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Princess Kate and Meghan Markle's secret royal lessons revealed?

King Charles' former royal butler shared the truth behind how the royals learn etiquette

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England.
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
20 April 2023
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The Princess of Wales has long been a model of royal etiquette, be it through her impeccable sartorial choices, her poised public appearances, or even her dining habits

Ever since she stepped into the spotlight as Prince William's bride in 2011, the royal seems to conduct herself as an emblem of professionalism, but did the Princess ever have etiquette lessons? King Charles' former royal butler doesn't think so. 

Over a quintessentially British afternoon tea, HELLO! sat down with Grant Harrold, former butler to King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, who lifted the lid on exactly how Princess Kate went from normal university student to future Queen. According to Grant, those welcomed into the royal family from the 'outside', like the Princess of Wales or the Duchess of Sussex, aren't given lessons on royal etiquette, but rather "learn from within." 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica at King's House on March 23, 2022 in Kingston, Jamaica.© Getty
The Princess of Wales is an emblem of royal etiquette

Speaking on behalf of Slingo, Grant said: "I believe that Prince William and Harry learned royal etiquette from their parents, and their wives learned from them, it's very much an internal thing." 

Grant recalled a widely-seen moment of Prince Harry correcting his wife Meghan Markle on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour 2019. 

The Duchess appeared to try to leave before Queen Elizabeth II, turning her back on the late monarch before her husband subtly reminded her to "turn around". Look closely at the Sussexes to relive the moment in the clip below…

WATCH: Prince Harry's words to Meghan Markle on the Buckingham Palace balcony

"That is a perfect example of how the royals learn from within," Grant explained, adding that in the six years he worked as a royal butler, he "never witnessed" any of the royals attending etiquette classes. 

"The problem is this method isn't for everyone. Just as staff learn 'the royal way' through practice, anyone else in the household is expected to do the same," he added. From stirring tea in a certain way, to placing a knife and fork correctly at the end of a meal and even positioning a napkin perfectly, Grant, who is lucky enough to have dined with many of the royals, explained that etiquette is "simply passed on" in the household. 

Queen Elizabeth drinks tea 1977© Getty
Grant shared his wisdom on how to perfect royal dining etiquette

Grant's revelation comes just weeks before the royals are due to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II's death, marking their first balcony appearance of King Charles' reign following his coronation on 6 May. 

The newly-crowned King and Queen Camilla are likely to be joined by immediate members of their family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. It is not known whether Prince Harry will have a role on the day or whether he will also join his family on the balcony.

WATCH:  I tried Princess Anne's stomach-churning diet of tinned pies and smoked fish

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