Sunday, February 28, 2016

Royal Wedding Etiquette Details

Ena, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had irritated her Battenberg cousins by waving all too regally from the carriage at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, so they were not at all surprised when Ena married the King of Spain. King Edward VII, thus needed to elevate her to the rank of Royal Highness prior to the ceremony. At the wedding, an assassin attempted to blow up the bridal carriage in which the newly wedded royal pair were returning to the palace. A bomb was lobbed from a third floor window, engulfing the carriage in smoke. The new Queen's bridal gown was spattered with the blood of a decapitated guardsman. Twenty-four men were killed, more than 100 wounded, and the future King George V noted ruefully in his diary that lunch was delayed until well after 3 pm.!

Alfonso's Wedding Plans
In Accordance With Spanish Etiquette

Will Send an Envoy to Ask the Hand
of Princess Ena of Battenberg

Special Cable to The Herald—

LONDON, Feb. 3.— Already interest is being manifested in the forthcoming marriage of King Alfonso and Princess Ena of Battenberg. The preliminaries, will, in accordance with Spanish etiquette, be as follows:

An ambassador extraordinary with plenary powers will come to England to demand the hand of the princess. The matrimonial contract will be drawn up, read and signed in London. It will be ratified by King Edward and King Alfonso.

It is practically certain that Princess Ena will enter Spain from the north at Iran, where she will be met  by the Chief Majordomo of the palace in behalf of King Alfonso, as well as municipal and military authorities and the British ambassador, who will first present Princess Ena and her mother, and then their suite, to the Spanish authorities.

The Princess and her mother will then proceed to the palace at El Pardo, seven miles from Madrid, where they will remain for six days before the wedding. They will then be met there by King Alfonso and the Queen mother. Two days before the wedding there will be a solemn reading of the marriage treaty, which is practically equivalent to a betrothal.

On the wedding day, the Princess will leave El Pardo early, in strict incognito, without escort of any kind. King Alfonso and two adjutants on horseback will join her in the neighborhood of El Pardo and accompany her to the entrance of the city. The Princess will then be robed in a building which has not yet been selected, where the trousseau will have been exhibited. She will preserve her incognito until she enters the gala carriage to go to the church.

According to the etiquette of the Spanish court, all the articles of the trousseau will be exhibited, even to the most minute details of the household linen. The dresses will be on lay figures and the jewelry and other articles in glass cases under the care of halberdiers. Entrance to the exhibition will be free to all classes.
— The Los Angeles Herald, Feb. 1906

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lovers' Tech Skirt's Etiquette

How the newest technological marvel aided in elminating the Spanish royal court etiquette of the era, and romance flourished...
The modern, 19th century technology allowed a Spanish King to get the better of the traditional and implacable etiquette of a court where he couldn't get an egg boiled without 6 successive messengers and 10 pairs of hands.

The Telephone for Love Making

"The King," writes a correspondent from Madrid, "spends with his bride all the time allowed him by etiquette and public affairs. He hastens to Aranjuez, where she is staying, and during the journey the royal Leander will sometimes look out at the carriage window to see on the horizon the bare trees under which Philip II conspired against the conscience of the world."

When he returns from Aranjuez, his impatience leads him to a part of the palace where modern science has placed its latest discovery at the service of the royal lover, and annihilates the space which for two days longer separates him from his bride. A telephone, in fact, has been fitted up, connecting one of the King's rooms with that of Princess Mercedes, and enabling them to converse together, free from indiscreet eyes and ears. 

Strange to think that the telephone should thus get the better of the traditional and implacable etiquette of a court where the King cannot get an egg boiled without 6 successive messengers and 10 pairs of hands. Yet more strange is a love so rarely found in the loftiest stations, and which could only spring up and gain strength because two hearts met in the solitude of exile, far from the factitious pompe of courtly constraint. — The Daily Alta, 1878

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, February 26, 2016

Royal Etiquette and Slanguage

One monarch's, "Oh, cucumbers!" is another monarch's,"Shut up!" Every era's slang is different.

Princess Scorns Etiquette Rules and Drops into Slang

When royalty unbends, as royalty so often loves to do and takes on the parlance of the common people with spontaneous naturalness, the common people chuckle and are well pleased. At least this is true today in Bulgaria. 

It is being related that Princess Nadejda, sister of King Boris, was listening recently to the dignified matron of the royal court, Madame Peatrava-Tchomakova, telling something that purported to be true, but for the princess the earmarks of fiction were too apparent. 

Nadejda stood it as long as she could, and then burst out with “Oh, cucumbers!” There was a burst of laughter which almost drowned Nadejda’s quick apology, for court etiquette had been gravely damaged. The expression of the young princess might be rendered in English by, “Oh, rats!” — (AP) Euxinograd, Bulgaria, 1924 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Royal Etiquette and Lesser Nobles

A dynasty of former princes, electors, kings, and emperors made up the House of Hohenzollern of Prussia, Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle.

