Would you make it as a Princess?

Life as a royal isn't all crumpets and champagne receptions, as Meghan Markle is no doubt discovering.

The bride-to-be, 36, is said to be having strict 'princess-in-training' etiquette classes before tying the knot with Prince Harry, 33, on May 19.

With this in mind, we spoke to London's leading Protocol Coach Emma Dupont, who charges £375 for her two-hour Royal Etiquette Classes, about the lessons Meghan will be learning.

From mastering her moods to the Duchess slant, and waving goodbye to PDAs and dark nail varnish, these are the royal rules Meghan will be picking up - and the tips we can all take from them...

1. Kiss goodbye to PDAs

Prince William and Kate Middleton rarely hold hands in public, but Harry has been bucking his big brother's example in recent months.

However, public displays of affection are considered uncouth in upper class circles - and it's likely the newly-engaged couple will tone it down after getting hitched.

Emma said: "Public displays of affection should be avoided, and social kissing is only reserved for those that we know well as it is an intimate gesture.

"The Royal Family should not be touched by anyone, although they can initiate body contact if they wish.

"This rule dates back to the middle ages when it was believed the monarchy was appointed by God and should be treated as such."

2. Sit up straight

"Careful attention should be given to deportment," Emma said.

"No number of designer handbags or sunglasses will compensate for the inelegant image of someone slouching when sitting or walking." Noted.

3. The Duchess Slant

Nobody wants to be caught flashing their knickers in a picture, and the royals have a special technique for avoiding this.

It's known as the Duchess Slant, and both Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge have been fans.


4. She'll be made up

Personal grooming is important to members of the royal family, and the look should be "understated" but classy.

"Royal ladies are given strict guidelines to ensure that they do not look overly made-up," Emma said.

"Nail polish, if worn, should be neutral.

"One of the most popular shades is Ballet Slippers by Essie, apparently the Queen’s favourite, and worn by Meghan Markle for the official engagement photos."

Meghan used to be a fan of black nail varnish, but she'll have to tone it down in future.


5. Phone a friend

Once upon a time, Meghan was quite a fan of selfies, but those days are long behind her.

Emma said: "Modern technology brings a whole new set of etiquette rules and the Royal Family has a strict ‘no selfie’ policy."


6. Eating her words

The royals love a fancy dinner party, and Meghan will have to learn how to use cutlery like her new in-laws - and abandon her American roots.

Emma said: "A good knowledge of dining etiquette is essential.

"You may walk well, dress well and speak well but if you are shovelling food in your mouth and eating like my dog with her head in the bowl then all illusions of refinement will collapse.

"Meghan will need to abandon the American style of eating, often referred to as the zigzag method, and learn to place the tines of the fork down at all times when dining in the British style."

Tines are the pointy bits, by the way, while the "zigzag method" is an American style where people cut with the fork in their left hand, but eat off their fork in their right hand.

7. Breaking news

Speaking of dinner parties, royals need to be knowledgeable about current affairs - so they can nail the pre- and post-meal cocktail chat.

Emma said: "Keeping up to date with current affairs, movies, books and world events means you can feel confident when meeting new people. Small talk is essential in building relationships."

8. Keeping her cool

Meghan's lessons will also include tips on keeping a calm demeanour at all times.

"Learning how to control our emotions is challenging - avoiding drama, negativity and gossip is the first step to maintaining our dignity.

"Meghan Markle will have to work very hard in perfecting this skill, especially with the inevitable media attention."

9. Have a heart

They may move in high circles, but a perfect royal is never stuck up or judgey.

Emma said: "A truly elegant and refined persona starts within our hearts.

"It really doesn’t matter whether you are royalty or not.

"Treating everyone as equals and showing kindness, respect and consideration regardless of someone’s background, social class, education or nationality is the mark of a truly elegant and refined person."