12 Royal Rules Queen Camilla Has Been Caught Breaking

When we think about royal rule breakers, a few names come to mind. Topping the list is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have forged their own paths forward away from the constraints of the royal family. Their exodus was arguably paved by the late rule-breaker Princess Diana, who candidly spoke out against the royal family. She not only broke the unspoken rule of the stiff-upper-lip mentality, but carved out her own space related to fashion, royal protocol, and the ways in which she interacted with members of the public. Diana was, without question, a maverick.

Though she's been painted as the "other woman" for pretty much her entire public life, Camilla, Queen Consort, was and is quite the rule breaker in her own right. Subjected to similar press and public scrutiny as Diana, openly judged for her life choices — from who she kept company with to the clothes she wore — Camilla has had her fair share of critics. But that hasn't stopped her from charging ahead, defining the role as consort the way that she sees fit. To say that Camilla has had a bit of a revolution in the public eye and under its judgmental eye is a bit of an understatement. That isn't to say that she hasn't broken a rule or two ... or 12.

Camilla has broken unspoken rules about PDA with Charles over the years

Take a moment to think about this batch of royals. Couples within the firm — Prince William and Princess Catherine, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, even Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex — seldom express affection toward one another. When William and Catherine so much as make eye contact or place a hand on the other's shoulder, it makes it into the headlines — PDA just simply isn't done, but Camilla, Queen Consort, has broken this rule on more than one occasion.

As noted by the Mirror, King Charles and Camilla have been known to steal a kiss every now and then in public, and their new royal portrait upon Charles' ascension to the throne was particularly telling. In the snap in question, Charles and Camilla were joined by William and Catherine, who posed stoically for the camera. Charles, meanwhile, placed his arm around his wife — the new consort — with the two of them engaging in a comfortable body language that is rare for members of the royal family, not to mention a monarch. Body language expert Judi James commented on the PDA between them, noting that their lack of formality showed a sense of "unity, continuity and strength." Sometimes, you simply need to connect with your partner, even if it's against the rules.

Camilla broke royal protocol in order to greet a young fan

If you've ever seen footage of a royal walkabout, then you know there's typically some sort of barrier between the royal family members and the public. Not only did the late Queen Elizabeth always wear gloves during a walkabout to further protect her from germs, but there's an unspoken decorum that the public is expected to maintain — after all, they're greeting a royal family member. But some folks in the lineup get a free pass, and Camilla, Queen Consort, went as far as breaking royal protocol so she could greet a young boy who wanted to meet her and King Charles. 

As noted by Hello!, the couple were visiting York in 2022 when they started the usual royal walkabout — greeting well-wishers, shaking hands, and even having a rather unfortunate interaction with a heckler. But Jason Tweedie-Long, who was just 5 years old, couldn't stand idly by and watch as the royal couple shook hands — he was determined to meet them. As Hello! detailed, Tweedie-Long wrote to the council in York ahead of the royal visit. As he is visually impaired, the little boy knew he wouldn't be able to get a good glimpse of Camilla and Charles. The council passed the letter onto Buckingham Palace, and Charles and Camilla went as far as not only greeting him personally but holding a hand of his each while posing for the camera.

Camilla has broken a subtle rule established by Prince Philip

As the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip navigated their roles as the most senior royals, Philip — an otherwise man's man-type of personality — did something that was unexpected for his gender: He took the back seat to his wife. As the longest-serving consort, Philip defined the role as supporter and spouse to the crown in a way that no one had done before him, and it certainly did not go unnoticed. Upon his death, The New York Times noted just how groundbreaking it was that just six years into their marriage, Philip knelt in front of Elizabeth and said, "I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship ... so help me God." After doing so, Philip made a point of always walking behind Elizabeth, indicating to the entire world that the two-pace distance he maintained pointed to his respect for both his wife and the crown.

The royal family has certainly changed since Philip's era. King Charles is not only divorced but married to a woman who has been divorced herself and of course, was the subject of intense scrutiny given her status as the other woman. Camilla, Queen Consort, may not have gotten the hint about walking behind her husband now that he is king, as there have been a number of moments where Charles and Camilla walk shoulder to shoulder (via Showbiz CheatSheet).

Camilla didn't succumb to royal rules for this event

Given that they are such a photographed family, a ton of attention is paid to the clothing options chosen by the royal family — the royal women in particular. Certain traditions play into clothing choices, and royals such as Princess Catherine have often paid tribute with their wardrobe — but Camilla, Queen Consort, has other ideas. 

