UPDATE: Monday, July 29, at 12:38 p.m. ET— A palace spokesperson has denied claims that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have strict demands for their neighbors, including not being able to pet their dogs or greet them with "good morning."
“The Duke and Duchess didn’t request this, didn’t know about it, and had nothing to do with the content or guidance offered,” the spokesperson told Hello! magazine.
No one would ever really be prepared to live next door to royalty (I mean, how could you be?), but the royal family is reportedly making sure that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new neighbors certainly are. According to reports, a "well-meaning" palace official stopped into a recent Windsor residents' meeting to provide the neighbors with a few rules on interacting with the royals.
The rules, the Sun reported on Friday (July 26), include never asking to see Archie, not slipping mail through their letterbox, never offering to babysit or to walk their dogs, and never petting their dogs, even if the dogs come bounding over to you. Also: Never say "good morning" to the royals unless they say it first.
“It would be funny if it wasn’t so over-the-top," one local shared with the Sun about the list of demands.
“It’s extraordinary. We’ve never heard anything like it. Everyone who lives on the estate works for the royals and knows how to behave respectfully," another told the publication.
As the Sun noted, most of Harry and Meghan's neighbors are palace officials, employees, or royal-adjacent people—so it's not like they're unused to palace culture. Those neighbors, it added, include the queen’s right-hand woman and dresser Angela Kelly as well as Prince Charles’s old nanny Mabel Anderson and the governor of Windsor Castle.
Another local expressed concern over the tone of the royal demands, adding even the queen doesn't make such requests. “We aren’t told how to behave around the queen like this. She’s very happy for people to greet her," the neighbor added.
But the palace has been quick to say that Harry and Meghan had nothing to do with this. A palace official told the Sun that protocol was set not by the Sussexes but rather by an "overly protective palace official.” Another palace source told the Daily Mail, "The Duke and Duchess had no knowledge of this briefing and no involvement in the concept or the content."
This isn't the first time there's been reports of strict rules laid out by their staff. Just a few short weeks ago, the entire cast of The Lion King—including Beyoncé—was given a wild list of instructions on how to properly greet Meghan and Harry at the event.
"In the days leading up to it, they email you a protocol of how you're supposed to greet Prince Harry and Meghan. They are very intense about it. I'm not kidding," cast member Billy Eichner told Jimmy Kimmel in an interview after the premiere. "You're supposed to say, 'Your royal highness.' You can't speak until your hands are, like, in a handshake with his. My plus-one—my guest I brought with me, my very good friend Jared—they said he had to stand behind me and not speak unless he was spoken to. I'm not kidding! I was like, 'Does that same rule apply to Jay-Z?' I have a feeling it doesn't."
Originally Appeared on Glamour