Royal Court Etiquette Rules

It has not escaped public notice that the Marquis of Lorn and his wife, the sister of the Duke of Edinburgh, were not present at the Duke's marriage with the daughter of the Czar. A Paris paper has volunteered to give the cause of this seeming want of affection; 

It says the court etiquette on the continent excludes any one not royal by blood from sitting at the same table with royalty. Lorn is a noble of as honorable lineage as the Guelphs, and far more ancient than the Romanoffs or the Hohenzollerns, whose ancestors were low-bred kerns running about the woods and swamps of Scandinavia and Germany, dressed in the hairy skins of wild, beasts, for centuries after the house of Argyle was noble and powerful. 

But the Argyles never had the luck to be crowned, and therefore they can't mate on terms of equality with the Romanoffs, Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs, nor eat at the same table. The Princess Louisa, wife of the Marquis of Lorn, was once obliged to witness this degredation of her husband at the Court of Berlin when she was visiting her sister, the Crown Princess of Prussia, and she then made up her mind not to subject him again to such an insult. This is the explanation of the absence ot Lorn and his lady from the late St. Petersburg wedding. — From The Sacramento Union, 1874

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Manners of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The book of domestic maxims is most curious and instructive, from the details which it contains respecting the manners and customs, mode of conduct, and fashions of the nobility of the period. 

At the end of the fourteenth century there lived a much-respected noble of Anjou, named Geoffroy de Latour-Landry, who had three daughters. In his old age, he resolved that, considering the dangers which might surround them in consequence of their inexperience and beauty, he would compose for their use a code of admonitions which might guide them in the various circumstances of life.

This book of domestic maxims is most curious and instructive, from the details which it contains respecting the manners and customs, mode of conduct, and fashions of the nobility of the period. The author mostly illustrates each of his precepts by examples from the life of contemporary personages. 

The first advice the knight gives his daughters is, to begin the day with prayer; and, in order to give greater weight to his counsel, he relates the following anecdote: 

"A noble had two daughters; the one was pious, always saying her prayers with devotion, and regularly attending the services of the church; she married an honest man, and was most happy. The other, on the contrary, was satisfied with hearing low mass, and hurrying once or twice through the Lord's Prayer, after which she went off to indulge herself with sweetmeats. She complained of headaches, and required careful diet. 
She married a most excellent knight; but, one evening, taking advantage of her husband being asleep, she shut herself up in one of the rooms of the palace, and in company with the people of the household began eating and drinking in the most riotous and excessive manner. The knight awoke; and, surprised not to find his wife by his side, got up, and, armed with a stick, betook himself to the scene of festivity. He struck one of the domestics with such force that he broke his stick in pieces, and one of the fragments flew into the lady's eye and put it out. This caused her husband to take a dislike to her, and he soon placed his affections elsewhere."
"My pretty daughters," the moralising parent proceeds, "be courteous and meek, for nothing is more beautiful, nothing so secures the favour of God and the love of others. Be then courteous to great and small; speak gently with them.... I have seen a great lady take off her cap and bow to a simple ironmonger. One of her followers seemed astonished. 'I prefer,' she said, 'to have been too courteous towards that man, than to have been guilty of the least incivility to a knight.'"

Latour-Landry also advised his daughters to avoid outrageous fashions in dress. "Do not be hasty in copying the dress of foreign women. I will relate a story on this subject respecting a bourgeoise of Guyenne and the Sire de Beaumanoir. The lady said to him, 'Cousin, I come from Brittany, where I saw my fine cousin, your wife, who was not so well dressed as the ladies of Guyenne and many other places. The borders of her dress and of her bonnet are not in fashion.' The Sire answered, 'Since you find fault with the dress and cap of my wife, and as they do not suit you, I shall take care in future that they are changed; but I shall be careful not to choose them similar to yours.... Understand, madam, that I wish her to be dressed according to the fashion of the good ladies of France and this country, and not like those of England. It was these last who first introduced into Brittany the large borders, the bodices opened on the hips, and the hanging sleeves. I remember the time, and saw it myself, and I have little respect for women who adopt these fashions.'"

Respecting the high head-dresses "which cause women to resemble stags who are obliged to lower their heads to enter a wood," the knight relates what took place in 1392 at the fête of St. Marguerite. "There was a young and pretty woman there, quite differently dressed from the others; every one stared at her as if she had been a wild beast. One respectable lady approached her and said, 'My friend, what do you call that fashion?' She answered, 'It is called the "gibbet dress."' 'Indeed; but that is not a fine name!' answered the old lady. Very soon the name of 'gibbet dress' got known all round the room, and every one laughed at the foolish creature who was thus bedecked." This head-dress did in fact owe its name to its summit, which resembled a gibbet.

These extracts from the work of this honest knight, suffice to prove that the customs of French society had, as early as the end of the fourteenth century, taken a decided character which was to remain subject only to modifications introduced at various historical periods.

