Getting down on one knee to propose is actually a medieval tradition


There are some unusual wedding traditions out there that we stick to without even thinking. Ever wondered why the bride stands on the left? Turns out it dates all the way back to the days of 'marriage by capture' with The Knot writing: 'The groom needed to leave his right hand (aka, his fighting hand which he used to hold the sword) free in the event that he’d need to defend his bride from other suitors who may try to whisk her away at the last minute.'


And proposal etiquette can be just as strange. We know that this is apparently the most romantic place to propose - but do you know why we traditionally get down on one knee to ask for our partner's hand in marriage? What does it mean? Why do we do it?

Well, there is a very good explanation for getting down on one knee, and The Engagement Ring Bible has revealed where the tradition comes from. Luckily, it's not as brutal as the whole bride-on-the-left thing. Apparently, it 'dates back to the days of knighthood, chivalry and formal courtship (i.e. medieval times and beyond).'

'Knights would get down on one knee in front of their lord as a display of respect, obedience, and loyalty. It was also a common occurrence in religious ceremonies, and in those days marriage and religion were intrinsically linked.

'So when a courteous gentlemen was proposing to his lady, pledging his allegiance to her and declaring his undying love for her, getting down on one knee was the natural thing to do.'

So now you know.

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.