No, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Did Not Ask Locals Not to Pet Their Dogs

"This was a well-intentioned briefing," a palace spokesperson said of reports that the royal couple had set out rules for interacting with them

Buckingham Palace is denying rumors that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry published a code of conduct for their new neighbors in Windsor.

A piece for The Sun reported that locals were given a list of dos and don’ts if they were to see the royal couple — a report the palace has since refuted.

According to the alleged rules, a “good morning” was appropriate should the Duke and Duchess of Sussex strike up a conversation. Neighbors were reportedly told not to “pet or stroke their dogs, even if they come over to you” or “offer to walk their dogs” or to babysit the couple’s 2-month-old son, Archie.

However, the report is nonsense, a palace spokesperson told The Daily Mail. “The Duke and Duchess had no knowledge of this briefing and no involvement in the concept or the content,” the palace said. “This was a well-intentioned briefing to help a small local community know how to welcome two new residents and help them with any potential encounter. There was no handout or letter. The talk was undertaken by a local manager and was widely viewed as being well-received.”

Frogmore Cottage. Shutterstock

Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, moved to the newly renovated Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle shortly before Archie’s birth. A source told people that they viewed the move “as an escape from the ‘fish bowl’ aspects of life in London’s Kensington Palace.”

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex were competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Settling in Windsor, some 25 miles west of London, “is a really healthy thing to do,” said a longtime friend, noting that the rigid life at the palace, where Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children live, is not for all.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry move to Frogmore House
Windsor Great Park. James Whatling

In Windsor, the family (and their dogs!) can enjoy lush gardens around the cottage.

“It has the most amazing mulberry walk, where we would pick mulberries for Prince Philip‘s mulberry gin,” said a former palace staffer. “And when the Queen is there on a Sunday afternoon, it is a five-minute walk up the hill for tea with Granny. It is gorgeous. They will be able to sit on their front lawn and hear the sound of wood on willow of the cricket match.”

Meghan Harry Lion King

Of course, there is a certain protocol to follow during formal settings with Meghan and Harry, as Billy Eichner and the cast of The Lion King recently learned before meeting the couple at the film’s London premiere.

We were all kind of nervous, even Beyoncé,” the comedian explained. “What makes you nervous is that the days leading up to it, they email you a protocol of how you’re supposed to greet Prince Harry and Meghan.”

He continued, “You’re supposed to say, ‘Your Royal Highness,’ you can’t speak until your hands are in a handshake with his.”

As it turns out, Meghan and Eichner attended Northwestern University around the same time, so they ended up having a casual conversation about their acting professors.

“She was lovely, and they were so cool and down to earth,” he said. “You would never know that they’re royals.”

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