Amongst the customs which contributed most to the softening and elegance of the feudal class, we must cite that of sending into the service of the sovereign for some years all the youths of both sexes, under the names of varlets, pages, squires, and maids of honour. No noble, of whatever wealth or power, ever thought of depriving his family of this apprenticeship and its accompanying chivalric education.  From Paul La Croix's, 1876 “Manners, Customs, and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period”

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Monday, February 22, 2016

1920s Afternoon Tea Etiquette

 An informal outdoor tea in the open, on the lawn or in the garden, is perfect for when the weather is nice, or if your guests aren't planning on staying too long.

Afternoon Teas

Afternoon teas are of two kinds, formal and informal, and the informal outdoor tea in the open, on the lawn or in the garden, is a variant of the latter variety. Here the tea wagon comes into play, and tea is often tea in name only, since at summer outdoor teas not only iced tea, but iced coffee, iced chocolate or punch are often served.

The Informal Tea

Do not set a table for the informal tea. The tea service is merely brought to the sun parlor, drawing room or living room in which the tea is to be served, and placed on the table. There the hostess makes and pours the tea, unless she prefers to have it brought in on a tea tray already made for pouring.

The tea service comprises: a teakettle for boiling water with filled alcohol lamp and matches; a tea caddy with teaspoon and (if only a few cups are to be made) a tea ball. A tea creamer, cut sugar, a saucer of sliced lemon, and cups and saucers with spoon on cup saucer, as well as tea napkins complete the service. The water brought in the teakettle should be hot. If this precaution is observed, the tea will boil very soon after the lamp is lighted. The sandwiches served at an informal afternoon tea should be very simple: lettuce, olive or nut butter, or plain bread and butter, nor should the small cakes also passed be elaborate or rich.

The Formal Tea

The formal tea—a tea becomes formal as soon as cards are sent out for it—is a very different affair. As many as four ladies may pour, two during the first, and two during the second hour. Friends of the hostess—they serve all refreshments, though waitresses assist, removing soiled cups and plates and bringing in fresh ones—preside at either table end, and the table is decorated (flowers and candles). At one end of the luncheon cloth (or the table may be laid with doilies) stands the service tray, with teapot, hot-water pot, creamer, sugar bowl with tongs and cut sugar, and sliced lemons in dish with lemon fork. The tray also contains cup and saucers (each saucer with spoon, handle paralleling cup). The coffee, bouillon or chocolate service is established in the same manner at the other end of the table. If coffee is served, the service tray is equipped with urn, cream and sugar; if chocolate, whipped cream in bowl with ladle; if bouillon, the urn alone.

Each lady who pours must have a large napkin convenient to guard her gown. Arranged along the table should be plates of sandwiches and cakes, bonbon dishes and dishes with salted nuts. But the table must not be crowded. This important rule is responsible for the existence of the frappe table.

The frappe table holds the afternoon tea punch. Since the dining room is apt to be well filled as it is, the frappe table had best be established in some other room. On its luncheon cloth is set the punch or frappe bowl with ladle, and individual ices, frozen creams (not too rich or elaborate) or punch are served in frappe or punch bowls by a friend of the hostess. The small plates on which the frappe glasses are served should be piled on the table with doilies (linen always) between the plates. When served, the glass is filled with the sherbet or cream, and a sherbet spoon laid at the right-hand side of plate (a tray of sherbet spoons belongs to the frappe table equipment, as well as a filled cake basket, dishes of candy, piles of small plates and small linen napkins). Unless you are entertaining guests to the number of a hundred or more, never use paper doilies at a formal afternoon tea!

A pretty custom dictates that young girl friends of the hostess serve the guests. They provide the latter with plate and napkin, ask their choice of beverage, and serve it, together with sandwiches and cakes. Or the plates and napkins may be handed the guests as they enter by a waitress stationed at the door, before they are served by the young girls.

A salad should never be offered at a formal afternoon tea! To do so is to commit a social solecism.” — From Lillian B. Lansdown's 1922, “How to Prepare and Serve a Meal; and Interior Decoration.”

 Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Etiquette of True Ladies and Gents

The perfect lady is not the ornamental butterfly of society, as so many would have us believe. She does some useful work, no matter what it is. The perfect gentleman knows the manners of good society and he does not hesitate to use them.
The True Lady and Gentleman

It is not enough to be wealthy. It is not enough to be widely famed. But if one is well-mannered, if one knows how to conduct oneself with poise, grace and self-confidence, one will win respect and honor no matter where one chances to be.

There are very few men indeed who do not value good manners. They may ridicule them, they may despise them—but deep down in their hearts they know that good manners have a certain charm, a certain power, that wealth and fame together do not possess. They know that right in their own business spheres there are men who owe their success and position to the appearance that they make, to the manner in which they conduct themselves. And they know that there are beautiful women who are coldly repellent; while some plain women win the hearts of everyone with whom they come in contact, merely by the charm of their manners.

