Rules abound on what public hears, sees in media coverage of royals

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OTTAWA - Almost every step taken by the royal couple on their journey across Canada will end up in the history books, but there won't be a lot of quotes to go with the pictures.

Journalists aren't allowed to report on what Prince William and his wife Kate say to the hundreds of Canadians they meet over the course of their nine-day tour.

It's one of dozens of protocol rules around how the media cover the monarchy.

In the purple-covered media guide put together for the nearly 1,400 journalists accredited to cover the trip, the guidelines are laid out clearly.

"The Royal Couple must not be embarrassed or inconvenienced by photographers, including official photographers," the guide states.

"The dignity of an official ceremony must not be comprised."

The guide also stipulates that the dress code is smart casual, and reporters must not ask direct questions to the couple.

There's no reason given for the ban on covering conversations with members of the public. Some speculate it is linked to the Queen's husband, Prince Phillip, known for cracking jokes that sometimes haven't sat well with the people he's meeting.

A recent book even offers a chronicle of his remarks. In Hungary, the prince was reported to have told a British man he must have only arrived recently as he hadn't "got a pot belly."

With William and Kate, media have been following behind to ask those they do speak with for their reflections.

Myrtle Herzog managed to give Kate a bouquet of orchids on the couple's first day in Canada.

She said she welcomed Kate to Canada and congratulated her on her wedding. Herzog said Kate did reply.

"But you know, in all my excitement, I forget what she said," Herzog recounted.

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