When it comes to the etiquette involved with the royal family, some are easy to identify the reasoning behind them, others not so much. Such is the case of the etiquette rule that sees the likes of royals such as Kate Middleton and the newly joined Meghan Markle having to keep their chin “parallel to the ground” when in public.
Etiquette rules such as not eating garlic at public functions are easy to explain. After all, no one likes garlic breath. The queen’s need to wear gloves is also a good one since no one wants her to get sick after shaking all those hands. However, why would it be a royal protocol for one to keep their chin parallel to the ground?
There is actually a reason to explain this strange royal etiquette rule.
According to The Sun, it has everything to do with posture and giving the appearance of maintaining interest.
Myka Meier, who is the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, gave the following explanation to The Sun when asked about this strange royal rule.
“Holding your chin parallel helps maintain posture while sitting, standing, walking, and descending stairs,” she explained.
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton must ALWAYS have their chins ‘parallel to the ground’ https://t.co/ffMDM8kW06— The Sun (@TheSun) September 5, 2018
In addition to the stance helping to improve one’s posture, Meier further elaborated in regard to how the posture can also help give the impression that one is interested in what is going on around them.
“When your chin points down or up it gives the impression that you’re not paying attention or not interested in what’s happening. Often walking down a staircase is the grand entrance to a room or event and is the first impression with all eyes and photos on you.”
As an extra etiquette guideline, Myka Meier also notes that it is preferable for royal men to walk slightly in front of their female counterparts when they are walking downstairs and making that grand entrance. The reason given for this royal rule is another one of practicality. Considering that royal women quite often wear high heels at social events, having their partner walk slightly ahead of them means that there is someone to catch them, or to use as support should they stumble.
While this is considered a royal etiquette rule, it is likely not a hard rule that royals such as Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle must always rigidly adhere to. Instead, it is likely a royal guideline that is suggested to be followed when they are out and under the scrutiny of the public eye.