Thursday, April 21, 2011

Royal Wedding Etiquette and Traditions - Oh Jolly Good!!

The Queen thinks Royal Wedding Etiquette is so important, Buckingham Palace has issued to each of the 1900 guests invited to the Royal wedding and catering staff, a 22 page "Etiquette Book." This book gently instructs gentleman and ladies on behaviours from appropriate dress to eye contact to cell phone and Twitter non-usage. I have also added a few general, cultural differences. Some of the rules of etiquette are as follows:
  • Gentleman must remove their top hats while in church.
  • Gentleman must wear a "Morning Suit," "Lounge Suit," or Formal Military Dress.
  • Ladies must dress appropriately for church. This rule includes covering one's shoulders, wearing a hat to cover one's head and not wearing anything garish or to garner attention.  It is the Bride's day. This rule also includes not wearing white or cream coloured clothing. Pants Suits are frowned upon.
  • Americans are not required to bow or curtsy as the Queen walks by, but may do so out of respect. Ladies, place your right ankle behind your left ankle and dip at the knee, arms at your sides and bow your head slightly.  Gentleman, bend your elbow and place your hand, palm in, at your waist. Bend slightly at the waist and bow your head slightly.  
  • Do Not touch the Queen.
  • Do Not shake the Queen's hand unless she holds her hand out first to shake your hand.
  • Do Not speak to the Queen unless she speaks to you first.
  • If the Queen addresses you first, answer her ending your first response with "Your Majesty." End your second response with "Ma'am" to rhyme with "jam." 
  •  Needless to say, turn OFF your cell phone.
  • Do Not take photos of the queen as she passes by with your cell phone either. Enjoy the moment instead of holding the camera in the Queen's face as she walks in front of you. 
  • Do Not update your Facebook status.
  • Do Not Tweet.
  • Keep your hands at your sides when standing. Gentleman, keep your hands out of your pockets. Europeans consider this act rude. 
  • Do Not make any gestures with your hands. In Europe, the "O.K." and "Thumbs Up" hand gestures have very different meanings, and these hand gestures are extremely insulting and rude. 
  • Do Not gobble up food and gulp up drink at the Reception, and for goodness sakes, Do Not get drunk.
  • Catering Staff: when serving Royalty and guests, Do Not look at them. Do not talk to them. Appear and disappear discretely and silently. 
  • Hold the champagne glass properly, by the stem.
Read up on your European Etiquette in general and Enjoy the Day!