Rarely does a day go by where one of the royal family aren’t seen out and about on an official engagement.
Prince William, Prince Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge are often spotted greeting fans at a hospital opening, travelling to an event for a humanitarian cause, or touring a museum, amongst other things, either here in the UK or abroad.
And every royal engagement is of course heavily controlled. Cars arrive at the exact moment they should, and the family are left to greet waiting fans outside the venue for just the right amount of time. And of course, the royals themselves are well versed in their role during visits out and about, smiling and waving dutifully as has become common practise.
They’ll also often spend time chatting with eager fans, and are happy to shake hands and smile for their hovering cameras.
But there’s one thing the royal family are not permitted to do when greeting the public whilst on engagements – and it’s a pretty logical decision for the most famous family in the world.
Royals banned from signing autographs during ‘walkabouts’ as part of official engagements- but smiling and shaking hands is encouraged
When out and about, the royals are not allowed to sign autographs, despite the fact that it’s something fans regularly ask of them.
According to the Express, the royal protocol is adhered to because of security reasons. They explained, “the long-standing rule remains in place for all royals because of the risk of the signature being forged.”
However, one member of the family did break the official royal rule before, much to the shock of his awaiting security. Back in 2010, Prince Charles was visiting residents in Cornwall who had been hit by torrential flooding. And when one resident asked for the King-to-be’s autograph, Charles happily obliged, for the first time in his life.
The man asked, “Can I be really cheeky please sir, and can I have your autograph for my young son Tom? I’m not sure if you do autographs but it would make his day.”
Charles then asked his security team for a piece of paper to write on, signing it, ‘CHARLES 2010’.
So if we do ever get a chance to be in the same room as the royal family, at least we know what not to do now…