Being a member of one of the oldest continuing monarchies in the world must be a daunting prospect. The weight of expectation on your shoulders from the time you are born could be an overwhelming burden. The British royal family seems to take it in stride as much as they can, and all signs point to the fact that they try to be as normal and close of a family as possible. How they do this is a mystery to many, but there are clues like these old fashioned things the royals do that promote a tight knit family.
This isn't to say anything like "Royals! They're just like us!" because they most assuredly are not — I don't think many of us are in the position to receive gifts like a subversive hand spun lace from Mahatma Ghandi reading "victory for India" for our weddings as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip once did. Therefore, it takes real effort for the royal family to bring themselves close together and find some semblance of normalcy in their traditions. Over the centuries of their reign, they've become quite adept at carving out these moments together, even when prying eyes are looking in.
1. They Live Close To One Another
Like, really close. Many of the royals reside in apartments inside Kensington Palace, including Prince William and Kate, Princess Eugenie, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent. They do all pay rent to live there, but it's sort of strangely cyclical, because they are paid by a tax on the people of the UK and then their rent is paid to the state and monarchy, which is then paid back to them. Is your head spinning? Mine is.
2. They Have Christmas Traditions
Every Christmas Eve, William, Harry, and other royals get together to play football. (Soccer to Americans.) Yes, the press watches, but it's clear from the photos and video released that they are really having a great time. Although, as they get a bit older and now that they're both dads, I don't think they'll be playing quite as hard. I know that I certainly can't run the pitch as hard in my mid-30s. Because it's all fun and games until someone tears their ACL and ruins Christmas.
Which, if we're being honest, would be a very "normal" thing to happen.
3. Some Traditions Just Won't Quit
Throughout time immemorial, there has been one tried-and-true method of making royal families as close knit as possible — marry a relative. Sure, that's maybe not a tradition that is quite as popular these days thanks to our knowledge of genetic diseases, but as recently as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the tradition was going strong as they are third cousins through Queen Victoria.
To be fair, if anyone has read any of Jane Austen's work, you know that this was incredibly common, and even expected due to the laws of primogeniture, which stated that only male heirs could inherit property.
4. They've Had To Ban Certain Board Games
In my home, mah jong is no longer played. This is because my son and I become cutthroat, and will absolutely play until our eyes won't stay open, and our fingers are calloused from settling tiles. We gamble for chores, and it's gotten ugly.
As per a report in the Latin Times, Monopoly is verboten in the palace, as things get ugly when they play. It seems very on-brand for members of the monarchy of the former British Empire. Park Place? Ha! Try the entirety of several nations and and an entire continent.
Not a great look, so this is probably for the best.
5. They Go To Church Together
Sure, they only go to church on Christmas and Easter, (and perhaps a handful of other holidays) but, to be honest, that's pretty normal. I mean, church is really — so many of us just show up on the big days. Prince William can totally be the "Defender of the Faith" in his pajamas.
6. They Share Heirlooms
Sure, when most of us are "sharing heirlooms" it means the nicer Fiesta plates, but for the royals, it's something else entirely — think tiaras and giant baubles. Some, however, are more sweet. The christening gown pictured here has been used by many of the British royal family going all the way back to Queen Victoria, noted Town and Country. Although, this latest generation has worn a replica — lace being as delicate as it is, and babies being as prone to vomiting and pooping themselves as they are.
7. They Keep Gifts Fun
They're freaking rich, and they're quite aware of that. They also receive so many gifts that they have to formally list them in a registry. On Christmas, royals keep presents light and fun. Readers Digest reported that on one Christmas, Prince Harry gave the queen a shower cap emblazoned with "Ain't Life A B*tch" on its surface.