As noted by The International News, Camilla broke an unspoken fashion rule amid the 2022 Commonwealth Day celebrations, and the choice was certainly indicative of a woman carving her own path. Commonwealth Day is a big deal — in 2022, it was the last celebration attended by Queen Elizabeth II, and the entire royal family came out in support. Royals on this particular day typically stick to a color palette that nods to Great Britain — white, blue, or red — and Princess Catherine certainly got the memo. Wearing a blue coat dress with gorgeous detailing, Prince William's wife was the picture of patriotism, but not Camilla.

Instead of sticking with tradition, Camilla broke royal protocol when she wore purple to the day's events. Her coat dress was adorned with textural details and she paired it with a coordinated hat for good measure. Breaking yet another unspoken rule, Camilla's clothing choice was also a repeat outfit — she had previously worn it during an event in 2020. Clearly, she was determined to dress the way she saw fit.

Both Charles and Camilla broke a hard and fast royal rule about signatures in 2020

To say that there are some strange royal protocols is a bit of an understatement — the monarch is awoken by bagpipes, there are rules about when you can and cannot eat, and royal women had to avoid wearing wedge shoes so as to not upset Queen Elizabeth (via Marie Claire) — but some rules make quite a bit of sense. 

As it turns out, the members of the royal family are technically not allowed to sign autographs. Unlike celebrities, the royals do technically serve in a once-governmental body, and there are concerns that apply to them versus other high-profile people. Namely, there is a concern that a royal's signature could be forged if they were to give out an autograph to an eager fan (via the Mirror). This, in turn, could result in forgeries and inflated prices on otherwise gimmicky royal trinkets.

Despite this rather understandable royal rule, both Camilla, Queen Consort, and King Charles broke this rule while attending an event in London. While at the 100 Club — famous for its legendary gigs — Camilla and Charles added their names to the nightclub's famed autograph graffiti wall. By doing so, their signatures joined the likes of The Jam, Oasis, and countless other rockers who have jumped up on stage. Their autographs might be well hidden among the others, but talk about rule-breakers!

Camilla broke a rule about greetings during this 2018 interview

Greeting a member of the royal family is big business. Oftentimes, the way in which you greet them has everything to do with their place in the line of succession. As King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, are now the most senior members, you'll see Prince William and Princess Catherine greet them both with a kiss on either side of the cheek and a bow or curtsy. Greeting a lesser senior royal often consists of a handshake and some sort of bow or head nod, acknowledging their role within the system. Camilla, meanwhile, hasn't always followed this protocol nor have the people around her. 

As noted by Express, Camilla and Eamonn Holmes — a popular television figure in Britain — greeted each other with a kiss while reuniting in 2018, despite the rules that discouraged such affection. "I have had the opportunity to meet Camilla privately at functions on a number of occasions. She is approachable and incredibly friendly. Not only that, she's a darn good laugh," Holmes said of the queen consort afterward. "As I keep telling her, she is my favourite royal, though I'm not sure what her husband makes of that."

Camilla's headpiece on her wedding day broke royal rules and tradition

When King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, finally got married in 2005, it felt like a long-lost romance finally came to fruition. The two had been involved with one another since the 1970s, had been married to other spouses, welcomed children, gotten divorced, and found their way back to each other — even the most cynical can admit that their love is one that has survived the test of time.

When it came time for the big day, Camilla chose a rather unconventional wedding dress. Opting for a teal and metallic shimmered gown, the bride chose to forego a traditional look and instead went for both a dress and headpiece that was out of the norm. This not only broke royal rules but also royal tradition. As described by wedding professional Kate Beavis to Express, Camilla's choice to wear a feathered headpiece rather than a tiara was a very poignant breaking of the rules. Given that the wedding was not a religious ceremony in a church but rather a civil ceremony, Camilla's choice to not borrow a tiara from Queen Elizabeth (as Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and others have so famously done) indicated that the couple wanted to stand on their own two feet.

Camilla broke a hard and fast rule about politics during this state visit

Though the royal family was once a governing body, they have since transitioned into more symbolic figures. They do not and are discouraged from expressing themselves politically, but Camilla, Queen Consort, broke such a rule in a rather cheeky way. As noted by The Washington Post, the royal family was visited by then-president Donald Trump, and as the country's high-profile figures, the royals entertained the president and accompanied him during a number of events. When meeting up with King Charles and Camilla, however, Trump was not greeted with the most supportive attitude from the queen consort.

Caught on camera, Trump posed for photographers alongside Charles and Camilla and was then offered tea by Charles who guided him into another room. As his back was turned, Camilla looked at the photographers and royal officials still observing their movements and gave them a wink, with The Washington Post noting at the time: "Some suggested it was a longing to flee her brash American guests." The rule break was subtle, yes, but Camilla's expression was certainly seen as an indication that she was not on Trump's side.

