One royal family member is exempt from curtsying

To curtsy or not to curtsy, that is the question...

who curtseys to who in the royal family
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You don't need to be a member of the royal family to know that if you ever came face to face with a royal IRL, a bow or curtsy would be the way to go. 

But what does the royal family do when they greet each other? Bow, curtsey or opt for a little smile and wave?

Well, members of the royal family have always had to bow or curtsy to one another. But who bows down to who all depends on the family members ranking. 

With King Charles III now on the throne and taking on an exciting new role, the rules have changed slightly and the ranking changes position. While all royals still have to curtsy, one is now officially off the hook. 

Bowing and curtseying to one another has long been a tradition of the royal family, and one that does not go a miss. Take, for example, the one and only Kate Middleton

When she officially joined the family back in 2011 following her wedding to Prince William, she would be seen curtsying before Princess Anne and Camilla, the then Duchess of Cornwall, because she was newer to the family.

who curtseys to who in the royal family

(Image credit: Samir Hussein via Getty Images)

But Kate joining the family made things a little confusing when it came to the royal order, as although Kate would have to curtsey to the "blood princesses", Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie would have to curtsey to Kate while Prince William was present. 

Now that Kate is the Princess of Wales, all the rules have changed once again.

All royal women are expected to curtsey to one another, which was something decided by the late Queen Elizabeth II. 

Back in 2005, the monarch produced the Precedence of the Royal Family to be Observed in Court - a document that dictates the order royals walk into a room and their seniority to each other.

The Queen went against tradition at the time, making it the rule for other Royal family members to bow to Camilla, as although she was not born into the Royal family her marriage to Charles warranted the change in rules.

So, who is now exempt? 

Since Charles has taken to the throne, the tradition has changed so that now, in the Royal order, Camilla has outranked Princess Anne - meaning all the royal women in the family must (and will) curtsy to her. 

However, she will not have to curtsy to anyone.

So, now you know!

Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.