'Reign' Relives the Dos and Don'ts of British Royalty

Power, fame, and glamour—we, the commoners, can only dream of living the life of the most esteemed family in the United Kingdom. Possessing a regal title, however, comes with the obligation to follow certain codes of conduct.

Of course, there have been instances when royals have deviated from such guidelines, like wearing fur, eating shellfish, or being touched by non-royals—all of which are prohibited. Nevertheless, anyone who fancies marrying someone from the British crown family must learn these protocols as part of proper decorum.

Recent history can testify that marriage into royalty isn’t impossible, like Prince William’s wedding with Princess Catherine (née Middleton) and Prince Harry’s current engagement with American actress Meghan Markle.

For those who believe they have what it takes to become royalty through marriage, we list below some rules of etiquette to which the Queen’s family must adhere.

Bows and Curtsies

Greetings need not be complicated. In formal events, ladies greet with a little curtsy: one foot behind the other followed by a quick bob at the knee and a slight bow of the head. Gents only have to bow briefly from the neck. Deep curtsies and long pauses, however, show great respect especially when meeting the Queen.

Sitting Posture

Modesty is expected at all times even while sitting. Royal women shouldn’t cross their legs at the knee. Instead, they must keep their knees and ankles together, though they may cross their legs at the ankle for comfort. The “duchess slant” as popularized by Princess Catherine is another acceptable pose with the knees slanted to one side. In these three, hands must be linked and resting on one knee.

Holding a Teacup

No gentleman or lady deserves a royal title without knowing how to lift a cup correctly during tea time. The thumb and index fingers must hold the handle at the top while the middle finger goes to the bottom for support. Sipping must also be done on the same spot to keep the rim free off too many lipstick stains.

Dining Etiquette

Using silverware with the royals might seem daunting at first. For the basics, hold the knife with the right hand and the fork with the left. As for the fork, the tines must always face down, and should never be used to stab the food. Rather, food is balanced on the back of the fork when brought to the mouth.

Order of Precedence

Those wonderful royal weddings where everyone is neatly organized from the procession to the seating arrangement would not have been possible if not for a strict adherence to a specific order. At the head of the procession is the reigning monarch, followed by the entourage determined by order of birth, marriage, status of nobility, and other rules.

These and other rules have been passed down for generations in the history of British sovereignty. For a glimpse of these laws and customs, catch Reign every Tuesday at 9:00PM on Blue Ant Entertainment.

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