The perfect gentleman is not the dude, the over-dressed "dandy" who disdains the workingman in his patched clothes and who sniffs contemptuously at the word "work." The true gentleman is kindly, courageous, civil. He is kind to everyone—to the tottering old man he helps across the street, and to the mischievous young rascal who throws a ball through his window. He does not know what it is to become angry, to lose control of his temper, to speak discourteously. He never shows that he is embarrassed or ill at ease. He is as calm and unconcerned in the presence of a world-wide celebrity as he is when he is with his most intimate friend. Nor is he ever bitter, haughty or arrogant. And he is as far from being effeminate as he is from being coarse and brutal. In short, he knows the manners of good society and he does not hesitate to use them.

The perfect lady is not the ornamental butterfly of society, as so many would have us believe. She is gentle, and well-dressed and graceful—not merely ornamental. She does some useful work, no matter what it is. She is patient always, and generous. She never speaks harshly to tradespeople or to servants; gentleness and reserve are the very keynotes of her manner. She is never haughty, never superior. She is kind and courteous to everyone, and she conducts herself with the calm, unassuming grace that instinctively wins a responsive respect. In her manner towards men she is reserved, modest. But she is self-reliant and not afraid to assert herself. Her speech and manner are characterized always by dignity, repose and self-confidence.” — From Lillian Eichler's 1921, "Book of Etiquette, Volume I"

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, February 19, 2016

Etiquette Humor for the Weekend

"Manners is manners an' I always taught you manners when you was a young one. I wouldn't let you grab for the biggest piece o' pie on the plate an' I wouldn't let you spill, and when you drunk. I made you drink quiet.

A Lesson in Manners

"I wish you wouldn't pa." said the oldest girl. "Wish I wouldn't what?" asked the plain citizen. "Eat with your knife," replied the daughter; "It's so __________."  "So what?" asked the old gentleman, knitting his shaggy brows. "So unconventional." "Now, lookee here." said the plain citizen. "I'm 60 years old and getting older every minute, but I'm not too old to learn. If you can show me any way of gettin' gravy up to my month with my fork I'm willing to try it. I've got to use a knife," "People don't do it, pa." "You're mistaken about that I know a heap o' people that do it" "But not refined people, pa." "Ireeny," said the plain citizen, you make me tired. I b'lieve in being polite when there's sense to it."

"Manners is manners an' I always taught you manners when you was a young one. I wouldn't let you grab for the biggest piece o' pie on the plate an' I wouldn't let you spill, and when you drunk. I made you drink quiet. You wasn't allowed to wipe your month on the tablecloth or speak with your mouth full. Them's manners. Juss so long's I keep my own knife on my own vittles, I claim that it's my own business whether I put it in my mouth or not —ain't it?" "Well, perhaps it is, but ..." 

"There isn't any 'but' about it. When I took you to the city last fall there was a feller setting at a table in the restaurant where we was, dressed to kill he was, too, and when he got through eating he lit up a cigareet —and wimmin' setting right there— 'member that?" "Yes, but..." "No 'but' about it. If he'd ben a boy o' mine, I'd have jerked him out o' the room and taught him manners. When that fam'ly was stayin' with us last summer you fussed because I sat down to the table in my shirtsleeves. The man he set down without even a vest and that was all right. I think it was all right, too, but why is muslin any more improper than blue and white striped flannel, and how is a belt any better than suspenders? They're both to hold the pants up." 

"Why, pa!" "I hope you don't mean to say that pants is unconventional!" "Ireeny, you talk a lot of poppycock. I'm willing to be polite, as I said, but I'm going to use common sense about it, and I'm going to eat with my knife as much as I dern please and I don't want to hear any more out of you about it. Understand that, don't you, Ireeny?" "Yes, pa," replied the daughter.  —Chicago Daily News, 1905

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, February 18, 2016

More Etiquette and Public Schools

Men who tuck their napkins under their chin, who partake of their soup audibly, and who flourish toothpicks at the table, in the corridors and on the verandas... are to be met with everywhere in this land.

Long on Money, Short on Manners 

At any one of our seashore resorts in the summer, or our winter resort hotels, one may encounter men and women by the score who have been successful in the battle for worldly wealth, but whose early education lacked training in this special direction of refined manners. 

Men who tuck their napkins under their chin, men and women who partake of their soup audibly, and who flourish toothpicks at the table, in the corridors and on the verandas, and even men and women who convey food to the mouth by means of the knife, forgetting that the knife is only appropriate for cutting and not for carrying food, are to be met with everywhere in this land. 

Many of our early Puritan fathers were very indifferent to these matters as they were opposed to all things ornamental and beautiful in life. They taught only the stern virtues, and principles, and an austere religion. The ornamental, the gracious, the courteous sides of life they considered of no value. The New England world has changed many of its ideas in modern times, but it needs to change still more, and to carry its modern ideas still farther, by introducing instruction in good manners into our school systems. 

