Things Kate Middleton Couldn't Do After She Married Prince William

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Although being a member of the British royal family sounds like a total dream to all of us who watched the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, back in 2011, many aspects of royal life are not as glamorous as they seem. Along with the tiaras, ball gowns, and luxurious lifestyle are restrictions on what you can eat, say, and wear.

Although Kate had a relatively normal upbringing, she had to quickly learn all of the ins, outs, and unspoken rules of the royal family after she met William during their first year at St. Andrews (via Glamour). After the pair fell in love and finally tied the knot eight years later, Kate gracefully transitioned into her role as the Duchess of Cambridge and became an official part of the royal family (via Marie Claire UK). From giving up foods, including seafood and carbs, to relinquishing her own salary, here are some of the things that Kate Middleton could no longer do after she married Prince William.

Kate Middleton is banned from having potatoes for dinner

The royal family has a lot of restrictions — from what they can wear to whom they can spend time with — but, perhaps, one of the most surprising limitations is what Kate Middleton and the family are allowed to eat. According to Express, Darren McGrady, a former royal chef, shared with The Telegraph that the queen does not like carbohydrates, which limits the entire family's dinner menu. According to McGrady, this means there are "no potatoes, rice or pasta for dinner" for the members of the royal family.

While pasta and potatoes are a no, the former chef revealed to The Telegraph that the queen typically prefers fish or game for dinner and always ends the day with a gin and Dubonnet. We can only imagine the kind of conversations the duchess and the queen must share over a cocktail before dinner!

The Duchess of Cambridge is not allowed to vote

One of the more serious rights that the royal family cannot participate in is the right to vote. Metro UK explains that, even though it would violate Article 39 of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights to ban the queen from voting, Parliament deems it unconstitutional for the queen and her family to do so. In fact, the official royal website states, "As Head of State The Queen has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters."

However, author and historian Sarah Gristwood reported to BBC News that the family's decision not to participate in public voting is actually a modern development. Gristwood explained that staying "completely above the fray" in politics is a part of the "major reinvention of the monarchy following the end of World War One and the establishment of the House of Windsor." So, while it may seem completely unfair that Parliament discourages the royal family from something that seems to be a basic constitutional right, the Duchess of Cambridge and the rest of the family's decision to not vote is voluntary (via Metro UK). 

Kate cannot get dressed for the day without a particular set of rules in mind

It has always been customary for members of the royal family to dress modestly, but the women of Buckingham Palace have an especially long list of restrictions when it comes to their clothing, hair, and appearance. While some of these rules make sense for a family that is constantly in the public eye, there are a few regulations that seem a little, well, over the top.

According to a source close to the royal family, Kate Middleton cannot wear wedges in front of the queen because "she really doesn't like them and it's well known among the women in the family" (via Vanity Fair). Women in the royal family are also expected to wear pantyhose whenever their legs can be seen in public (via Women's Wear Daily).

Although you may think that hosiery is only worn by older generations, Women's Wear Daily reports that since a fashion icon like Kate was seen wearing nude tights and pantyhose, retailers noticed an uptick in sales in 2011 and 2012. In fact, as Laura Godsal, the founder of, explained, "I think most people agree that wearing sheer tights is much more glamorous now thanks to Kate Middleton."

She cannot travel without bringing an all-black outfit

Speaking of rules when it comes to wardrobe, did you know that Kate Middleton is required to bring a black dress with her whenever she travels abroad? According to the Independent, the Duchess of Cambridge and the rest of the royal family are always required to pack black garments when they travel in case another family member dies during their trip. In fact, this rule does not apply just to royals. Even British newscasters are required to pack an all-black outfit with them when they travel in case they have to report on the death of a royal family member (via the Independent).

According to Mental Floss, this policy actually arose after a real-life situation occurred during then-Princess Elizabeth's travels to Kenya in 1952. The princess had to travel back to England after her father, King George VI, died of lung cancer and could not leave the plane until someone brought her a black outfit to wear.

The royal is not allowed to take selfies

Much to the dismay of royal family fans, Kate Middleton is strongly discouraged from taking selfies and is not allowed to have a personal social media account. Meghan Markle first broke the news of the no-selfie rule to a crowd in Nottingham where she politely had to decline a fan's request for a selfie (via Insider). As CNN Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter later reported to Insider, "From a security standpoint, they're also not ideal as they warrant a certain closeness."

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do have their own official Instagram account where fans can get a glimpse of their royal life, there are numerous guidelines when it comes to the content of the account. According to the official royal website, "The aim of our social media channels is to create an environment where our community can engage safely in debate and is free to make comments, questions and suggestions." This means there can be no comments that contain spam, defamatory comments, or hateful or obscene language, and, additionally, all comments must be on-topic and relevant to the post.

Strangers cannot touch the Duchess of Cambridge

We can assume there is an enormous amount of protocol in place to keep the royal family safe, so it makes sense there are strict rules about touching the Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the family.

Reuters spoke with Lucy Hume, the associate director at the professional coaching company and modern British etiquette expert Debrett's, about everything you need to know regarding interacting with royals. According to Hume, even at a casual event, "it might be appropriate to shake their hand, but it's best to wait for them to offer their hand first before you reach out yours."

Another reason why the royal family cannot be touched by strangers actually comes from the old idea that the royals were divine and not just regular people. As historian Kate Williams of Royal Holloway University shared with BBC News, "From medieval times, monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods, so they demanded to be treated as gods."

