The royal tour rules that William, Kate, Harry and Meghan must follow

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The royals have been busy this month on various royal tours - Prince William and Kate Middleton took a trip to Pakistan, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent time in Africa.

While they're away, the royals are busy with official meetings and engagements - but sometimes they let their hair down. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a formal reception in a tuk tuk, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke protocol by taking a fan selfie.

But there are some rules that cannot be broken when you're a travelling member of the royal family.

Royal tour rules

Ever wondered what they must - and must not - do while on a royal tour?

They have to pack a spare black outfit

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All members of the royal family must take a black outfit with them when they go abroad. Why?

The Crown fans will remember that the Queen was in Kenya when she received the news that her father, King George, had died. As she didn't have any black clothes with her, upon her return a dress was delivered to the plane once she had landed and she didn't emerge until after she had been dressed.

So royals are expected to take a black outfit just incase anything happens and they should need to pay their respects.

And they get dressed minutes before stepping off of the plane

We already know that when Kate travels her dresses get their own seats, but did you know that the royals don't actually get dressed until just before they're about to disembark?

Royal expert Marcia Moody explains: 'Last minute briefings are given on the plane, and the royals will change out of traveling clothes into their outfits at the last minute to avoid wrinkling or spills.'

So that's how they always look so fresh when they glide down the stairs...

They have a huge entourage

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Credit: IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / Contributor / Getty

During William and Kate's tour of Pakistan, they were reportedly accompanied by private secretaries, Simon Case and Catherine Quinn, as well as communications secretary Christian Jones, four members of the communication team, two programme coordinators, a PA, and a hairdresser. Harry and Meghan are said to have travelled with a similar group when they were in Africa.

The senior royals carry bags of their own blood type 

According to the Telegraph, a doctor will always travel with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles (and a medic also travelled to Pakistan with Kate, leading many to speculate that she may be pregnant again). They'll also bring bags of their own blood types to places where blood supply might not be sufficient.

Tours never last more than two weeks

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While royal tours used to last for months, in recent years the length of each trip has decreased significantly and now tours will only last up to two weeks, and will have around four engagements per day.

Royal expert Marcia Moody told Town & Country: 'They actually don't really get much free time to themselves.

'Royal tours used to span months, but these days it's more economical to cover more engagements in less time, so the royals will never be away longer than two weeks.'

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.