The world was aghast at a report that said Meghan Markle made an unforgivable faux-pas on the day of her wedding, leaving the world to wonder what it means in terms of her relationship with the principals in the Royal Family. At a time when it's so important to get everything 'just so' - like at a wedding - it was surprising that the soon-to-be 'Mrs. Prince Harry' would make such a colossal blunder.
And what was all the outrage about? Apparently, according to the live video of the Royal nuptials, Meghan neglected to curtsey to the Queen as she walked past Her Majesty on her way down the aisle to become Prince Harry’s bride. People were horrified that the bride seemingly committed such a big 'no-no' and worried that she had started out on the wrong foot on her very first day as a Royal.
Now, a couple of days later, we learn that it was all a misunderstanding due to a cameraman’s unfortunate decision to go to a wide-angle shot at that precise moment. Witnesses say that the now-Duchess of Sussex did, indeed, curtsey to the Sovereign but it was not captured on video due to the ill-advised cut-away.
But the whole has incident raised new questions about curtseying, and who has to bow/curtsey to whom among all the various royals. Surely, there is a hierarchy and protocol about such things.
And, of course, there is, but it is not as straightforward as one would hope. I hear Meghan is a quick-study, and it’s a good thing because there are many exceptions to the rules about curtseying and bowing.
Let’s start with the easiest one. EVERYONE must curtsey or bow to the Queen. She outranks everyone in the Royal Family so that shouldn't be hard for Meghan to grasp! But, beyond that, you’d better take notes!
The Sun explains, “The rule stems from the complex hierarchy of the Royal Family and means Meghan has to curtsy to anyone who outranks her. This obviously includes the Queen, as well as Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
“And, because Prince William is the future King, it also means she will have to curtsy to the Cambridge couple.” How would you feel about curtseying to your sister-in-law?
“Here's where it gets complicated - although Meghan is required to curtsy to ‘blood princesses’ such as Princess Anne, Princess Alexandra, Princess Eugenie, and Princess Beatrice, she only has to do so when she isn't with Harry, as with him, she technically outranks them.
A source explained to MailOnline, ”A curtsy to Princess Anne? Yes. She’s the daughter of the Sovereign. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice? Yes. But not if Harry’s in the room; then they should curtsy to her.
"And Meghan DOESN'T have to curtsy to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Phillips, who despite being a blood royal will still be below her in the pecking order. Zara will even be expected to curtsy to Meghan if Harry is present."
How are you doing? Kind of complicated, I know, but let's go on.
According to royal expert Christopher Wilson, “The rules and the pecking order can change. The complicated curtsying rules were drawn up by the Queen's Private Secretary for a document called ‘Precedence Of The Royal Family To Be Observed At Court’ in 2005.
It was originally drawn up to clarify Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's position in the hierarchy after her marriage to Prince Charles.”
Here’s where some feminists might have a problem: When it comes to the male side of the royal court, Meghan will only have to curtsey to those with a ’Prince’ title. Mr. Wilson explained: “If he’s got ‘Prince’ in front of his name, she will curtsey. For people such as Peter Phillips, of royal blood but without a title, she won’t.”
So, basically, it seems that the Royal Ladies, by marriage at least, are either curtsied-to or do the curtseying, depending upon whether or not their high-ranking spouse is with them. Hmmm. Some things never change.
To see more about this whole “curtseying protocol” watch the video, below.