Expat Life

Top Tip: How to Act When You Meet the Royal Family

Today was a pretty big day if you’re a royal watcher as it marked the beginning of the Queen’s tour to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.  I have a passing interest in the Royal Family, I’m more interested in their history than current day, but today I paid a little more attention.

You see, the first stop on the Queen’s tour today was a visit to De Montfort University and my other half was part of a delegation of business leaders who participated in the events with the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge.  I’ve not yet received the full scoop on his meet and greet and whether or not he enjoyed the fashion show, but I’m sure I’ll get a detailed report along the lines of “It was alright.”  And of course I’m gutted that he wasn’t allowed to take any photos!

But I thought I would at least share with you some of the guidelines he received about how you’re supposed to act when you meet the Royal Family.

Meeting Members of the Royal Family

There is no obligation on anyone to bow or curtsey to every member of the Royal Family.  It is a custom, or convention, and not a rule, and as such people should feel free to follow it or not as they wish.  This was restated in advice from Buckingham Palace in February 1998.

The traditional practice was that it was usual for men to bow and women to curtsey on being introduced to and taking leave of members of the Royal Family as follows: If a hand is extended, take it lightly and briefly, at the same time executing a bow from the neck, not from the waist, or a brief bob with the weight on the front foot (if she wishes, a woman may bow instead of curtsey: it is the acknowledgement that counts, not the exact form it takes).

The Queen should be addressed as “Your Majesty” for the first time and as “Ma’am (pronounced like “am” not “arm”) on subsequent occasions.  Other members of the Royal Family should be addressed for the first time as “Your Royal Highness” and subsequently as “Sir” or “Ma’am”.

You just never know when this might come in handy.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Matma March 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Forgive me, but we from the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire can’t think when we’d use this.
    However, Mr Sparks (AKA maggie in disguise) continues to polish up his curtsey – vain hopes?

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