Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Etiquette at Victoria's Table

Above ~ One of the few, rare photos of Queen Victoria dining with family members. Queen Victoria ate a great deal of food (mostly meat and fowl) and she ate extremely fast. According to Kate Hubbard, in her book, "Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household" Victoria, "loved her food. She was greedy and she gobbled. She liked her dinners to last no more than half an hour. Guests would quite often find their plates whisked away while they were still eating because once she had finished, all the plates were removed. She was a hearty eater and she was a fast eater." And as for courtly conversation" at the table? She did not like politics to be brought up, and, oddly, "She didn't like marriage being discussed in front of her youngest daughter, Beatrice, before Beatrice married. Anyone who mentioned marriage at dinner was swiftly reprimanded."
"It's no fun for a hungry person to dine with Queen Victoria. It is not etiquette to eat of anything after she has finished with it, and as her Majesty eats very little the courses are hurried over. After dinner there is hardly time to take even one glass of wine before coffee is brought in. 
 
The Queen does not put ber cup on the table, but sips a little as the servant holds it on the salver. Then Her Majesty rises, and of course the guests all rise and stand back from tbe table. The Queen then makes the round of the room, stopping to talk for a few minutes to any of the guests whom she may delight to honor."– News Report from The Daily Alta, 1880

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