Meghan Markle Had to Memorize the Most Complicated Curtsying Rules When She Became Royal

When Meghan Markle became a member of the royal family, she had to memorize a complicated set of curtsy rules, as royal expert Omid Scobie explained.

BRITAIN-ROYALS-CHRISTMAS
(Image credit: ADRIAN DENNIS)
  • The British royal family is known for having all kinds of rules, protocols, and etiquette procedures to follow.
  • When she married Prince Harry and joined the royal family, Meghan Markle was tasked with learning all of those rules.
  • According to royal expert and commentator Omid Scobie (opens in new tab), one of the most complicated sets of rules Meghan had to memorize involved curtsy etiquette. Scobie explained the ins and outs of royal curtsy rules in a new interview with Katie Couric.

Think marrying into literal royalty sounds like a rom-com fairytale (opens in new tab) come to life? Well, the real-life version includes way more homework than Disney princesses ever seem to go through.

Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) learned that firsthand when she married Prince Harry (opens in new tab) and had to memorize a bonkers list of royal etiquette rules, including some seriously complicated curtsying protocol.

In a new interview with Katie Couric (opens in new tab), royal expert and commentator Omid Scobie (opens in new tab) broke down the way family hierarchy impacts who curtsies to whom. Here's how Scobie explains it:

So basically: Anyone senior to Harry (opens in new tab) (like the Queen, for an obvious example), Meghan has to curtsy (opens in new tab) to, all of the time. But, when it comes to royals who are junior to Harry, it all depends on if he's in the room too. If he is, Meghan is essentially elevated to his rank. If he's not, she has to bow down.

Head spinning? Mine too.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.