If your biggest dream in life is to frame Kate Middleton‘s signature in your living room, we have some devastating news: She’s not allowed to sign autographs. In fact, no one from the royal family tree is.
While the Royal family is allowed to accept flowers and shake hands, they aren’t allowed to sign any autographs. However, Prince Charles did break the rule just once. You can watch the full story here. He broke the protocol back in 2010 when he signed an autograph for a victim of devastating floods, writing ‘Charles 2010’ on a piece of paper, although that appears to be the only occasion.
So why does Buckingham Palace have such a medieval policy about autographs? It’s actually a logical safety measure to prevent their names from getting forged. It’s an antifraud policy, according to the Express — and all the royals have to follow it. (When people ask Prince Charles for his signature, he allegedly says, “Sorry, they don’t allow me to do that.” So polite!)
It is possible to purchase an autograph from a Queen Elizabeth, just not the current Queen Elizabeth. A document bearing Queen Elizabeth I’s signature dating back to 1599 is available for purchase for $27,500, or 21,406 pound sterling. So if you’re hoping to impersonate a long dead monarch, this is your best bet.
Of course, this will be a totally new experience for Prince Harry’s new wife, Meghan Markle. The former Suits actress is used to signing autographs for her fans – but learning to politely decline those requests will be one of many changes the 36-year-old will have to make as a member of the British royal family. Meghan’s new approach to interacting with fans will also extend to selfies. You can probably count on one hand how many times a royal has stopped to pose for a selfie with a fan; in the spirit of goodwill, Prince William once obliged a schoolgirl by taking a selfie with her on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2014. But generally speaking, royals politely decline photographs as they are often focused on an engagement when out in public, and in their working capacity.
The Duchess of Sussex will have to even change her signature. Meghan will simply have to use her first name now that she’s a Duchess. Her sister-in-law Kate used to sign as ‘Catherine Middleton’ before her marriage to William, but dropped her maiden name after her wedding. She now signs as ‘Catherine’, just like Prince William and Prince Harry have always signed as ‘William’ and ‘Harry’, without their surnames.
A quick review of some royal rules: they can’t sign an autograph, they can’t eat shellfish, their kids cannot play with iPads, they must always bring a black outfit wherever they travel, and their kids can’t wear pants. I bet you didn’t know that, did you?