Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Royal visit angst

Seems that Will and Kate, those royal love birds, will be visiting our neck of the woods so to speak, shortly. Once again another opportunity presents itself to be among royalty although still from afar, and give them the royal wave. You know - hand in the air, sort-of semi-circular movement but not all the way around. Queen Elizabeth has got it down pat but then she's had all those years to practice.

Then there's the decision as to whether or not a hat is in order, at all. I mean, what if one were to meet the royal couple one-on-one, then a hat would be in order one assumes. Accompanying this subject is the issue of whether one should wear a casual or formal hat, but for sure definitely not a baseball cap. Another dilemma, at least for me, would be whether or not to wear gloves and if so, should they be wrist or elbow length? Just doesn't seem logical to wear long-ish gloves up to the elbow with - say - pants, jeans or capris. In any case, these decisions call for yet another visit to Debretts for further consultation on royal manners for "what-ifs."

According to Debretts in their Royalty section, there is no accepted code of behaviour for encounters with royalty, "but adhering to the traditional forms of address will prevent anxiety."

Presumably, this includes no gum chewing if one is within viewing sight of the royal couple, and neither would cracking gum be acceptable. Another subject worthy of further thought is the wearing of panty hose. Would Kate notice if one's legs were bare and is it even appropriate to bear one's legs in front of royalty at all? So many questions with so few answers to these dilemmas!

To get back to Debretts, when being introduced to a member of the Royal Family men should bow and women curtsey. This subject was broached in an earlier blog entitled, "Meeting the Queen: what should one do?" if anyone reading this wants to know how to conduct oneself. A handshake is also acceptable. A bow should be made by bending from the neck or shoulders (not the waist) while briefly lowering your eyes. Lowering my eyes? What would happen - say - if one inadvertantly forgot to do this? How much of an faux pas would staring directly ahead be?

I can see the headlines now: "Royal goof - Ms blah-blah was seen not to lower her (or his) eyes while being introduced to Will and Kate." Could this be interpreted as being too brazen? So many things to remember.

Debretts also advises that should one happen upon a 'royal' during their time off, allow them the freedom to go about their business as an ordinary person. 'Assume that to royalty, being left alone is far from a slur; it is a luxury.'

Should one meet up with the royal couple while they take five at Second Cup or Starbucks, for example, one should not ask Kate or William to pass the sugar as a means of striking up a conversation. Neither should one keep any empty sugar packages that they may use, their coffee(or tea) cups for souvenirs.

Perhaps all this worry is in vain anyway, since they will be spending a mere few hours in our area. Thinking it all over, perhaps I'll just stick to practicing my royal wave and hope that they wave back. I mean, it's the least they could do.

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