Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

If you've had the good fortune to open a handwritten, gilded invitation to one of the greatest shows on earth however, you'll have a whole lot to prepare, and that includes knowing the social etiquette fitted for a royal occasion. Let us give you the tools, or rather, the rules.

What To Wear


Queen Victoria in her wedding dress, 1840

Well, whatever you do, don't get creative with the dress code. Ladies, opt for a plain dress or two-piece that covers your shoulders, nd steer clear of any over-the-top hats or fascinators—it's not Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot. And don't wear white, as the royal bride will likely follow the example of Queen Victoria, who started the trend for brides when she married Albert back in 1840.

What Time To Arrive


St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Meghan and Prince Harry will wed on May 19

"Fashionably late" doesn't apply to this social event. 

Seating Arrangements


Queen Elizabeth

As is customary, the bride's relatives will sit on the left as you walk into the abbey and the groom's on the right. But unless you're a head of state or part of the extended Markle clan or royal family, expect to be in the cheap seats behind the band and the choir. The royals will arrive in order of seniority, so once Liz has taken her seat, you'll know the show's about to begin.

Addressing The Royal Family


Catherine Duchess of Cambridge curtsying to the Queen

On first meeting the princes, it's "your royal highness," then a simple "sir" from there on in. Don't get all chummy after a few glasses of champagne and slip into monikers such as "Charlie" or "Wills." It won't go down well. And unless you want to give the royal family a good laugh, don't bend yourself over double trying to bow or curtsy when you address them. Instead, opt for a subtle bob of the neck if you're a man or bob lightly at the knee if you're a woman.

Dining Manners


The royal silver can be daunting, start from the outside and work in as each course is served,  and you should avoid desperately trying to cut into a fillet steak with a fish knife. If you drop a piece of cutlery, just act like nothing happened—the servants will sort it.

Lavatory Breaks At The Dining Table


Going to the lavatory (it's not a toilet, by the way) during dinner is an absolute no-no. And if you do begin to feel a weakening of the bladder, stop drinking liquids immediately, cross your legs and don't think of running water.

(Relevant: 10 Things To Know About Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Engagement)