Thursday, May 03, 2007

Just In Case

Should you happen to meet Her Majesty this weekend during her visit to the US to commemorate Jamestown's 400th anniversary, here are a few helpful etiquette tips for you to remember...

The Virginia governor's office offered these etiquette tips for interacting with the Queen:


  • When first meeting the Queen, she should be addressed as "Your Majesty" and then "Ma'am" (rhymes with jam) thereafter. When departing, address her as "Your Majesty" again.

  • By rank, the Duke of Edinburgh is lower than the Queen; thus he is addressed as "Your Royal Highness" (NOT Your Majesty, aka King). After first introductions, he should be addressed as "Sir" and when departing addressed as "Your Royal Highness" again.

  • Whoever hosts the Queen is expected to walk beside the Royals and make introductions as required.

  • At least in Britain, when the Queen stops eating, you stop as well.

  • In general, there are no obligatory codes of behavior, especially in the U.S. -- as we do not recognize the Queen as our Head of Nation, etc.

  • Bowing is not required of U.S. citizens; shaking hands is acceptable. In Great Britain and the Commonwealth states, men bow and women curtsy. Men bow their head only, dropping it from the neck. Women perform a small curtsy, placing the right foot behind the left heel and then slightly bending the knees. Handshakes also work in the Commonwealth.


  • Members of The Royal Family do not wish anyone to be put to unnecessary expense by buying special clothes, hats or gloves. The following points may, however, be of use in answering queries:

  • There is no requirement for hats to be worn, though it is entirely acceptable to do so. Hats are not normally worn at functions after 6:30 p.m.

  • There is no requirement for gloves to be worn. However, if a woman wishes to wear gloves, they need not be white but should not be taken off before the wearer is presented.

  • Where black tie and long evening dress are called for, cocktail dress, national dress and dark lounge suit are also acceptable.

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