Thursday, March 31, 2016

Etiquette Keeps Empress Off Road

As etiquette dictated that no one was permitted to sit down in the presence of a Chinese monarch, how could any one stand up straight and drive one of the many high-powered motor cars gifted to the Chinese Empress? 


Couldn't Use Motor Cars —

Etiquette Would Not Allow Driver to Sit in Presence of Chinese Dowagar Empress

When the Dowagar Empress of China died in 1908, she left 48 motor cars, among other things, to her heirs. Most of these had been made specially for her, many were gifts from her Chinese potentates and all were gorgeous, palatial, expensive cars. Her favorite was an eight-passenger French machine, with its body painted deep orange, and its seats upholstered in violet satin brocade, edged with round flat blue turquoise stones. 

But the Dowager never rode in a motor car in her life and not one of the 48 varieties ever left the Imperial garage. It was not because there were no embryo chauffeurs in China. The young Chinese who had been in England and America imbibing Occidental college educations had learned to joyride and dozens of them might have qualified as high chancellor of the wheel in the Dowagar Empress' buzz wagon. But —no one may sit down in the presence of a Chinese monarch! And how could any one stand up straight and drive in a high-powered motor car? 

In 1908 there were not more than a dozen motor cars in all China besides the collection in the Imperial garage; today there are about 400, at least 60 percent of which are driven by Occidental traders, commercial agents and members of the various Western legations. Driving is restricted to a very few of the largest coast cities, where it is rough going at best, and there is not a road in China fit for a motor ride. — Mariposa Gazette, 1918


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

Etiquette and the Merry Affair


Thomas Jefferson's Washingtonian Merry Affair


Jefferson believed that the President's dress and manners should reflect the republican simplicity and informality of the country. Pomp and show reminded him too much of the European courts. In fact, Jefferson worked so hard to avoid ostentation that he began to dress not merely plainly, but sloppily. 

As for manners, he refused to observe the rules of protocol in seating his dinner guests. First come, first served was the rule in the Presidential mansion, the White House. Jefferson explained: In social circles, all are equal, whether in, or out, of office, foreign or domestic; and the same equality exists among ladies and gentlemen … “pell mell” and “next the door” form the basis of etiquette in the societies of this country.
Rudeness is no proper response to another's rudeness! Portrait of Mrs Elizabeth Merry, wife of the new British diplomatic representative to the United States, Anthony Merry"The two diplomats and their wives sought to retaliate. At their parties, for instance, no one escorted the wives of the Cabinet members to the dinner table. This social war greatly enlivened Washington." 
The new British diplomatic representative to the United States, Anthony Merry, and his wife were shocked and insulted when the president received them in worn clothing and slippers. In December 1803 at a formal dinner in the White House, no one offered to escort Mrs. Merry to dinner. In the dining room, Merry and his wife had to scramble for places at the table in competition with the other guests. The Marquis d'Yrujo, the Spanish diplomat, had the same experience. He and Merry agreed that this treatment was an insult to them and to their countries. 

The two diplomats and their wives sought to retaliate. At their parties, for instance, no one escorted the wives of the Cabinet members to the dinner table. This social war greatly enlivened Washington. The President refused to retreat from his pell mell rule, and Merry and Yrujo became increasingly angry and receptive to the plottings of Jefferson's opponents, the Federalists and Aaron Burr. 

From www.knowsouthernhistory.net

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

Etiquette and Diplomacy in Berlin

Aaron Sargent, was the the U.S. minister to Germany from May 1882 to June 1884. A political appointee as the Head of the U.S. Legation at Berlin, Sargent had a reputation as being loud-mouthed and disrespectful toward Otto von Bismarck, (the conservative Prussian statesman dominating German and European affairs from the late 1860's to 1890.) He also conferred openly with Bismarck’s liberal opponents who favored free trade, threatening retaliation for Germany’s prohibition of meat imports from America. When Eduard Lasker died in early 1884, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a provocative resolution mourning the death of the leader of the German Liberals. Sargent then delivered the resolution to the German government. But Bismarck declared that Sargent’s continued presence was an insult to Germany, adamantly refusing to accept the resolution. Sargent subsequently resigned and was replaced by a much more tactful diplomat, John Kasson.
A silly story is telegraphed that the German Court is now discussing the question whether Minister Sargent ought to be invited to the Emperor's birthday reception, coupled with the prediction that if he attends, "he will certainly be personally affronted." It is safe to assert that the etiquette of the Court of Berlin does not permit it to invite anybody — least of all a foreign minister— to a reception for the express purpose of insulting him. — Daily Alta California, 1884

