celebrity

Our favourite bizarre facts about the royal family, including the Queen's secret signals.

For everything Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Royal Wedding in one convenient place, visit our Royal Wedding hub.

With the royal wedding happening todayMeghan Markle might want to take a quick crash course on some quirky facts about her new in-laws.

Let’s just say there a lot of rules and restrictions on Britain’s reigning family, so here’s hoping the 36-year-old isn’t a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl.

Meghan, are you sure you want to marry into this? There’s still time…

1. The Queen once fired a royal footman after she discovered he’d been getting her beloved corgis drunk by spiking their food and water with whisky and gin.

2. When he was 13, Prince William had a crush on Cindy Crawford… so naturally, his mum invited the 52-year-old supermodel to tea.

3. At 36, Meghan is set to overtake Kate Middleton as being the oldest British royal bride ever. Kate was 29 at her wedding.

4. The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license.

5. Kate’s nickname for William is apparently ‘Big Willie’. TMI…

6. The Queen owns racehorses, and has won over 1600 races, making her one of the most successful owners in history.

7. Kate’s favourite drink is something called a “crack baby”.

8. Three out of four of the Queen’s children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew – all got divorced in 1992. What a great year.

9. The Queen has her own album – it’s called Party At the Palace – and it was certified gold.

10. According to Prince Andrew, no one in the royal family is allowed to play Monopoly, because it gets “too vicious”.

11. The Queen likes to drink. A lot. Every day, she’ll have a a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, then she’ll have a dry Martini when lunch rolls around, and at the end of the day, she’ll have a glass of champagne.

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12. Normal people aren’t actually supposed to touch members of the royal family. (But they do. Often.)

13. The Queen and Prince Philip were caught having a huge fight during a visit to Australia in 1954. Apparently the Queen was seen throwing tennis shoes and a tennis racquet at her husband, who was spotted trying to run away from her. She also yelled at him to stop running. You know, because a moving target is harder to hit…

14. Incest is rampant throughout the royal family. Philip is actually the Queen’s third cousin. The pair have the same great grandparents – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – who were also first cousins.

15. When Meghan marries Harry, she will be granted the title of “Princess”.

16. The Queen doesn’t need a passport to travel, because all British passports are handed out in the Queen’s name, so it doesn’t really make sense for her to grant herself one.

17. The Queen wears brightly coloured clothes so she’s easy to spot in a crowd. And we thought she just liked colour.

18. The official surname of the royals is Mountbatten-Windsor.

19. Prince Charles used to date Princess Diana’s older sister.

20. The Queen has weights sewn into the hemlines of her dresses and skirts to avoid a wardrobe malfunction if there’s a gust of wind.

21. The royals are not allowed to pose for selfies.

22. No one is allowed to keep eating once the Queen finishes her meal.

23. All members of the royal family must obtain a marriage license from the Queen before they are allowed to get married. (Including Harry and Meghan.)

24. No one should be sitting if the Queen is standing.

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25. Royals aren’t supposed to indulge in PDA – especially during official events.

26. The royal family isn’t supposed to have any political opinions. Basically, they’re Switzerland.

27. The Queen will begin dinner parties by speaking with the person seated to her right. Once the second course comes out, she switches to the person on her left.

28. All royals must pack an all-black outfit when they travel overseas, just in case someone in the family dies while they’re away.

29. Two royal heirs aren’t allowed to travel together, just in case there’s an accident. Yes, it’s morbid, but there it is.

30. Royals aren’t actually allowed to sign autographs.

31. The royal family isn’t allowed to eat shellfish. It’s a preventative measure to help stop them from getting food poisoning.

32. All royals must dress modestly, and they should never be seen in casual clothing.

33. Women must wear hats to all formal events. Unless it after 6pm – then they must wear tiaras.

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34. Only married women are allowed to wear tiaras, and they must be worn towards the back of the head and tilted at a 45-degree angle.

35. The Queen’s breakfast is served to her in Tupperware containers, and she will always start the day with a cup of English Breakfast tea followed by Corn Flakes.

36. Garlic has been banned at Buckingham Palace, because the Queen hates it.

37. Rice, potatoes and pasta are not allowed to be consumed at dinner. (Another one of the Queen’s pet peeves.)

38. No one is allowed to turn their back on the Queen. She must be the first to leave once a conversation has finished.

39. Women are expected to sit with their legs crossed at the ankles.

40. If you’re talking to the Queen and she moves her handbag from her left arm to her right arm, it’s a sign she’s done with the conversation.

41. If the Queen places her handbag on the table during dinner, it means you have five minutes to wrap everything up.

42. Princess Diana used to use her clutch purse to strategically cover up her cleavage whenever she was exiting a car. Kate will sometimes use hers to occupy her hands if she doesn’t want to shake someone’s hand.

43. Nicknames are forbidden, which is why the royal family calls Kate ‘Catherine’.

44. There’s an art to holding teacups, apparently. Royals will pinch the top of the teacup handle with their thumb and index finger, while securing the bottom of the handle with their middle finger. Meghan was even given lessons in how to do it.

45. The Queen’s corgis had gourmet meals prepared for them.

46. Prince Philip must walk a few steps behind the Queen at all times when out in public.

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