It is only the exceptionally well bred little boy who does not rush ahead of older people, thrust women and children aside and force himself into public conveyances in a hurry to obtain a seat. Not one small boy in one thousand ever rises and offers an older person a seat. Not more than one in one thousand has been taught to rise when a lady enters a room. 

These small courtesies mark the well bred man when he is grown and their absence marks the boor. The world would be a more agreeable place, and man and women more agreeable companions were our public schools to introduce a department for teaching good manners. Ella Wheeler - Wilcox 

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Etiquette Essential to Schools

It would be of great importance to the world at large were the public schools of America to institute a "good manners department” in the kindergarten, the primary and intermediate departments of all schools.  Ella Wheeler–Wilcox

Teaching in School —
Need of Instruction to Make Children More Courteous and Refined 

Training in Good Manners Is Essential to a Country Which Is a Smelting Pot of Offspring from Every Nationality on Earth

OUR school system needs revolutionizing. The community is taxed heavily to support school institutions. The introduction of the drawing master, the music master, the district nurse, the visiting dentist and doctor, all means increased taxes for the people. Most of these innovations on the old school system (which consisted of teaching the "Three R’s  — reading, writing and 'rithmetic" ) are of value to the children —the coming generation of men and women. 

It is, however, the opinion of many thinking people that the time and money expended on the teaching of art in our public schools, might well be reduced to a minimum. Not one child in one hundred possesses sufficient talent in this line to make it worth while to continue the study after school years. The child who does possess such talent would be discovered, were not a whole community taxed and the time of an entire school taken a portion of each day, which might well be devoted to something of more universal value. 

One of the most important things in the education of any man or woman is good manners. Manners which do not offend in dally deportment. A man may know nothing of art and nothing of music and yet not offend his neighbors, though he live to be a hundred years old. But the man who knows nothing of the niceties of good manners at the table, or deportment in public vehicles, or places of entertainment, is a continual annoyance and irritation, to his fellow beings. To eat noisily, to display a toothpick in public, to use the knife where the fork is intended, to crowd in front of women and children, to talk loud in public—all these habits interfere with the general well being. 

It is in the early childhood life that right habits should be taught. It would be of great importance to the world at large were the public schools of America to institute a "good manners department” in the kindergarten, the primary and intermediate departments of all schools. Ten minutes each day given to instruction by short talks and demonstrations on these subjects would accomplish miracles of good. 

Listen to the "gum-chewers," the right way of manipulation of the knife and fork at the table, the right attitudes, the proper use of the napkin... are all matters of much greater importance in the education of the average child than instruction in drawing or in dissection of dead animals. Our country is a smelting pot of every nationality on earth. Our schools are composed of children from all classes and all climes.

Many people come to us whose lives in the old countries have been passed in remote places, far from centers of civilization, where no knowledge is obtainable of the niceties of life. The children are reared by these parents in the same habits which characterized their early environments. A large majority of these children will grow up to be intellectually brilliant men and women, and many of them will occupy prominent places, industrially and politically. It is important that they should be trained in good manners in the small things of life as well as in intelectual development. If young children are made to realize that good manners are regarded as a part of education, they will use their influence upon their parents. 
Ella Wheeler - Wilcox, 1921

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

School Etiquette for Parents

"Helicopter Parenting" was just beginning to be a  problem, back in 1969!  —Thousands of mothers are facing up to a child going off to school for the very first time and not knowing how to behave!

Mothers! Observe ‘School Etiquette’

Etiquette books are filled with sound rules about not digging into your hominy grits with a knife and the good ones have chapters covering wedding invitations and how much to tip the butler after a weekend at Mrs. Rich’s estate. But here we are in the first semester of the school year and what, I ask, have the noble, knowledgeable rule-givers done about that? Thousands of mothers are facing up to it for the very first time and not knowing how to behave. 

I observed some on the first day of school. Three were crying; four lurked on the lawn until recess; one brought the teacher a list entitled, Things to Remember about Paul. Why didn’t someone tell them the way to leave a child? (Shake hands with teacher with one’s right hand and, at the same time, with the left hand, give child a deft thrust into room.) 

It’s nice to know the fine points on accepting gracefully a child’s first drawing. (Holding paper carefully, turn it around and around and say, It’s so colorful! Wasn't this fun?” Do not EVER say, “What a pretty kitty!” or “Such a NICE tree,” because things are never what they seem to be.) 

Then there’s the first time the child announces he is never going to school again, although, heaven knows, nobody can really give us a rule on how to act here. (Just remember how wonderful life can be without his throwing a ball against the house and singing, “Oh! You! Pretty Chitty Bang Bang!" the livelong day. You’ll think of something.)

