Can you imagine having to bow every time you saw your grandparents? They’re the ones who notoriously spoil you, feed you junk food and slip you money when mom and dad aren’t looking. It’s hard to think of them as someone you need to curtsy to. But when you’re a royal, it’s common practice. At least by the time you’re in kindergarten.
According to royal expert and blogger Marlene Eilers Koenig, age five is when royal children are expected to start bowing to Queen Elizabeth.
“Certainly by age five. The only person they will curtsy or bow to is the sovereign. A royal highness does not curtsy to another royal highness,” Koenig told Hello! Magazine in a 2018 interview.
According to Koenig, this practice of bowing isn’t royal protocol, it’s simply royal etiquette.
“You bow or curtsy the first time you see the sovereign and then again when you leave,” she said. If you recall, it was a big deal when Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancé at the time, made her fist curtsy to the Queen during Christmas services 2017.
Koenig said the reason we didn’t see other royals, like Prince Charles, curtsy is because they come from another engagement and had already seen the Queen.
Prince George celebrates his sixth birthday on Monday, so he likely has already been bowing to his great-grandmother for a year. Charlotte has another year before she turns five. And, well, Louis and Archie are too young to even know what a curtsy is. And if Archie takes after his rule-breaking mom, who knows if he’ll buck tradition or fall in line like the other royal children.