Meeting and greeting people you are not familiar with is already hard enough, how much more a royalty? Have you ever found yourself wondering how you should act and speak around the Queen and her family?

This might come as a surprise, but there are really no strict “laws” or official codes of conduct when it comes to meeting and interacting with any members of the royal family. However, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any traditional or polite ways of doing things.

You don’t want to create a hoo-ha, just like what NBA star Lebron James did when he put his arms around Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, or when Michelle Obama hugged Queen Elizabeth II. So should you ever happen to meet up with a royal, here are some of the traditional ways of acting and speaking with utmost grace and decorum.

Addressing The Royal Family

When addressing the Queen for the first time after being presented to her, tradition suggests that you call her “Your Majesty.” You can say, “I am very much pleased to meet you, Your Majesty.”

Meanwhile, when referring to the members of the Queen’s family, tradition calls that you address them “His or Her Royal Highness.” Anyone who is not a king or a queen should be addressed “Your Royal Highness” the first time they’re addressed directly by someone.

You can also refer to them according to their titles such as “The Duke of Cambridge” when referring to Prince William or “The Duke of Sussex” when meeting Prince Harry. Addressing “Princess Royal” instead of Princess Anne is also traditional.

Starting A Conversation

After calling the Queen “Your Majesty,” you can now use “Ma’am” for the rest of the conversation. For instance, if the Queen asks you how you are, your response should be, “I feel great, Ma’am.” Take note that “Ma’am” is pronounced with a short “a,” as in “ham.”

This code also applies when speaking to other members of the family. Like with the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, you would say for the first time, “It’s nice to meet you, Your Royal Highness.” Thereafter, you can now address her as “Ma’am.”

How To Act

If you’re a woman, shaking hands with any member of the royal family is totally fine. Also, tradition calls you to do a small curtsy. It’s a discreet but dignified movement. Remember to maintain eye contact as you slowly rise.

Now if you’re a man and you’re meeting a member of the royal family, traditional form involves bowing from the neck. You can do this by simply lowering down your head and raising it again. But a formal handshake would also suffice and is perfectly acceptable.

Meeting a royal should not be a daunting task. Displaying respect and elegance should not be that complicated when meeting them. It’s like meeting other normal people, no need to sweat it. But don’t ask Prince Harry to pose for a selfie with you as he has commented in Time magazine that “selfies are bad.”

Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton Queen Elizabeth II; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch the RAF 100th anniversary flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images