The year is 2019, but, judging by some royal rules, it may as well be 1919. UK royals, such as Prince Harry, are not technically “allowed” to close their own car doors — but the Duke of Sussex went rogue on a recent outing.
His hand dared to touch the door on the vehicle he arrived in and — gasp — closed it.
Sadly, this micro violation — if you can even call it that — was quickly picked up in another round of headlines about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle breaking royal protocol. (She was not even there, by the way.)
But, honestly, we should be talking more about how there is a rule is in place that limits royal family members’ abilities to do something as small as shutting their own car door.
It’s just a car door. Right?
While it’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal protocol “violations” that are most often dissected, let’s not forget that even Queen Elizabeth II breaks royal protocol every so often.
Every Christmas she invites the royal chef into the Sandringham House dining room — where non-royals are not allowed — so they can toast, as the former royal chef Darren McGrady once told Business Insider.
She recently accepted flowers from a fan, which is also a royal no-no.
This year she also went against royal protocol that forbid her from attending a funeral, to be there when her longtime royal aide Annette Wilkin was memorialized, as The Sun noted.
She made an exception to the “no touching” rule when she met the then-first lady Michelle Obama in 2009 in London.
Mrs. Obama not only shook hands with Queen Elizabeth, she also put her arm around the Queen’s back, which she later wrote about in Becoming. “If I hadn’t done the proper thing at Buckingham Palace, I had at least done the human thing,” she reflected in her memoir. “I daresay the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back.”
And any fan of The Crown is aware that, perhaps most radically, Queen Elizabeth brought royal life onto TV, broadcasting her own coronation, her sister Princess Margaret’s wedding, and her countless Christmas addresses.
Which is all to say that everyone can officially chill out about a royal shutting their own car door.
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