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Swift's rules of comportment not quite as persnickety as royal family

Tammy Swift, columnist

It never fails. Whenever a royal wedding crops up, there's a resurgence of interest in life as a Windsor.

There's something about the pageantry, the beauty and the tradition of these royal occasions that transforms me from someone who lives for the next McRib season and binge-watching

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to someone who pins clotted cream recipes and starts calling juice "orange squash."

During these periods of Brit-fixation, I find myself perusing interweb articles on the endless lists of rules by which P. Willie and the gang must abide. Some make total sense (heirs aren't allowed to travel together, should a plane crash decimate an entire family) while some are just plain wonky (the Royal Family is not permitted to play Monopoly).

In fact, some of these rules would never make the grade in the decidedly nonroyal Swift family, although our unwritten guidelines seem almost as set in stone:

You can't turn your back on the queen. After a conversation with the monarch, she's the first one to leave — no one is allowed to turn their back to her. (The Swifts also have this unwritten rule, although ours is motivated by the fear that some smart aleck will take a picture of your backside in those unfortunate white pants and post it on YouTube.)

No one can eat after the queen has finished her meal. (This contrasts with Swift law, in which the Queen Mum of Swiftington doesn't start eating until everyone else is halfway through their dessert course. I mean, who else is going to hover, refill the bread basket and ask repeatedly if the gravy is too salty?)

Royals who travel are expected to always bring one all-black outfit, just in case they are suddenly called to a funeral. (Swifts who travel are expected to pack an all-black turtleneck, wool pants and full-length coat, just in case they are suddenly called to a swimming party.)

Garlic isn't allowed at Buckingham Palace. (Garlic isn't allowed at Swift Palace, unless it is mixed with butter, brushed copiously on French bread and then suffocated with cheese.)

The board game of Monopoly isn't allowed, as people get too vicious. (The board game of Monopoly isn't allowed for Cousin Bob ever since he tried to turn Boardwalk into a gluten-free, organic food co-op, began sharing his money with other players and made all his hotels into hippie communes.)

There's a proper way to hold a cup of tea, which means using your thumb and index finger to hold the top of the handle and your middle finger to support. (For the Swifts, that means using your thumb and index finger to hold the top of the handle and your middle finger to support as you dump the tea down the drain and reach for coffee instead.)

Royals can't eat seafood, as there's too great of a risk of foodborne illness. (Swifts are never allowed to pass up potato salad, even if it's been sitting out in the hot sun for three hours. I mean, it's potato salad!)

Women must wear hats to all formal events. (Swift rule: Once temperatures fall below 21 degrees, everyone must wear a hat — along with several scarves, waterproof boots and preferably three layers of mittens. Also, if you see any child in a 30-mile vicinity who is not wearing a hat, it is your job — as a citizen — to donate your own hat to the child, while glaring at the parents and muttering about the dangers of pneumonia.)

After 6 p.m., married women replace their hats with tiaras. (Swift rule: If the Schwan's man is coming, you really should put on a bra.)