We need pointers on how to behave at school meetings. In theory, parents and teachers come together to discuss ways and means of improving school conditions. In reality, these meetings are usually long discussions on whether or not the fall festival money should buy new roll-away bleachers for the gym or new saw horses to block off the playground during the fall festival. A parent must go to the meetings so his child’s room can win the attendance award. 

During the meetings, do not ask about reading programs or the quality of school lunches. This marks one as inexperienced or, at the least, stupid. It would be helpful if schools would issue brochures listing jobs you can do for them throughout the year. Time, tempers and manners would he more easily controlled if one could only check off “Sell candy bars for band uniforms” or "Dance chaperone" or “Lunch room duty." Because this is not the practice at most schools, all I can tell you is to be tactful and patient when your telephone rings eight million times daily. 

Some parents would like to know the proper way of giving advice when school officials ask opinions on textbooks or teaching methods. Don’t waste time worrying about this. The problem simply never comes up. By Betty Canary, The Desert Sun, 1969

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Teach Etiquette with Games

Not like this below.             Do this below instead!                            
Playing games to teach good manners ahead of time, is better than the alternative of scolding a child later on for exhibiting acquired bad manners.


Playing games which teach good manners is more effective and much pleasanter than is scolding about bad manners.

Mother: "I was so ashamed of you last night when we had guests—reaching clear across the cake plate to take the biggest piece!" 

Mother: "Let's pass the plate of cookies around the table and you have each one of the dolls take the cookie that is nearest to her."
By Edyth Thomas Wallace, 1953

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ridding Herself of Etiquette

She could run, but couldn't rid herself of etiquette! —"With her attractive appearance, wonderful charm of manner, rare gift of sympathy and eagerness to share with others the pleasures that fell to her lot, she soon won all hearts..."
Running to Get Rid of Etiquette?

While she was a girl, the habits of Princess Mary were simple enough, and not unlike those of other well-bred girls. She was rather fond of state and ceremony, but on one occasion a friend who called upon her was surprised to find her running round and round the flower beds in the garden at the top of her speed.

"Why are you running so fast, Princess?" the friend ventured to inquire.

"To get rid of the etiquette," was the reply. "We have just had a visit from the emperor of  " __________."  From
Memoir of  Her Royal Highness, Princess Mary Adelaide" New York Times, 1900

The Duchess of Cambridge went a good deal into general society, and, following in the steps of the Duchess of Gloucester, was a frequent visitor at the country homes of the old aristocracy. In this way, Princess Mary had the opportunity of choosing her own friends, and was able to meet, without the restraint of Court etiquette, the distinguished men and women of the day, advantages which her social qualities and natural ability allowed her fully to appreciate. 

With her attractive appearance, wonderful charm of manner, rare gift of sympathy and eagerness to share with others the pleasures that fell to her lot, she soon won all hearts, and in a very short time established herself a universal favourite. — A Memoir of HRH Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mobile Etiquette and iGuilt

Mobile devices shouldn't be barriers between you and your child's, or grandchild's activities. Letting your child be a part of your phone's use , and avoidng any "phubbing" of a child (snubbng another's presence while on your mobile phone) helps reduce iGuilt.

iGuilt- Do you suffer from this dreaded affliction? 

They call it iGuilt. It's become an increasingly common sight at Saturday morning sport as parents tap away at their phones, missing little Jimmy's goal. Some parents don't even realise what they're doing while others readily admit they devote more attention to their iPhone than to their child. The modern world is filled with technological distractions, from smartphones to laptops to iPads, which are increasingly hard to switch off. 

Netsafe director and father of a 4 and 8-year-old, Martin Cocker admitted smartphones sometimes interfered with his parenting. His job means he needs to always be contactable by media and colleagues and so he always has his phone on and with him. "If I get messages, I check them and if my phone rings, I answer it because it might be work-related. But the bulk of the time, of course, it's not." 

Mr. Cocker said smartphone technologies were deliberately designed to keep people engaged. "It's designed to get you using it and to keep you using, making it harder to pull away." They do that because they don't make money in a traditional way. You don't pay to use a lot of the services that people are constantly using on their smartphones, but the more you use it the more the companies who own the apps can sell the advertising for," he said.       
Setting up a structure for tech use early in your children's lives helps keep tech tantrums and tech overuse to a minimum.
As well, new technologies have removed the ability to stop working when you leave the office, meaning work inevitably creeps into home life. Mother of two and iPhone user Rochelle Gribble admitted she's fallen victim to iGuilt after seeing the behaviour of 3-year-old Caitlin deteriorate when she devotes too much time to her iPhone. "I've become increasingly mindful that I need to not have my iPhone out when my kids are around," she said. "When my daughter wants my attention but I'm on my phone she does something which she knows is naughty and she's basically trying to get my attention. So it's at that moment when I know I need to put down my phone, put away the computer and engage with her." 