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Empress Brings Etiquette Anxiety

Born of the purple~ The eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Empress Frederick (as she was known after the death of her husband) was the Queen Consort of Prussia and German Empress Consort. Victoria, above, in an 1867 portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter


Empress Frederick Driven Out of Paris

Extremists Raise an Outcry Against Empress

The Franco-German Feud By No Means at an End

Paris, February 25th. — The organization known as the League of Patriots has violently denounced the visit of the Empress Frederick of Germany to the Palace of Versailles on Monday last. The League decided to hold meetings of protest until the Imperial visitor leaves the city.

It is known here that in Berlin it was expected that President Carnot would call upon the Empress Frederick, but after a special Cabinet meeting it was decided that as the Empress Frederick was traveling incognito, the French Government could compromise the matter by sending the Chief of President Carnot's military household, General Brugere, and M. Ribot, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to call upon the ex-Empress. This was accordingly done. 


This question of etiquette was undoubtedly the cause of much anxiety and worry to the members of the French Cabinet, and was made the subject of long and earnest discussions before it was finally concluded. The Government did not dare to risk the verdict of public opinion in case President Carnot called upon the Imperial visitor. 

It is evident that ex-Empress Frederick's visit to St. Cloud and Versailles was ill-advised. The extremists are shouting very loudly, and even moderate papers urge that her stay be not prolonged. The patriotic league under the lead of Deroulede is organizing hostile demonstrations against the Empress. She will probably leave Friday morning. Her visit has hardly increased the chances of a good French exhibit at Berlin in the art exposition. —Daily Alta California, 1891

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

Modern Etiquette Invaded China

Group of Chinese girls on 1890s. Their feet had obviously been bound, a practice banned in 1911—"Foot-binding is said to have been inspired by a tenth-century court dancer named Yao Niang who bound her feet into the shape of a new moon. She entranced Emperor Li Yu by dancing on her toes inside a six-foot golden lotus festooned with ribbons and precious stones. In addition to altering the shape of the foot, the practice also produced a particular sort of gait that relied on the thigh and buttock muscles for support. From the start, foot-binding was imbued with erotic overtones. Gradually, other court ladies—with money, time and a void to fill—took up foot-binding, making it a status symbol among the elite." - Soure Smithsonian Magazine


Modern Ideas in China

Chinese Women Give a Banquet to Foreign Women

A few weeks ago at Shanghai there was a remarkable invasion of ancient Chinese customs and an event that could not have occurred outside of a fairy tale two years ago. It illustrates more forcibly than that has happened how modern ideas are penetrating Chinese society, and how rapidly the restrictions that have been imposed by the policy of exclusion are being broken down. 

Three native young women, who were educated at the University of Michigan, persuaded ten Chinese ladies, wives of Mandarins of the highest rank, to invite fifty foreign ladies to be their guests at luncheon at a restaurant in public garden in the suburbs of Shanghai, mostly frequented by foreigners, for the purpose of discussing ways and means for the establishment of a school in that city in which the daughters of the nobility may obtain a modern education. 

It is believed to be the first time that noble women of China, in their own country, have sat at the same table and eaten from the same dishes with women of a foreign race, and, what is even more remarkable, it was at the expense of their husbands. Hitherto a barrier more formidable than the great Chinese wall has separated the women of the two races, and although the men have mingled in commerce and often in social gatherings, a native woman of rank who voluntarily appeared among foreigners would have been eternally disgraced and condemned to perpetual seclusion, if not to a worse fate. But upon this occasion they sat around a table spread in European style, conversed, so far as their command of the English language would permit, ate French cooking with knives and forks, drank each other's health and even made speeches. 

When a Chinaman gives a dinner to his foreign friends, even when there are ladies in the party, his wife never appears, and it has been a gross violation of etiquette to allude to her. Mrs. Grant is said to be the only woman who ever dined with the wife of a Chinese noble, and she was entertained by Mrs. Li Hung Chang. The wives of all foreign Consuls at Shanghai were asked to this dinner, the ladies who compose the Executive Committee of the Tien Tsu Hsui, or National Feet Society; several members of the missionary and the wives of merchants who are prominent in educational and charitable movements. 

