The five rules everyone has to abide by if they meet a member of the British royal family.

With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to arrive in Australia in October, it’s time to brush up on our royal etiquette.

Although no one’s going to get sued for doing the wrong thing in front of the British royal family, there are some guidelines in place to ensure you make a good impression.

Not only that, guidelines help avoid awkward slip-ups like US President Donald Trump walking in front of the Queen earlier this month or Ed Sheeran touching Prince Charles (a big no-no) last year.

Here are the five rules to abide by if you happen to meet a member of the British royal family.

Greet them appropriately

While bowing or curtsying isn’t exactly necessary, it follows the traditional forms.

The royal family’s website suggests women do a small curtsy while meeting members of the royal family, while men should do a neck bow.

Don’t go beyond a handshake

Out of respect for both their position and for security reasons, the most important rule of all is to never go beyond a handshake when greeting members of the royal family.

Despite the rule being in place, people break it all the time.

Back in 2009, Michelle Obama was lambasted by the media for hugging the Queen.

Watch: Which royal rules has Meghan Markle broken?


Use the correct titles

It’s important to remember how to correctly address members of the royal family.

According to the royal family’s official website, you should address them with their royal titles rather than their first name.

“On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am,’ the monarchy states.

For female members of the royal family, like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the first address in ‘Your Royal Highness’ and ‘Ma’am’ and ‘Your Royal Highness’ and ‘Sir’ for male members, like Prince Harry.

No selfies or autographs

As much as you may like to snap a selfie with Meghan Markle, it’s strongly discouraged within the royal family.

The same goes for autographs, which according to Reader’s Digest are reportedly banned to avoid potential forgers mimicking their handwriting.

No gifts

According to royal protocol, members of the royal family cannot accept gifts from people they do not know personally.

Following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s May royal wedding, a haul of gifts worth a reported AU$12 million had to be sent back.