The Surprising Reason Royals Are Forbidden From Giving Autographs

For many people, a royal sighting is akin to seeing a celebrity — after all, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are among the most famous and most-talked about people in the world, as are others in the royal family. But unlike running into, say, Taylor Swift, you are unlikely to get an autograph from any member of the royal family, and it isn't just because they may not feel like signing your napkin or notebook.

According to Travel & Leisure, when Prince Charles was asked to sign an autograph by an adoring fan, he replied, "Sorry, they don't allow me to do that." Although the outlet reports he has made exceptions, notably for victims of a flood in 2010, there is a pretty good reason why royals are not permitted to scribble their John Hancock into your autograph book. And that reason may actually surprise people who would be more excited by a royal encounter than any other kind of celebrity run-in.

The reason royals can't sign autographs is for their own protection

So why are royals forbidden from giving out their autographs? It's simply so that people cannot learn how to forge the signatures of the Queen and her family. Cafe Mom also notes that taking time to sign autographs for each and every fan at a gathering or meet and greet would take hours — or longer! That being said, you can pay for an autograph on a collectible piece of merchandise. And, royals are permitted to sign guest books at official events, so it's not as if they have never signed anything.

The good news is you can still give Prince William a fist bump, or take a selfie with the Queen — okay, this is rather unlikely as well, given that according to Cheat Sheet, she also looks down on royals taking photographs with members of the public. But some members of the family have been known to break that rule, especially William. 

In the end, don't fret too much about not being able to get that royal signature or selfie — remember that being a royal isn't easy, as they have to follow a long list of rules you wouldn't want to have to follow yourself.