Wednesday, 27 April 2011

How To... Behave At The Royal Wedding

Weddings are always full of dos and don'ts - even the most laid back weddings tend to follow some traditions whether it's exchanging rings or cutting cake and of course, the legally binding bit of the ceremony has to be stuck to! But, can you imagine the extra things you need to know when you're going to a Royal Wedding? It's a positive minefield of protocol and an expanse of etiquette.

So, should you get a last minute call to head to Westminster Abbey on Friday (assuming you're not already going of course!), then here's the top ten things to remember so your name isn't on the establishment blacklist...

Don't... be late. There is no such thing as 'fashionably late' at Royal Weddings. The whole day is planned to the second so if your invitation tells you to turn up at a certain time in a certain place, that's what you do. If you're not a member of a a Royal family, expect to turn up quite early!

Don't... try to capture the day. No phones, no cameras - there'll be no beeping or flashing in the Abbey on Friday!

Don't... do sexy. The Royal Wedding is not the day to try to emulate Liz Hurley and grab headlines in an inappropriate outfit. Trying to upstage the bride never looks good, on Friday, it'll just look desperate.
The Queen aka Helen Mirren in 'the wrong' hat!

Don't... wear a big hat. As women don't remove their hats in church, you won't be popular with the people around you if you're blocking their view or getting in their way. Also, the obligatory air-kissing is almost impossible when you've got a big brim in the way.

Don't... touch the Queen. Michelle Obama hit the headlines for touching the Queen's back and you don't want to be rugby tackled by security either. You only shake hands if she offers hers and grabbing her arm in an excited congratulatory way is a big no-no.
No touching!

Don't... do big curtsies. A curtsy should only be a little bob (keep your weight on the front foot) unless you want Royal aids to be laughing at your expense. Big sweeping curtsies are not the done thing.

Don't... cut your bread. If you're dining with the happy party, you never cut your bread roll with a knife. Bread is broken by hand please.

Don't... think 'harm' or 'palm'. The Queen is addressed as Ma'am to rhyme with 'ham' or 'Pam'. The first time you speak with her, she's "Your Royal Highness" but after that, stick to "Ma'am". And conversation should be  general and impersonal - practice your comments about the beautiful ceremony right now.

Don't... swallow. If there are oysters on the menu, you chew them slowly, you don't swallow them whole.

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