At the close of the luncheon, the wife of the manager, Mr. Sheug, of the telegraphic service, arose and made what is believed to be the first public speech ever delivered by a Chinese woman of rank, in her own country at least, perhaps in the world. She explained in a hesitating manner, and in her own tongue, the desire of herself and her associates to enlist cooperation of the ladies of the foreign colony in the establishment of a school in the native section of Shanghai, similar to the school for peeresses founded by the Empress of Japan, at Tokio, for the education in the modern style of their daughters and other girls of rank. 

Their plans were not formed, and they had very few ideas on the subject because of their ignorance and inexperience, but they were anxious that their daughters should have advantages that had been withheld from them, and hoped that the foreign ladies present who had knowledge of such affairs would aid them. The little speech was translated by one of the Michigan University girls and heartily applauded. Mrs. Archibald Little, an English lady, responded in an apporpriate address, which was also translated, expressing the thanks of the foreign ladies for the hospitality and their sympathy with the movement, and assuring their hosts of their earnest desire to co-operate in every manner possible. 

At this point, all the Chinese ladies arose and bowed several times in acknowledgment of the sentiments offered. A Chinese woman physician then made a speech of some length, giving more in detail the plans for the proposed school, and several foreign women responded. Before the party separated it was arranged that another meeting should be held at a residence in the foreign settlement, at which an organization will be formed and practical steps taken for securing a building and the employment of teachers.— W. E. Curtis in the Chicago Record, 1898

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

Etiquette and Will She Abdicate?

In her own sphere, Queen Victoria is despotic, and her decrees are not open to debate. That sphere is high-social life. She rules the aristocratic society or England with a rod of iron; and even her children are timid in her presence. Not even the friendship of the Prince of Wales could save Colonel Valentine Baker from her indignant wrath ; and a life spent in noble works could not atone, in her Majesty's eyes, for the breach of good taste committed by Miss Burdett Coatts in marrying young Ashmead.

Will Queen Victoria Abdicate?

The story that Queen Victoria is about to abdicate has been revived by the rumors of her bodily ailments. Those are naturally increasing with age, and as the Queen will be 71 on her next birthday in May, there is nothing surprising in their becoming more noticeable. But she comes of a long-lived family, and there is no present reason for expecting that she is in any danger from old age.

Of the fifteen children of George III, who himself lived to be 82, two, the Duke of Cumberland and Mary, Duchess of Gloucester; outlived their eightieth year. Six survived their seventieth, and two were well on toward their seventies when death overtook them. The Queen's father, the Duke of Kent, died at the comparatively early age 58. Considering the care which she has always taken of herself, the peacefulness of her reign, and the immunity from sorrow which she has enjoyed, she may well look forward to another decade of power. 

That she will abdicate in favor of her son is hardly to be expected. It does not run in that family to abdicate power. It was with the greatest difficulty that George III, when he was blind and mad as a hatter, was induced to consent to a Regency. George IV nearly provoked a revolution by his obstinate refusal to abdicate. 

In Queen Victoria's case, there is no likelihood of any pressure being exerted to induce her to resign the throne. Her fifty years' experience have educated her in the art of reigning without governing; popular government works smoothly, without the least friction. She accepts as her chief minister whomsoever Parliament chooses to select; and though, at critical times, she has insisted on being consulted on questions of foreign politics, and has gone so far— as in the Trent affair— as to modify a dispatch from the Foreign Office, yet still she has never actually joined issue with any minister, nor set her will in direct opposition to the will of Parliament.

In the Don Pacifico case, Lord Palmerston pursued a course which the Queen openly condemned and reprobated; but the minister insisted and the Queen yielded. In her own sphere, Queen Victoria is despotic, and her decrees are not open to debate. That sphere is high-social life. She rules the aristocratic society or England with a rod of iron; and even her children are timid in her presence. Not even the friendship of the Prince of Wales could save Colonel Valentine Baker from her indignant wrath ; and a life spent in noble works could not atone, in her Majesty's eyes, for the breach of good taste committed by Miss Burdett Coatts in marrying young Ashmead.

Her own life has been spotless, aggressively pure, so to speak; she insists on an equally immaculate record among those who surround her. In matters of etiquette, usage, heraldry, and even dress, she is well informed, and her word is law. Her mind has run to these topics instead of letters, or art or science. When Prince Albert lived, his powerful and many-sided mind exerted such a stress on her that she had opinions on books, music, modern science and even high polities; at his death she fell back into more congenial channels. 

