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Who Does Meghan Markle Have to Curtsy to — and Who Will Bend and Bow to Her?

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Now that Meghan Markle is officially the Duchess of Sussex, there’s a complicated system of etiquette when it comes to the royal family that she’ll have to master.

Of course, the former Suits actress will have to cursty, a British sign of respect that is done upon greeting, for Queen Elizabeth (a skill she has already mastered!), but what other members of the family will have her taking a dip?

Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, tells PEOPLE the last time the Queen updated the Order of Precedence in the Royal Household, which essentially lays out who must curtsy to whom, was when Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2012. 

In addition to Queen Elizabeth, Meier says Meghan will be expected to curtsy to Prince Philip, Princes Charles and his wife Camilla Duchess of Cornwall. She’ll also be bending and bowing for Prince William and Kate, due to his position in line for the throne.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images


The 36-year-old must also curtsy to the princesses born into the royal family, Princess AnnePrincess Alexandra, and the daughters of Prince Andrew, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. However, if Harry is present, their roles are swapped and they must curtsy to Meghan.

Meghan will also have to curtsy to Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, but only is when she is physically with her husband, Prince Edward, who is the Queen’s third son.

The gesture is a simple movement where one leg is placed behind the other before bending the knees and adding a brief bow of the head. Though it’s a matter of preference when it comes to which foot goes behind, Kate typically puts her left foot behind.

Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth II
Samir Hussein/WireImage
Princes Charlotte’s curtsy
Source: Elliot Wagland/Twitter

Even Princess Charlotte has proven to have this whole “royal curtsy” thing down pat.

While departing from Warsaw, Poland, after a two-day visit with her parents and Prince George, to head to Berlin in July, Charlotte bid adieu to the Polish dignitaries who lined up to see the family off. And at the encouragement of her mom, Charlotte ducked into a curtsy (like a pro, we might add!).