Living next door to the royal family can’t be easy, but reports that neighbours can’t talk to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are simply untrue. That’s according to Buckingham Palace, which is setting the record straight about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s neighbourly demands.
When Harry and Meghan moved to Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate a few months ago, those living nearby, which includes royal staff, were reportedly given a list of rules. These were the do’s and don’ts of how to act around the royal couple, which included, “Don't approach or instigate conversation if you see the Royal couple.” But, “Do say 'Good Morning' or some other pleasantry if they speak to you.” And, to be honest, the note for no neighbour to “ask to see baby Archie or ask to babysit” seems like a logical one — not just for those living next door to the royals, but anyone.
However, now Buckingham Palace has clarified the reports of there being a list, stating that neighbours were invited to a community meeting where they were offered “guidance” on the proper etiquette when addressing their new royal neighbours. This get-together wasn’t mandated by Harry nor Meghan, but an "overly protective palace official,” according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
"The Duke and Duchess didn't request this, didn't know about it, and had nothing to do with the content or guidance offered," the spokesperson stated, according to Britain’s ITV. These meetings actually happen regularly on the estate and include talking points other than whether or not you can pet the royal dog. The answer to that question, though, is no, “don't pet or stroke their dogs, even if they come over to you.”
Still, it’s actually not strange for anyone in Harry and Meghan’s presence to be given specific directions on how to interact with them. In fact, at The Lion King’s London premiere, guests, including Beyoncé, were also told to follow royal protocol, which Billy Eichner graciously shared with the rest of us normies.
"You're supposed to say, ‘Your Royal Highness,' you can't speak until your hands are in a handshake with his," Eichner said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about his royal run-in at the premiere. "My guest I brought with me, my very good friend Jared [Geller], they said he had to stand behind me and not speak unless he was spoken to."
So, basically, whether you’re Harry and Meghan’s neighbour or a celebrity at a movie premiere, the rule of thumb is just be cool and follow royal protocols. Well, as cool as one can be around a member of royalty.