Mrs Gribble works from home and runs parenting advice website."One of the reason I work from home is so I can spend time with my kids and I want to enjoy their childhood and here I am checking my email at the park." She frequently sees parents getting distracted by their phones while pushing their children on the swings at the park. "There's lots of little fun distractions on the internet, like Facebook, and sometimes it's a heck of a lot more interesting than talking to your children, let's be honest. And it's also a lot less demanding." 

Professor Alan France, head of the Sociology department at the University of Auckland, said the positive impact of technology should be noted as well. Gadgets like PlayStation's Wii had the ability to draw families together to play games while children having increased access to mobile phones meant parents could worry less. "... mobiles have improved parents' connection to their children and I don't see that as a bad thing." Mr. Cocker suggested "technology-free weekends" to help improve family-time, or even just a technology-free day or afternoon. —Source New Zealand Herald News, 2012

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Kaiser's New Dance Etiquette

The city palace in Berlin was the Prussian royal palace

Emperor Wilhelm's New Dance Rules

At the court ball in Berlin lately the Kaiser brought in two innovations —first, that the court quadrille is to return as much as possible to the old French quadrille, instead of the modernized dance which has lately taken its place; also that the Kaiser's new ruling as to etiquette in round dance is an improvement.

The Kaiser gave out that in future at court balls, what is known as visiting will be given up.

"Visiting," to explain to those who do not know what it means, is a German practice of one man, having several partners in the same dance. This is an easy way for a man to get through a deal of formal civility, but is a death blow to sociability, and the ladies are pleased.

The visiting card of Kaiser Wilhelm. The German text reads, "Wilhelm, Deutscher Kaiser u. König von Preußen" (translation: "William, German Emperor and King of Prussia"). — Visiting or calling cards, were small paper cards with one's name printed on them, and often bearing an artistic design. In 18th C. Europe, the footmen of aristocrats and royalty would deliver these first European visiting cards to the servants of their prospective hosts solemnly introducing the arrival of their owners. They were the forerunners of today's business cards.

The scene around the throne was brilliant. The ball opened with the valse "La Gitanella," by Morena, the band of the Fusilier guards playing. The dancing card was a very pretty thing in old French style, with Watteau figures and the imperial arms on top. The dancing took place in front of the throne. Count Baudessen of the Life guards was leader of the ball, opening it with the chief lady of the court Countess Stolberg Werigerode.

Next came Count Bernstoff, with Countess Irma Kanitz. In a lovely toilet of white with silver embroidery. One of the toilettes much remarked on was that of Countess Stolberg. It was a ball dress of white satin, with pink roses, very simple but beautifully made.

A feature of the evening was the favorite dance of the Kaiser's, a dance which he has sought very hard to popularize, and what is known as "The Queen's Minuet." Six pairs were in each. set. In the set nearest the throne were Count Bernstoff. Countess Stolberg, Count Baudessen and Countess Kanitz. 

The partners of the ladies were solely officers of the guard regiments. Princess Frederick Karli looked well in chamois satin. Princess- Adolph Schaumburg-Lippe wore light blue, many pearls and much lovely lace; Countess von Wedel, one of the best dressed ladies at court, wore salmon satin; Frau von Bulow, yellow silk, trimmed with fur; Countess Schaffgotsch and Baroness Engelbert Furstenburg, pale pink; Baroness von Kreselbeck wore a very beautiful toilet over a white and gold embroidered skirt (she had a brilliant red broad train of dark red roses about her figure); Countess von Groben wore a silver embroidered toilet.—Berlin Letter, 1899

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Etiquette Knows No Color

A "blast from the past," when attendees dressed for all sporting matches, not just for once a year, Kentucky Derby-type sporting events.

Troubling Notions

After a very brief exchange with a woman, when I stated how improper behavior and the lack of proper manners is hurtful to people wanting to advance and improve their lives, I was left troubled. Her response to me was, “You can’t impose middle class values on the ghetto!” She clearly did not understand that proper behavior has nothing to do with race or one's financial status, but more with the respect we show to each other and to ourselves.

It's disconcerting that a great number of people in the African-American community seem to view any type of proper behavior as “selling out” or “acting white.” It's as if carrying oneself respectfully will erase their “identity” from existence. Many also seem to want to disconnect from any type of proper behavior or etiquette with the notion that it has nothing to do with them, when in reality, it has plenty to do with them.

Etiquette's Surprising History

In my research on the practices involved with training etiquette, I uncovered a tidbit of interesting history written by Judith Martin, the author known as “Miss Manners." When it came to teaching manners to the children of wealthy Southern plantation owners, the job was that of the household slaves. According to Miss Manners:

“The plantation owners thought they were being English country gentlemen, but who was teaching etiquette to their children? The house slaves. The house slaves often came from a more elevated background than the masters. They were chosen among the slaves as the people who were more refined. They had been captured and brought over from Africa, whereas, of course, voluntary immigrants came because things weren’t so great at home. 
The house slave, usually the mammy, taught manners to the children. So she taught them the manners she knew. The “y’all come see me” kind of hospitality is an African tradition that they brought over.”
The way I see it, proper manners and respectful behavior are not our shame, they are our birthright! Sadly while these women and men who were teaching their master's children proper manners, it was a valuable education they could not pass on to their children lest they be accused of being “uppity” and it could have cost them dearly. But what about today? Why do many still shy away from it seeing it as something “they do," but not  something “we do," when we have had a family of color, an African-American "First Family," residing for these past several years in the White House?

