British Royal Family
Royal family Attend National Service Of Thanksgiving At St Paul's Cathedral Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Not only commoners practice superstitious beliefs. The British royal family does too. Though some of the royal superstitious practices sound weird, bizarre and ridiculous, these beliefs are founded on centuries-old practices.

Certain extreme habits such as the alleged cannibalism of the royal family were banned a long time ago, but there are beliefs that are still part of the royal ceremonies. Below are traditions founded on superstitious beliefs still practiced by the British royal family today.

The Queen approves wedding dates

The British royal family is known for lavish and straight-out fairytale-book weddings. That’s why when Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot, people were excited to witness the ceremony. And as a matter of fact, the wedding was watched by 17 million viewers. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, on the other hand, was seen by 29 million viewers, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding garnered 50 million views. Take note, though, that the figures were drawn from US television alone.

The royal family follows a belief regarding picking wedding dates. In the case of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding date, the Queen reportedly disapproved of May. Apparently, a superstitious rhyme goes, “Marry in May, and rue the day.” Nevertheless, the young royal couple still got to wed in May.

Buckingham Palace holds a royal hostage

To ensure that Her Majesty is safe during a State Opening of Parliament, the royal household takes one Member of the Parliament as hostage at Buckingham Palace before the Queen travels to the event. The hostage remains in the Palace until the Queen returns safely. The superstitious belief started centuries ago when the monarch and the Parliament were in conflicting terms.

Ravens guard the Tower of London

The ravens kept at the Tower of London are said to guard the tower and protect the Crown. The belief is that if the ravens fly away, there would be bad luck in the monarchy, such as enemies arriving and taking away the throne.

The presence of ravens at the tower is said to date back to the medieval period. During that time, monarchs hang the dead bodies of their enemies around the keeps, and crows come to the cities and feast on these bodies. Another version can be traced back from the time of Celtic god Bendigeidfran, meaning “Blessed Raven.” The tale goes with the god beheading enemies and burying them in the tower, facing France, so as to ward off enemies.

There is a ceremony for locking and unlocking the gates of the Tower of London

While modern security systems already exist, the Ceremony of the Keys is still practiced today. This 700-year-old tradition is said to protect the Tower of London from thieves who might attempt to steal the Crown Jewels.

Queen Mary I proposed the locking of the tower’s gate due to her paranoia of being overthrown. The Queen commanded that the tower be guarded by not be less than 21 trusted yeoman aged 30 to 50. Additional instructions included nine wards to patrol during the day and six at night. History indicated that there were detailed directions on turning over the keys, which started the ceremonial locking of the gates.

Gems are the royal family’s favorite accessories

The royal family is often seen wearing gems, especially to ceremonies and special events. Gems are one of the royal family’s favorite accessories since they represent wealth and power. One particular gem regularly seen to be worn by royals is the sapphire. The belief is that a sapphire holds mythical powers and is known to attract loyalty and stability.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s famous sapphire engagement ring has more stories to it than one knows. Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana with a 2-carat sapphire studded with 14 diamonds. When Princess Diana died and Prince William and Prince Harry had to choose a keepsake from their mother, Prince William took a Cartier watch while Prince Harry was left with the sapphire ring. The Duke of Sussex gave Prince William the ring when he got engaged to Kate. The royal brothers agreed that whoever got to be engaged first will have the ring.

What do you think of the royal family’s superstitious beliefs?

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