Ever since Meghan Markle officially became a duchess, people have been obsessed with all of the things she's no longer allowed to do, like express political views or have a public birthday party. Us normals cannot get enough of these ludicrous rules and regulations! One particularly banal activity I've personally wondered about is whether or not royals are "allowed to" work out.
Those of us who have been following Markle for a while can assume that wellness has always been a big part of her life. Back in the day, when Markle was still running her lifestyle blog The Tig, she often wrote about health and fitness, and her mom is a yoga teacher, for crying out loud. After news broke about her engagement to Prince Harry, a handful of her former trainers came out of the woodwork to tell people how to "work out like Meghan Markle." Meanwhile, Markle was allegedly helping reform Harry's health habits, by getting him to work out and convincing him to quit smoking. Besides that, there have been no clues as to whether or not she is still invested in her fitness pursuits. So, is that part of being a royal, too?
Apparently, there are no rules prohibiting the royal family from exercising, says Grant Harrold, former member of The Royal Household of TRH The Price of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and etiquette expert. "I would go as far to say they are all extremely healthy and fit as their public engagements see them walking miles each year." That's a good point, even though walking around in too-big heels is probably bad for your feet.
When it comes to exercising outside of royal duties, it's simply a matter of preference if they choose to do so and what types of workouts they engage in, says Myka Meier, a royal etiquette expert who was trained by a former member of The Queen's Household. "Many of the younger royals have been seen with personal trainers, including The Duchess of Sussex, and even Prince Harry the week of his wedding," she says.
But you probably wouldn't see a royal riding front row at SoulCycle or taking gym selfies in the weight room. Royals have to work out in private, and many probably use a gym in the basement of Kensington Palace, Meier says. "Trainers can access the grounds discreetly, by arriving to Kensington Palace through a side entrance located off of a road called Kensington Palace Gardens which connects to a small gravel guarded gate entrance," she says. Sneaky! But the underground gym is probably more of a security thing, rather than a measure they take to hide the fact that they exercise.
In fact, historically members of the royal family have always participated in sports — like polo, tennis, and rugby — and they're encouraged to do so today, Harrold says. "Princes William and Harry were both seen to be keen sportsmen and followed in their fathers footsteps when it came to polo," he says. (Prince William actually seems to be obsessed with showing off athletic feats on his various charity outings.) The Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton, has been known to enjoy tennis, swimming, and hockey, he says. Lisa Ryan, senior writer at The Cut who co-hosts the podcast Royally Obsessed, tells me that that Buckingham Palace has a pool, and Kate allegedly swims in it.
As for HRH? "The Queen is at an age now where I doubt we would see her participating at a sporting event, but then again, she did jump out of a helicopter at the Olympic Games, so you never know," Harrold says. So, as elusive as the royals are, they are allowed to work out just like us normies.