Royal protocols are observed as guidelines to maintain order within the royal family. These rules are upheld by the monarch, preserved zealously to be passed down to generations.
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over the English Empire for decades, making her the longest-reigning monarch alive.
Although abiding by rules is remarkably one of her strong points, Her Majesty has made some exemptions over the years, adding specks of black to her otherwise perfect protocol-governed reign.
EMBRACING FORMER FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA
It is well known that coming in physical contact with a member of the royal family is forbidden. A member of the public is only allowed to wave, curtsy, smile, or bow. In addition, when greeting the monarch, it is customary to bow the head or curtsy to honor Her Majesty.
However, the 93-year-old threw protocols to the wind when she met former United States first lady, Michelle Obama, in 2009. The two women shared a warm embrace.
Barrack Obama and Michelle Obama are being welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Buckingham Palace | Photo: Getty Images.
NON ROYALS SHARING THE SANDRINGHAM DINING ROOM DURING CHRISTMAS
Some of the few times the Queen has been known to break royal protocol are summarized below.
Unarguably, some parts of the royal palace are off-limits to non-royals, including the revered dining room at the Sandringham palace.
The Queen lets this rule slide every Christmas, permitting the former royal chef, Darren McGrady, to join the royals for tea on Christmas every year.
Queen Elizabeth II touring Queen Mother Square on October 27, 2016 in Poundbury, Dorset.| Photo: Getty Images.
HAVING A SOFT SPOT FOR MEGHAN
As part of a centuries-long tradition, non-royals were not allowed to dine with the Queen at the Sandringham palace, and Kate Middleton, Prince William's bride, stuck to the protocol, only gracing the royal banquet after her marriage to the prince.
However, with Megan Markle, the Queen made an exception, by welcoming the "Suits" actress to her Sandringham Palace for Christmas, barely a month after her engagement to the younger prince.
The following year, the Queen of the United Kingdom loosed the strings again, reportedly inviting Meghan's mom, Doria, to the palace's Christmas luncheon.
LETTING KATE MIDDLETON INDULGE HER PICTURE EXCESSES
Back in 2009, while the Duchess of Cambridge was still dating her prince charming, Kate paid her first visit to Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish vacation home.
In a bid to make her feel welcome, the monarch gave her permission to take pictures within the walls, which was against the sacred rule guarding the sanity of the Gothic-inspired architecture.
ueen Elizabeth II visits the Royal British Legion Industries village on November 6, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
REPORTEDLY ATTENDING A FUNERAL
As the Queen, it was against protocols to attend a funeral, to prevent an imminent attention shift from the death solemnization.
However, when Her Majesty's dear friend and former housekeeper, Annette Wilkin, passed away last year, the royalty was all too eager to give the protocol a waiver.
Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo after she recorded her annual Christmas Day message, in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. | Source: Getty Images
PERMITTING KATE AND WILLIAM TO DRAW THEIR GUESTLIST AT THEIR WEDDING
Being part of a family where everything is censored before it goes out, from what to say, speeches to make and even what to post on social media, getting something done without palace input was a grand privilege, even if it were as little as drawing up a guest list.
Palace insiders revealed that after an official guest list was made for the couple during their wedding preparations, the 93-year-old advised the soon-to-be-weds to tear up the list and invite whoever they wanted for their big day.
ACCEPTING FLOWERS FROM FANS
The Queen has been known to personally accept flowers from fans as against protocols that required the lady-in-waiting to receive bouquets or other items from fans on the monarch's behalf.
With the Queen being adventurous enough to break her own rules, perhaps, rules are indeed meant to be broken, as the saying goes.