As with everything else when it comes to royal families, they transcend “normal” etiquette and protocol to create lavish and very intricately designed affairs. And a royal wedding is THE Event of all events. The impression you make will have everything to do with your knowledge of proper royal wedding etiquette
It has been noted that if you received an invitation to the Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton you also received a 32-page protocol guide. For those of us that will not be attending the royal wedding, here are a few points on protocol to observe when attending a oyal wedding.
All pertinent information for a royal wedding (location, date, dress code) is included on the invitation. Make sure you fit the dress code. Though the occasion is an opportunity for personal style to shine, for a royal wedding one must keep in mind it is conservative all the way. For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, the invitation states a traditional wedding dress code called “morning dress.” For women, dresses are de rigueur (prescribed or required by fashion, etiquette or custom), but unless you are the royal maid of honor, don’t wear white. Hats or an elegant fascinator (festive feathered hairpiece) are a must. Men should wear morning (formal) or business (referred to as lounge suits across the pond) dress.
Entering and departing from the Abbey. The Queen is always supposed to enter the abbey last (and be the first to depart). With nearly 2,000 people to seat they will need a lot of time, be sure to arrive on time.
Perhaps the most important sign of your pedigree will be how you greet the Queen, Royal tradition means that when William and Kate marry, they, Prince Charles and Kate’s parents will greet each guest as they enter the reception.
Should you have the privilege of meeting the Queen, you would be expected to follow the following protocol (which is different for men and women): Men give a slight swift bow of the head (not a bow from the waist when meeting the Queen). Men should also briefly lower their eyes during their greeting, and bow again when the Royal family member leaves. Women should give a small, dignified curtsey upon meeting the Queen -move should create a distinct bobbing movement, with the upper body kept straight and should be repeated when the member of the Royal family leaves. Will the Queen shake hands? It is rare (though not unheard of) for the Queen to extend a hand. Important to observe: Always let the Queen initiate a hand shake, never stick out your hand first. Men should never kiss the Queen hand nor give her a firm handshake; simply extend the hand and shake lightly (women do the same).
How to address the Queen:
* First address The Queen as ‘Your Majesty’, and subsequently call her ‘Ma’am’.
* Wait for the Queen to initiate conversation and never speak first
*Substitute ‘Your Majesty’ for ‘you’ in conversation.
* Do not ask any personal questions.
* Always give the Queen space and do not touch the other than for a handshake (and again only if initiated by the Queen herself)
*If you have a guest by your side, introduce them to The Queen by saying,
“May I present [insert guest’s name here], Your Majesty?”
Etiquette to observe when greeting other members of the royal family
How would you act when you meet Prince William, for example? How you greet or are greeted by a royal will likely depend upon their age. Older royals will be conservative; in this case men should bow from the head only and women should make a small curtsy (as done when meeting the Queen). Some guides say it is acceptable albeit less usual to shake hands. And anyone bearing the title of His or Her Royal Highness should be addressed as ‘Your Royal Highness’ for the first time, and subsequently ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’.
I hope you enjoyed these royal etiquette tips. Stay tuned for more on the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.