She can tell, from memory, how many quarterings a German noble family can boast; but it is very doubtful whether she has any clear idea of the line of demarcation between State and Federal sovereignty in the United States, or whether she understands. the philosophy embodied in the "Origin of Species." If she is not in harmony with the strain of modern thought, the misfortune is rather due to her age than to her mental bent. She was a woman grown when the great reforms that made England what it is, were begun. She has probably never doubted that she is Queen of England by the grace of God. 

She has shown more than once that her idea of dealing with the working class is not to give them rights and votes and let them care for themselves, but to furnish the old men with soup and the old women with flannel petticoats and pet them both as inferior creatures who are deserving of pity. She never couid rise to the height of Gladstone's schemes for the elevation of the British subject into a citizen. But she was quite pleased with Disraeli's notion of creating her Empress of India. —San Francisco Call, 1890

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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jane Austen Etiquette and Lexicon

I rarely read novels. And by "rarely," I mean I read one every 10 or 20 years. I do read daily, but I read for research, from my old etiquette books and news archives. A few years ago, when I finally decided to read Jane Austen's, "Sense and Sensibility," I was often looking up many of the words and phrases, so I listed them and created  the Georgian and Regency Era Lexicon below.




Alacrity: briskness

Apes leader: an old maid or a spinster


Assiduities: persistent personal attentions

Banditti: wild outlaws, bandits

Bartholomew Baby: a person dressed up in a tawdry manner, like the dolls sold at the Bartholomew Fair (a two-week festival celebrating the Feast of St. Bartholomew)

Batman: an orderly assigned to a military officer

Bear leader: A travelling tutor, who leads his charges as if they were trained bears

Bedlam: An insane asylum in London. The full name was the "Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem"

Bit o'muslin: woman of who gives sexual favors in exchange for payment

Bluestocking: an academic female

Bonomi: Ignatius Bonomi, a well known architect at the time

Bowling Green: grassy lawn where game of ninepins could be played

Brook: put up with something painful or difficult

Casino: point-scoring card game in which players combine cards exposed on the table with the cards in their hands, the 10 of diamonds being the highest-valued card

Cavil: a trivial objectionConjurer: someone who draws astute conclusions

Colicky gout: abdominal pain and swollen joints, especially the toes and feet

Consequences: a pencil-and-paper game for several players, in which each player adds a line of a story without knowing with the previous lines are. The resulting stories are incongruous and humorous

Consumption: a wasting away, a bout of tuberculosis


Corinthian: a dandy, a fashionable man, who is also good at sports. It can also mean "a rake." But originally it meant profligate and derived from the elegant but dissipated lifestyle led in Ancient Corinth.

Coxcomb: a conceited and vain person. In origin, it meant "fool" as fools used to wear caps with bells and a piece of red cloth on top which was shaped like a cock's comb

Covert: a thicket providing cover for game

Cry rope on someone: give them away, to tell secrets

Curricle: a light, two-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses, side by side

Dilatoriness: slowness, procrastination

Direction: return address

Douceur: pleasantry

Dovecote: small house or box with compartments for nesting doves or pigeons

Drive unicorn: to drive a vehicle with three horses, one in front and the other 2 behind

Drury Lane: general term for the Theatre Royal; street were the London playhouse is located

Ebullition: a sudden outburst, as of emotion

Enclosure: common land, previously used by everyone, this is fenced in by the landowner so that others can't use his land for pasture or gathering fuel

Exeter Exchange: a wild animal exhibit


Exigence: exigency; urgency

Foxed: tipsy, drunk

Flying one's colors: blushing

Frank: a piece of mail marked with an official signature, so that it can be mailed for free

Fudge: a false rumor

Fustian: bombast, pompous language, pretentious speech

Gammon: nonsense (noun), to deceive or lie (verb)

Gigs: light, open, two wheeled carriages

Glebe: church land to be used by the rector

Green Girl: a girl who is young and inexperienced

Gudgeon: it derives from the name of a fish that gets easily caught and means someone who is easily duped or imposed upon


Hackney Coach:  a coach kept for hire; especially a four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses and having seats for six persons

Had as lief: would just as soon, would just as readily or willingly

Hard by: nearby or near by


Hartshorn: smelling salts or spirits

Huswifes: pocket cases for needles, pins, thread and scissors, forerunner of "housewife"