After slavery, many blacks sought to better their fortunes by taking advantage of the opportunities to become educated and to learn the proper usage of the social graces of their day to fit in. The racism that banned them from being educated in white institutions did not stop them from educating themselves and setting up their own schools and implementing the social graces practiced at that time. These practices continued into the 20th century, when blacks enjoyed their own social dinners, dances and cotillions. 

Maxine Powell, Motown’s, "Artist Development Coach," taught The Temptations, The Supremes and all the other famous Motown acts, the finer points of charm, etiquette and social graces. This training was just as important to their successes, as their ability to sing and, in many social situations of the early 1960s, even more important.

Other Cultures Understand

People of other cultures who are advancing, and prospering on a global level, understand that if they want to interact with people and expand their influence, they have to refine their manners and social behavior.

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, the founder of Palmer Memorial Institute and author of the 1940’s social graces handbook for African Americans, “The Correct Thing to Do, to Say, to Wear," had this to say 72 years ago during a live radio broadcast:

“After all, the success of the American Negro depends upon his contacts with other races who, through the years, have had greater advantages of learning the proper approach to life and its problems. The little courtesies, the gentle voice, correct grooming, a knowledge of when to sit, when to stand; how to open and close a door; the correct attitude toward persons in authority; good manners in public places, such as railroad stations, moving picture houses, and other places where we are constantly under observation—the acquisition of these graces will go a long way in securing that recognition of ability needed to cope with human society, and will remove some of the commonest objections to our presence in large numbers.”
During the time of Jim Crow segregation, she understood even back then, that proper conduct and behavior was important in working with people of other races and cultures to advance one's fortunes was of the utmost importance. At the same time, she was also very aware that despite those efforts, many African-Americans would still suffer unfair treatment, so to not carry oneself respectfully would only make matters worse.

According to TIME magazine, the #1 course that students take at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, is the manners course training the students in etiquette. With their newfound prosperity, they understand that their old behaviors are no longer acceptable if they want to stay on the competitive edge. We in the African-American community, need to get with the program if we want a place in the global market and the accompanying respect we are due. If not, we will be left behind, holding on to our right to “keep it real."

Speaking of our right to “keep it real,” how has this false code of honor served us? I for one can say not very well. I believe that the breakdown began in the 1970’s and has continued to this day. We have abandoned many of the practices of social graces and etiquette in the light of “self-discovery.” We made the decision that good manners and celebrating the notion that “black is beautiful," could not co-exist. Go
od manners and proper conduct were seen as “white” attributes to be shunned and so the baby is thrown out with the bath water so to speak. Dr. Brown also spoke about this:
“It is perfectly natural that we want to forget much that was associated with slavery and its aftermath; at the same time it is very necessary that we pay attention to some of the things gained by our fore parents through intimate association with an aristocracy schooled in the finer things of life. Well may we add to our modern culture and educational efficiency some of the fine manners of those bygone days.”
Dr. Brown understood that despite the fact that proper conduct was associated with white society (though race has nothing to do with behaving properly), she urged African-Americans to not forget the benefits that carrying oneself properly could provide, despite the poor attitude of the people who wielded the most power and influence. 

To a certain degree, I understand the rebellion against these established practices and the attempts to be more independent. But what was gained from outward rebellion? Nothing. It has done nothing but isolate us, and it has robbed many of us, of the things we desire to obtain and achieve. We must take measures to correct this behavior, and quickly, if we want to not just survive, but also thrive.

When in Rome...

There's no crime in wanting to be independent. Utilizing wisdom is the key. The children of foreign rulers and diplomats are sent to finishing and boarding schools to learn Western social graces, but at home they still utilize their cultural protocol. They understand the best gift they can give their children is to empower them to be well prepared for whatever environment they find themselves in. It is not about conforming, but about knowing when it is appropriate to compromise for what one is trying to accomplish.

The world is becoming more globally interconnected, and if we do not get with the times, as aforementioned, we will be left behind. A practical compromise for a greater investment in one's future, if done correctly, is not “selling out." It is not to impress other people as much as it is to value ourselves.


This was from a favorite contributor to this site, the late Demita Usher. She wanted it shared and we thought this would be an appropriate time to edit and post it, as it's Black History Month. Demita, who died suddenly in June of 2015, said that she was continually working to dispell the notion that etiquette is just "for white people." Demita wanted others to understand that etiquette knows no color. Her friendship and passion is missed by many!

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia