Regardless of whether you are born into, or marry into the royal family, there is always strict rules when it comes to etiquette. Quite often royal etiquette is a way of showing respect to other members of the royal family. This is especially true when it comes to the act of curtsying.
So, who does Kate Middleton have to curtsy to, considering she is married to the future king of England?
While Kate Middleton is placed considerably high within the royal family, being the wife to Prince William, the future king of England, there are still plenty of people she needs to curtsy to in order to show her respect. While Queen Elizabeth II, the current ruler of England, is the obvious one Kate has to bow down in front of, there are others as well.
According to Cheat Sheet, there is strict protocol when it comes curtsying within in the royal family. As a general rule, though, a royal family member should always curtsy to those who are higher in rank than them. This is why Kate Middleton needs to always curtsy when she first sees the Queen. However, she doesn’t have to curtsy every single time she sees the monarch, just the first time she sees her in a day according to Royal Musings.
In addition to the Queen, Kate Middleton is also required to curtsy to Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles because they all rank higher than her.
However, things get a little more complicated after that.
Insider also notes that if you are a princess by marriage, you are required to curtsy to “blood princesses” as they rank higher than one’s own ranking due to the fact they were born into the royal family. However, ranking automatically elevates above those in the room if your married partner is present and they are royalty by birth.
For example, if Meghan Markle was at a function with Princess Eugenie, and Prince Harry wasn’t present, she would be required to curtsy to Eugenie. However, if Prince Harry was present, Princess Eugenie would have to curtsy to Meghan Markle. This same rule applies to Kate Middleton.
Kate Middleton should also curtsy to her husband, Prince William, once he becomes the king. However, this is considered a grey area and there is not a strict protocol here. Considering how modern Kate and William are compared to the current queen, it seems likely that the couple may forgo this procedure.
In addition, when Kate’s son, Prince George, becomes king, should Kate still be alive, she will be required to curtsy to him on his coronation day.
Interesting to note is the fact that while royal family members such as Kate Middleton have strict protocol when it comes to curtsying, for commoners, there is actually no decree that states you must curtsy to the Queen according to Insider.