16 Words the Royal Family Cannot Use Under Any Circumstances

It should come as no surprise that being blue-blooded is not always as easy as it looks on television or social media. They do not only have to act the part, but they also must do well in speaking it too! So forget the high-class luncheons, fancy hats, and gracious curtsies; being a royal is no simple feat. And to top it all off, the upper stratum of British society apparently has a particular vocabulary they must stick to.

According to Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and author of 'Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior,' a modest slip of the tongue can quickly reveal whether or not a person is of common origin since no royal would use them. So without further ado, these are 16 words that are not permitted among members of royalty. 

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


According to Kate Fox, here is something we’re pretty sure you don't know: "In upper-middle and upper-class circles, 'posh' can only be used to show that you know it is a low-class word." When you're a member of the royal family, you describe anything classy or aristocratic as "smart."


It has become stereotypical to think of tea time whenever you think about the Brits, and all for a good reason. If you're a royal, however, tea time is simply called "supper." For Buckingham Palace and everyone else, tea is nothing more than a beverage they sip. One particular way of outing yourself as being decidedly unroyal is to call your afternoon meal, "tea."

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


Dinner, when the Royals are involved, must only refer to an event with formal invitations. What is "dinner" to the rest of the world, it's still and only "supper" to the Royal Family. So if you think you're fancy, or that the Michelin restaurant you visited last year is the acme of composed, luxurious dining, you'd better think again.


That thing you sit on while you channel-surf in your underwear has no place in the royal household. The Queen and her family would never be seen anywhere near a "couch" or a "settee," but they can spend an entire day sitting on a classy "sofa."

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


Perhaps while she lounges, Queen Elizabeth sits on one of her many sofas in the drawing rooms or the "sitting rooms." You may not have guessed it, but Buckingham Palace is not allowed to call these spaces "lounges," "dens," or "loving rooms!" That's so unroyal!


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge perhaps like to go out to the "terrace" to take air in their semi-obstructed view of London town. They, however, would not be caught on the "patio." So for the upper-class, the word "patio" is not as proper as the word"terrace."

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


Whether it is sticky toffee pudding, chocolate biscuit cake, or banana-flavored everything, in the Palace, all these sweet treats are known merely as "pudding." You will not catch any Royal waiting to be served or getting ready to eat dessert.


No, Oliver Twist; you may not have some more or another portion. However, you are more than welcome to a second "helping." Anyone hoping to sound as sophisticated as the dukes and duchesses should know the proper way to ask for a second plate of food.

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


Contrary to the word "function" being used as a high-class term for a social gathering by the rest of the world, Royals and the upper-class Britons refer to them as "parties." The irony is that in many parts of the world, it is the lower-class that call them "parties." We know; it is a bit confusing!


If you are ever looking to score points with members of the Royal Family, make sure to never ask for "refreshments" when you are parched or a little hungry. To them, it is simply put as "food and drink." Another irony here, as in some parts of the world, it is the lower class that uses the words "food and drink." 

Image credits: Freepik

Image credits: Freepik


The Royals have no time for eye service pleasantries. They merely end their conversations by saying, "goodbye." "Have a nice day," "nice seeing you," and any other comparable banalities are not seen as being kingly.


This is one instance in which the Royals are actually expected to make small talk. At a royal party, saying, "cheers" is not usually the way. One must address the attendees with a formal toast.

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images

Read More: How Kate Middleton Treats Her Children Due To Their Royal Status


Myka Meier, a royal etiquette expert, advices that, when nature calls in the presence of the high-born company, you excuse yourself to the "lavatory." The Queen would never be heard slipping off to use the "toilet." We can blame this on the word's French origin, but "ladies," and "loo" aren't much liked either.


After the royal wedding last year, all the world raved about Meghan Markle's wedding "scent" (inspired by Floris London's Beramotto di Positano) and not her "perfume." Perfume may be the less creepy word, but the Windsors even say it differently.

Image credits: Freepik

Image credits: Freepik

Read More: Royal Family's Revelations About The 'Difficult Relationships' Of Charles And His Father


Imagine you are introducing yourself to a member of the royal family, and right after you say your moniker, they don’t quite catch it. Now, rather than say the traditional "pardon?" or "come again," no matter how brash it may seem, they would interrupt with a "what?" 

The former expressions allegedly are like curse words to the blue-bloods. We don't blame you; this might seem overwhelming, but remember the previously shared tips on what to do once you meet Queen Elizabeth. It can also help you bridge that gap between lower-class and the upper-class.

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images


An everyday Englishman refers to their parents as "mum" and "dad," but Royals are not allowed to use these words when referring to their parents. In 2012, at the Diamond Jubilee celebration of her Majesty, Prince Charles referred to the Queen as "mummy." 

This is a gesture that would be expected of any self-respected royal. It also means that the Duke of Cornwall would refer to Prince Philip as "daddy," of course. This is not surprising, considering how the Queen and her husband have treated their kids since early childhood.

Image credits: Getty Images

Image credits: Getty Images

To ordinary folks, most of these word prohibitions may seem far-fetched, and outlandish, but rest assured there are well-intended reasons behind them being vetoed. The royal family doesn't use some words because of their origins. Other words aren’t used because they most commonly identify members of lower class families.

So, if you ever plan on being a royal, it may be time to start studying up. There’s no better occasion like the present to learn the dos and don’ts of speaking regally. What are your thoughts on these prohibitions? Let us know in the comments, and do well to share this article with your friends who are fans of the Royal Family.

Source: House Beautiful, Mirror, Hello Magazine

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