Let’s say you find yourself face-to-face with Queen Elizabeth II. What would you do? Many people might get tongue-tied upon meeting the British monarch—not to mention any other member of the royal family. Check out these facts you didn’t know about to royal family.
But if you do manage to stay calm, there are certain things one must say and do to abide by the royal family’s strict etiquette rules. Anything from holding your teacup wrong to descending the stairs incorrectly could land you in the royal doghouse.
Another major faux-pas: You should never refer to the Queen as Queen Elizabeth. While “Queen Elizabeth” is a part of her official title, it is considered rude to address her by her full name.
You should always refer to Queen Elizabeth as “Your Majesty” instead, according to Rachel Kelly, a public relations executive at VisitBritain, the U.K.’s official tourism office. After the first reference, you may use a simple “ma’am” when speaking to the Queen.
What if you happen to brush shoulders with any other member of the royal family? “Whatever you do, don’t call them nicknames,” Kelly told ABC News. And you might want to avoid uttering the words banned from the royal family’s vocabulary, while you’re at it.
That’s not to say that the royal family members are always sticklers for the rules, though. Here are 12 times they broke their own protocol.