With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry no longer being “working members of the royal family,” many are wondering who the Sussexes will have to bow and curtsy to. Although Prince William and Kate Middleton are in a higher position on the line of succession, HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO! notes that the British royals rarely greet each other that way. Bowing and curtsying is mainly reserved for Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, in addition to foreign monarchs. However, like Princess Margaret who had to curtsy to her sister Queen Elizabeth, one day William will be monarch, which means when the Duke of Cambridge ascends the throne, Harry and Meghan will then have to bow and curtsy. The same goes for when Prince Charles is King.
According to the royal family’s website, there are no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting the Queen, or a member of the royal family, but many observe traditional forms—i.e. a neck bow for men and curtsy for women, while others simply shake hands. When meeting the monarch, the correct formal way to address the Queen is “Your Majesty” and subsequently “Ma'am.” For male members of the royal family the same rules apply with the title used in the first instance being “Your Royal Highness” followed by “Sir.” The same goes for female royal family members though rather than “Sir,” it’s “Ma’am.”
Under the terms of their agreement with the Queen, Meghan and Harry will no longer use their “HRH” style. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced earlier this month their shocking decision to step back as members of the British royal family. Following a summit with Her Majesty, Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles, Buckingham Palace released a statement revealing that the couple will no longer receive public funds for royal duties, nor formally represent the Queen. Apart from being required to step back from royal duties, Harry also has to step back from his official military appointments. Her Majesty said, “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”