Did you miss our ‘How to Marry Harry’ guide this Monday? Unfortunately our etiquette expert Dowager Robinson was struck down with a case of Acute Manneritis (the politest illness of them all). But she’s back to fighting fit and here to give you the third lesson readying you for your very own Royal wedding. And this week, she’s talking chivalry.
Hello ladies; and gentlemen at the back. After the rip-roaring success of my guides to the correct frame of mind, the importance of discretion, and how to act at the dinner table, it’s time you got something in return. Having wowed your prince, he should be trying his damndest to keep you in the bag. And this is where chivalry comes in: aka. the courteous behavior of a man towards a woman.
Throughout history, flawless manners and polite masculinity were the defining characteristics of the British gent. Smooth talking Mr Smiths have been holding doors open and helping put coats on for centuries. Indeed, many believe it all started with Sir Walter Raleigh placing his cloak over a puddle back in the 1600’s to prevent Queen Elizebeth I muddying her shoes.
So, the big question: when is chivalry appropriate and when is it patronizing?
Adapting traditional gestures to fit in with Britian’s new relaxed ways is a tricky challenge. Chivalry is no longer about treating a woman differently or making grand gestures, it’s about generally being a good bloke. This doesn’t come naturally to all men but, unlike a sense of humour, good etiquette can be learned.
To be chivalrous in 2012 is to strike a balance between showing a woman you treasure her while also respecting her independence. Chivalry has been somewhat on the wane since World War II, but in order to achive this properly you MUST genuinlly both treasure and respect her. Until you do you will never be a TRUE gentleman and you will get found out.
We’ll get into specifics next week, but for the meantime, here’s four key traits your prince should display at all times:
• He has an air of sociability and hospitality.
• He is unrushed, calm and always has time.
• He is in control of life, and never stressed.
• He is naturally charming to everyone he meets.