The spouses of the heirs of the British throne, Catherine and Meghan, captivated the whole world with their charm. And it’s not surprising that there have been many courses of royal etiquette appearing all over, teaching participants how to sit correctly, behave in public, receive guests, and use cutlery just like a duchess. Myka Meier, a British etiquette specialist that has been working with the members of the royal family explained what rules one should follow to look like a true lady.
Bright Side has learned all about Myka Meier’s recommendations and is ready to share ones worth adopting with all our readers.
1. Sitting correctly is an art.
A genuine princess, just like a genuine duchess, can be distinguished by the way she sits. It’s forbidden for the women of the royal family to sit by putting one leg over the other.
Nevertheless, this pose is sometimes used at unofficial events where Queen Elizabeth II is absent. The main thing to remember is that the upper leg shouldn’t dangle freely in the air but instead, attached tightly to the other leg.
Myka Meier is convinced that it’s not only duchesses and princesses who should learn to sit correctly but also any woman with good manners. There are 2 main poses: the “Duchess Slant” and the “Cambridge Cross”.
In the first case, it’s necessary to sit straight and not lean on the back of the chair, the chin should be parallel to the floor, legs should be bent to one side, and the knees and ankles kept together. In order to sit in the “Cambridge Cross” position, it’s necessary to cross the legs by placing one leg behind the other one and slightly bending the knees. An additional bonus of both poses is that they visually elongate the legs.
2. Hold your clutch bag with both hands.
Duchesses keep their clutch bags in both hands at official events. If it’s necessary to free one hand for a handshake, they will keep the bag with one hand. If a duchess needs to sit, she won’t put it on the table or on the ground but will instead place it between her back and the back of the chair. In rare cases, she can put a bag on her knees. Also, members of the royal family never place their clutch bags in their armpit.
3. Get ready for meeting your guests in advance.
If you’ve planned a party, don’t make your guests wait. Decorate the dining table one day before the event and try to cook all the dishes that are possible to cook beforehand.
4. Negotiate what time your party will finish.
If you want to throw a party like a duchess, it’s necessary to send invitations in advance. It can be done via e-mail too. Myka Meier said that Kate Middleton uses a website where she sends her guests elegant online invitations and postcards. Another important detail is that her invitations always indicate the time at which the event will end. It should be done to prevent guests from overusing hospitality and to help them realize that you are not willing to have an overnight party.
5. Greet your guests with a kiss or a handshake.
The members of the royal family greet their friends and acquaintances with a kiss to the cheek by first touching the right cheek and after, the left cheek. At official events and with people they don’t know, duchesses use a confident handshake. When visiting other countries, duchesses follow local traditions. For example, they great Maori people of New Zealand by making their noses touch.
6. Make introductions between guests as fast as possible.
Your task as a host is to talk to each of your guests and make sure they feel comfortable. Help your guests find common interests. All introductions must be made before starting a meal.
7. Take 3 bites and stop.
Duchesses always put back cutlery after having bitten a dish 3 or 4 times within one time. Also, all the members of the royal family are forbidden to start eating before the Queen. Moreover, it’s necessary to watch the pace at which the Queen is eating because once she finishes eating, all others at the table should stop eating as well. This rule works both at state banquettes and during private tea ceremonies.
8. Hold cups of tea and coffee correctly.
Etiquette rules say that cups with tea and coffee should be held differently. A cup with tea should be held by meeting a thumb and an index finger through the handle, while the middle finger should be placed under the handle supporting the cup (like in the photo). If you are holding a coffee cup, then the index finger can be looped through the cup handle.
9. Keep the lavatory perfectly clean.
Don’t say it aloud if you need to go to the toilet. Simply apologize when leaving the table and put the napkin near your plate.
Keep your lavatory perfectly clean — it should always have soap, hand cream, and several fresh towels for your guests to use. Keeping reading materials as well as aroma candles in the bathroom is not hygienic. And remember that a roll of toilet paper should be placed on the holder so that the end of the roll is above the roll, not under it.
10. Be kind to your surroundings.
The presence of duchess-like etiquette means being kind, caring, respectful and nice to surroundings. “Think of others first, and throw kindness like confetti,” says Myka Meier.
Bonus: How to learn to make an elegant curtsey to the Queen and sport royal-like posture
The photo depicts Myka Meier, an etiquette specialist, and a trainer.
Which of these rules would you like to adopt right away? Why? Please tell us about it in the comments!