Kate is not allowed to go to bed before the queen

We hope that Kate Middleton does not like to go to bed early, because, according to what former private secretary to the queen, Sir William Heseltine, shared in his book, it is "rather bad form" to go to bed before the queen (via Marie Claire UK). That being said, Queen Elizabeth is 95 years old, so we don't think a late bedtime is too much of an issue these days.

A friend of the duchess and duke's even shared with People just what exactly the couple's evening routine is like at their country estate in Norfolk, where they spent the majority of their time during quarantine. According to People's source, the Duchess of Cambridge loves to unwind after she puts her kids to bed with some online shopping, YouTube beauty tutorials, and "me" time, just like any other mom.

The duchess cannot sign autographs

If you're hoping that one day you might be able to frame a signed autograph from a member of the royal family in your bedroom, we have some sad news for you. Among many measures put in place to keep all the residents of Buckingham Palace safe, Kate Middleton, Prince William, and the rest of the family are strictly prohibited from signing autographs.

According to Express, autographs are prohibited so they cannot be forged and sold for profit. In fact, whenever Prince Charles is asked for an autograph, he politely responds, "Sorry, they don't allow me to do that," whether he really wants to or not.

While you won't get a signed photo of Kate or William anytime soon, there are a few rare exceptions to this rule. Travel & Leisure noted that the family is permitted "to sign visitors books at official engagements as well as sign official documents." That being said, all you have to do is invite the royal family to your next party, and you can get their signatures! We'd love to think so anyway.

She had to give up her own salary

Although Kate Middleton cannot earn her own salary as a part of the royal family, she was already independently wealthy when she married Prince William, thanks to her family's company, Party Pieces. Per Harper's Bazaar, according to a 2018 report that Money obtained from Wealth-X, the Duchess of Cambridge is estimated to be worth between $7 to $10 million. However, the Vanity Fair royal correspondent Katie Nicholl reported that members of the royal family do not "get to embark on commercial deals because there's simply too much conflict" (via Vogue).

However, BBC News reported that the duke and duchess primarily receive money from Princess Diana's fortune along with income from the Duchy of Cornwall (which comes from Prince Charles). It is also important to note that 5% of the couple's income is funded by taxpayers and the Sovereign Grant (via BBC News).

Mussels and oysters are off the royal menu for Kate Middleton

If you thought the royal diet couldn't get any more strict, think again. Not only do members of the family have to stay away from carbohydrates, but they are also forbidden to eat shellfish. Darren McGrady, a former personal chef to the royal family, explained to The Telegraph (via Marie Claire) that shellfish was considered too "risky" for the royals to eat, especially in public. The public perception means a lot to members of the royal family, which makes it a little more understandable why you won't see Kate Middleton cracking oysters when she's out for lunch.

That being said, it doesn't seem like the duchess really minds the ban on shellfish, as it's widely-reported that she sticks to the "Dukan Diet," according to Marie Claire. This diet mainly consists of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats and oils while straying from carbohydrate-based foods, so it looks like Middleton doesn't mind skimping on lobster and shrimp!

The duchess is discouraged from wearing dark nail polish

In addition to limitations on her wardrobe, Kate Middleton faces restrictions when it comes to her choice of nail polish. According to Woman & Home, although there's no written rule about what nail polish colors women of the royal family can and cannot wear, the Duchess of Cambridge only wears light pink or nude nail polish to remain consistent and classy and rarely paints her nails in a dark color.

The good news: If you want to copy Kate's manicure, Town & Country says that the royal family actually selects affordable nail polish from companies like Essie and CND in colors such as Ballet SlippersUnmasked, and Cashmere Wrap. If none of those shades suit you, check out the nail polishes at any drug store, select a light pink or nude color, and you'll have a manicure fit for a royal.

The royal and husband Prince William cannot engage in PDA

Other unspoken rules in the royal family come into play when it comes to public displays of affection. Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were known for breaking the rules when it comes to PDA, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have remained fairly modest when it comes to their interactions in the public eye versus behind closed doors (via Elle).

Royal etiquette expert and founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette Myka Meier explained to People that Kate Middleton and Prince William likely keep to themselves in public to maintain the public perception of "working representatives of British Monarchy." According to Meier, "The couple are likely to show very little PDA, if any, to remain professional during their designated roles abroad."

Although the couple tries to refrain from PDA during professional engagements, they have been known to share some sweet moments throughout the course of their marriage. After all, who can forget the iconic balcony kiss the duke and duchess shared after their wedding ceremony in 2011 (via Glamour)?

Each of Kate's pregnancies followed strict guidelines

There are a lot of rules when it comes to the children of the royal family, and it all starts during pregnancy. According to Film Daily, one of the most important rules regarding pregnancy is that royal births must be announced 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Film Daily also tells us that Kate Middleton is not allowed to discuss any discomfort or complications relating to her pregnancy, and once the baby is born, the queen must be the first person to hear the news.

While the royal family has to remain relatively discreet during the three trimesters of pregnancy, Kate opened up during a podcast episode of "Happy Mum, Happy Baby." The duchess shared that she struggled with morning sickness and was actually diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is caused by "severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy." Luckily, Kate was able to get past pregnancy complications and give birth to three beautiful children (via Hello!).