January 24, 2020

Harry & Meghan New Etiquette Rules after Stepping Back, According to Royal Expert

Share this pen


A royal expert in etiquette explained why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as senior members of the royal family means they might have to curtsy to members they had previously outranked.

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's settle into their independent life in Canada, after announcing that they had stepped down as senior members of the royal family, the terms of their exit remains murky.

With Queen Elizabeth's announcement that they will not use their royal titles His/ Her Royal Highness (HRH), they have left many lingering questions in England about how their departure will affect the rules of the royal family.


Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour, on June 08, 2019, in London, England | Source: Getty Images (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Royal expert, Myka Meier, who trained in formal etiquette under a former member of the 


 household, discussed with 



 some the rules of etiquette that could change for Meghan and Harry.

Myka revealed that their departure means that they will have to curtsy to members of the royal family they had previously outranked. 


Harry is the sixth in line of succession to the British throne, meaning Prince William and his family outrank him, and based on royal etiquette, he and Meghan have to curtsy to them.

However, before their royal exit, they outranked many of Harry's cousins like Princess Eugenie, and Princess Beatrice. They may have to curtsy to them since they are outranked now.


Myka admits that the Queen's statement that the couple "will not use" their royal titles did not mean they had been stripped of their titles, and their status has changed completely, she explained:

"It all is a bit murky. Now that they are keeping their HRH titles but not using them, the order of curtsy would stay the same as it has been since Meghan married into the family."


Meghan had been known to prefer a hug or a handshake, and she famously avoided allowing "One Young World" founder, Kate Robertson curtsy for her at the "One Young World" Summit. 

Myka, who released a book titled "Modern Etiquette Made Easy: A Five-Step Method to Mastering Etiquette," said Americans are not forced to curtsy to members of the British royal family because it is not in their tradition, so some people tend to bow or shake hands with royalty.


Meghan and Harry's exit has been confusing for royal aides. Although the Queen has announced their title change to Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, there has been no announcement on whether their stepping down will change the line of succession to the throne.

It was revealed by the Palace that their title change would take effect in Spring 2020, and their new agreement will the Queen will be under review for a year.