Harry knows full well that now William is hitched, the clock is ticking. Fast approaching 30, he needs to find himself a wife before whispers start spreading around Buckingham Palace – or worse still, one is found for him. After his recent interview with CBS, it seems he’s happy to cast his net on both sides of the Atlantic, and we see no reason why the next royal bride shouldn’t be you.
But before a prince will pop the question, there a few boxes a lady must tick – while the next generation of European monarchs may know how to misbehave, their parents are rather traditional, don’t you know. To guide you through the minefield of proper British etiquette, we’ve enlisted the services of Dowager Robinson – a little known aristocrat from the Southeast of England…
Hello Ladies – and I see a few gentlemen at the back – Dowager Robinson here. Are your aspirations above your station? Do you fancy your self as the next Kate Middleton? Did you miss out on an invite to ‘The Royal Wedding’?
In our weekly master class on British etiquette we’ll be giving you the lowdown on how to behave oneself when in proper company – and have you ready to rub shoulders with royalty in no time. (Bagging a prince not guaranteed!)
Today’s formal etiquette originated in the French royal courts the 16th -17th century. Many say King Louis XIV was bored and so established an elaborate and rigid set of social customs to keep him busy. These became known as etiquette, an old French word meaning ticket for admission. Soon proper etiquette was the new fashion among upper classes of the western world.
A formal Introduction
From addressing an envelope to addressing the Queen, proper etiquette is needed for all of life’s events, big and small. Etiquette must most definitely NOT be confused with manners. Manners involve general behavioral guidelines that can be picked up through even the scrappiest of upbringings. Etiquette, on the other hand, is a specific code of behavior that encompasses most aspects of social interaction in society.
The key here is frame of mind: while circumstances can change, the personal will remain the same. Whatever tricky situation you come across you will need a set way to react.
So whether Harry tells you a rude joke about his grandmother, William let’s sleep a bedroom tale, or Prince Charming splits his pants in front of you – remain calm, composed and elegant at all times.
This week’s homework:
Next time you find yourself in a difficult situation repeat the mantra, “The essence of etiquette is essential.”
Next weeks class will be on Chivalry – Ladies & gents, if you really care about marrying a prince, then your attendance is mandatory!