GREETING THE QUEEN
Greeting Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 2007 was quite a chore and challenge to the Americans. "Do people wear pants, dresses or business attire to meet the queen?" was a common question guests fortunate to be invited to meet the queen asked. Dinner attire was white tie and tails--the first, and perhaps only, white-tie affair of the Bush administration.
National Public Radio was kind enough to offer etiquette tips when meeting the queen:
WHAT DO I DO WHEN THE QUEEN ENTERS THE ROOM?
Rise and remain standing. If you make eye contact, it’s okay to smile. But don’t just stroll over and introduce yourself. A host will do that.
DO I NEED TO BOW OR CURTSY?
No. Americans are not expected to show such courtesy but are free to do so. Should you choose to, men bow their head only, dropping from the neck. Women perform a slight curtsy, placing the right foot behind the left heel and slightly bending the knees.
MAY I SHAKE THE QUEEN’S HAND?
Yes, but wait for the queen to offer her hand first. And, suggests Britain’s Guardian newspaper, "Try to refrain from vigorously pumping the royal arm; a brief touch is preferred."
HOW DO I REFER TO THE QUEEN?
As "Your Majesty" on first being introduced and subsequently as "Ma’am." Lower nobility, such as her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, are referred to as "Your Highness" at first and subsequently "Sir." Refrain from using cute nicknames for members of the royal family.
WHAT SHOULD I TALK ABOUT WITH THE QUEEN?
Feel free to make small talk or discuss topics in the news, but let the queen steer the conversation. And keep your comments brief.
HOW SHOULD I EAT IN THE PRESENCE OF THE QUEEN?
Gracefully. Don’t eat too quickly. Don’t swig water directly from plastic bottles. When the queen stops eating, so should you. But do enjoy your meal.
(From a sermon by Victor Yap, "The Day of the Lord" 1/24/2009)
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