Life as a royal comes with a great deal of responsibility — and a ton of rules. From not taking selfies to not eating shellfish, the royal family adheres to a strict (and lengthy) code of behaviour. However, when it comes to being a royal, it’s not just what you do that’s important, it also matters what you say – or rather – how you say it.
In her new book, “Watching the English,” social anthropologist Kate Fox says there are words that are deemed too improper for royal use and are actually banned from their vocabulary.
We’ve gathered a list of the eight words you’ll never hear a royal say — and the (sometimes bizarre) reasons why.
While we across the pond may refer to the restroom as a bathroom, it’s not uncommon for Brits to refer to it as “the toilet.” However, because of the French origin of the word, if the Queen or any member of the royal family is looking for the restroom they would say they were going to the “loo” or “lavatory.”
In certain parts of the United Kingdom, the meal that takes place between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the evening is often referred to as “tea” and has strong working class-associations. Members of the royal family and the upper crust of society instead refer to this meal as “dinner” or “supper.”
If you’re ever around a member of the royal family, never ever say “Pardon?” if you mishear something they’ve said. Apparently, “pardon” is similar to a curse word in the royal vernacular. Instead, say, “Sorry?” or “Sorry, what?” if you need something to be repeated.
Another term that separates the upper class from the working-class. Royals would never refer to a serving of food as a “portion.” Instead, they use the term, “helping” and if they were trying to lose weight would “watch their helping sizes.”
Women in the royal family never wear perfume — instead, they wear a “scent.” If you’re ever close enough to Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton, you could try complimenting them on their scent — and apparently, it wouldn’t be creepy at all.
Apparently, Victoria Beckham was wrong for dubbing herself Posh Spice. According to Fox, truly posh people refer to anything elegant or stylish as “smart.”
Mum and Dad
For members of the royal family, you must always and only refer to your parents as Mummy or Daddy, regardless of your age. Even at the age of 69, Prince Charles still refers to his mother, the Queen as Mummy. Sweet or a little creepy? You decide.
While many Brits and the rest of us peasants call the front room in our homes the “living room” or “lounge” the royal family use neither. Instead, royals like to kick back in the comfort of the “drawing room” or “sitting room.” It’s possible with so many rooms in a palace or castle the Queen needs to specify to servants where she’ll be hanging with her corgis.