for British monarchs to celebrate two birthdays, especially if said birthday is during the winter months. Queen Elizabeth, for example, was born on April 21, but the celebration of her birth usually occurs on the second Saturday in June. This tradition dates back to 1784, when King George II moved his birthday celebration from November to the Trooping the Colour military celebration that occurs in June. Because who wants a cold birthday party? Cheers to that!
Prince Harry’s name isn’t actually Harry
It’s true, Harry is just a nickname. His full name is Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor. Is your mind blown?