The queen consort is in good company when it comes to breaking royal political rules. Charles has been known to speak out on a number of issues, notably the environment. Perhaps we'll see more outspoken moments from this couple as they continue to redefine the monarchy.

Camilla commented on breaking this royal rule related to food

Remember when we said that the late Queen Elizabeth had a number of royal rules she expected people to follow? Well, some of those requirements related to food. Not only was the queen not a fan of wedge heels and had her own shoes broken in before she wore them (via Vogue), but she banned royal family members from eating shellfish and garlic, among other food groups. The rules that royals have to follow at dinner parties — and when it comes to food in general — are exhaustive, and as it turns out, not all the royals were so eager to jump on the banned food wagon. Camilla, Queen Consort, even addressed the lack of garlic in the food served to the royals while on tour.

Camilla appeared on "Masterchef Australia" while in the country and told judge Gary Mehigan that the exclusion of garlic in the food served to the royals was all to do with breath (via Express). No royal walkabout or interaction should be ruined by garlic breath, right? "I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no," Camilla said when asked about the rules (via Express). "Because you're talking, chatting?" Mehigan asked. "Yes, exactly. So you always have to lay off the garlic," Camilla responded, with Express noting that trips to countries including Italy or France — where garlic is an integral part of the cuisine — could be a bit challenging.

Camilla doesn't follow this royal rule to the letter

Though there are a number of royal families throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, the British royal family certainly seems to be the most watched. Given their central status and the number of eyes on them at any given time, it's no wonder that members of the royal family often socialize with foreign leaders, dignitaries, other international royals, and beyond — as such, it's an unspoken rule within the British royal family that its members speak more than one language. Unfortunately, Camilla, Queen Consort, doesn't follow this royal rule to the letter.

As noted by Express, the late Queen Elizabeth studied French when she was young, and Prince Philip also spoke the language. All four of their children learned French, and Prince William has an impressive linguistic repertoire. Joining him is Meghan Markle, who speaks French, English, and Spanish (via Showbiz CheatSheet). Camilla, on the other hand, speaks her native English and barely enough French to get by. As detailed by ITV, she once had to give a speech in French back in 2013 and was not looking forward to it. Though she studied at Paris's Institut Britannique, the speech was — as Camilla herself described it — "rusty." Someone sign her up for Duolingo.

Charles and Camilla's nicknames to each other caused a stir

If it seems that every aspect of life for a royal has some sort of rule attached to it. From food to fashion to how to greet someone, royal protocol extends to just about everything. The use of nicknames, however, is an interesting topic. 

Giving and receiving a nickname as a member of the royal family is generally frowned upon, perhaps because it's so informal — everything the royal family is not. Despite this, many members of the royal have nicknames for other family members, and Camilla, Queen Consort is no different. She and King Charles have constantly referred to each other by pet names over the years, with The Indian Express further noting that their monikers extend to "darling" and "Mehbooba" which is Urdu for "beloved."

In fact, it was Charles and Camilla's nicknames for one another that first prompted questions about the nature of their relationship by Princess Diana. As noted by the Independent, Charles frequently called Camilla "Gladys" and she called him "Fred." This became a primary issue when Charles had a bracelet sent to Camilla with a "G" and "F" on it — Diana found the piece of jewelry in question, and according to royal biographer Andrew Morton, she was horrified to find the evidence of their more than friendly dynamic. Of course, we all know how that story played out.

Camilla broke a royal tradition about ladies-in-waiting

When we think about the royal family, quite a lot of pomp and grandeur come to mind. Any viewer of "The Crown" will tell you that every need of a royal is not only met but exceeded by staff who wait on them hand and foot. Camilla, Queen Consort, however, is gearing up to change that. As noted by The Hill, the queen consort chucked an age-old tradition to the side when King Charles took the throne. Instead of hiring a full staff, she decided not to have "ladies-in-waiting," aka hired staff who follow her around, tend to her needs, offer companionship, and more. Gone are the days when the king and queen didn't interact with one another due to structured gender roles, as well as the time when a royal outfit had a million layers. And while those who came before her still bowed to the tradition, Camilla is breaking the rules.

In addition to not having ladies-in-waiting, the queen consort is said to only be employing six assistants (which isn't a lot by royal standards) and is decreasing their workload. It's implied that the queen consort's decision comes as she and Charles are set on modernizing the British monarchy, making it more palatable to the general public.