Illiberal: narrow minded; bigoted

Importune: troublesome; overly persistent in request or demand

Incommode: inconvenience, disturb

Inferiority of parts: lack of talent or capabilities
 


"To be well received, you must always be circumspect at table, where it is exceedingly rude, to scratch any part of your body, to spit, or blow your nose, (if you can't avoid it, turn your head,) to eat greedily, to lean your elbows on the table, to sit too far from it, to pick your teeth before the dishes are removed, or leave the table before grace is said." ~ John Tusler 1791

Knowing: fashionable

La Boulangere: a simple circle dance for a group of couples

Jarvey: driver of a hackney coach

Jointure: settlement to a wife from her husband throughout her life, which will then transfer to her children

Lush some slop: to drink some tea

Michaelmas: September 29th, the feast in honor of Saint Michael. One tradition is that if a young lady finds the ring hidden in a Michaelmas pie, she will soon marry.

Mohurs: 19th & 20th century gold coins used in British India

Moiety: one of two parts, not necessarily equal

Nabob: it comes from the Hindustani word "nawab" which was the name for the ruler in the Mogul Empire and means a rich man, a person of great wealth and prominence, especially one who made his fortune in India.

Natural child: child born out of wedlock

Nonpareil: a leader of fashion. Also known as a nonesuch

Nuncheon: also "nunchion," a light, noon drink or snack, forerunner of the word "luncheon"

Offices: parts of the house in which servants work

Open weather: mild and free from frost

Palanquins: enclosed litters borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles

Pall-Mall: main thoroughfare in the Saint James district of London

Pinkest of the Pinks: a very fashionable man

Piquet: a card game for two players, with 32 cards

Porter: a dark brown beer made from charred or brown malt

Post-Horses: horses used or kept at inns, or post-houses, for use by mail-riders, or for hire by travelers

Public School: in England it is a private school

Queen Mab: Queen of the fairies in English literature

Red-Gum: swelling and redness due to teething

Retailed: repeated

Reticule: a woman's handbag closed with a draw string.

Round Game: game, as in cards, on which each plays on his or her own account

Rubber: session or round of playing a card game

Serviley: in the manner of a slave

Snuff: a powdered, often scented, tobacco that was taken into the nose. It was usually carried around in small and decorated boxes

Sponging House: debtors' quarters before being taken to jail.

Stewponds: fishponds

Temple: one of two sets of buildings in London's Inns of Court, which served as residences for lawyers and law students

Town Tabby: an aristocratic dowager

Two-penny post: In 1801, the charge for mailing letters locally went from one pence (a penny), to two

Whip Hand: upper hand, advantage (the hand that holds the whip controls the carriage or horse)

Whist: a card game in which two pairs of players try to take a majority of tricks, with the trump suit being determined by the last card dealt; a forerunner of bridge

Wooly bandits: wild sheep who steal picnic baskets

Work-bags: bags for needlework



Compiled by Site Editor, Maura J Graber

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

Etiquette and Lèse Majesté

In feudal Europe, some crimes were classified as lèse-majesté even if they were not intentionally directed against the crown. An example is counterfeiting, so classified because coins bore the monarch's effigy and/or coat of arms. With the disappearance of absolute monarchy in Europe, lèse-majesté came to be viewed as less of a crime. However, certain malicious acts that would have once been classified as the crime of lèse-majesté could still be prosecuted as treason. The crime of lèse-majesté is still in affect in some European countries today, but with less severe punishments than in the rest of the world.

All the principal comic papers in Germany were confiscated this week on account of their publication of cartoons ridiculing the Emperor and the police. Some of these papers will be prosecuted on the charge of lèse-majesté

Herr Lieber, the Centrist leader, has started for the United States. While the quarrel between Emperor William and the Regent of Lippe-Detmold is only a storm in a teacup, over a miserable question of court etiquette, it has occupied the press to the exclusion of almost everything else. A high official of the Ministry of the Interior has briefly outlined the facts in the case to the correspondent of the Associated Press. They are as follows:

The Regent was already offended on account of various alleged slights, for which he blamed the Emperor, when the general commanding the troops in the principality ordered his soldiers henceforth not to make the salute prescribed in the case of ruling sovereigns or to show the customary marks of respect to the Regent's family. The Regent, thereupon deeming his rights under the military convention of 1878 to have been slighted, appealed to the Emperor in a personal letter for redress. 

This letter contained several passages which were construed by his Majesty to be purposely offensive, whereupon he sent the Regent a telegram which traversed a dozen hands and thence reached the newspapers substantially verbatim. Then followed the deeply offended Regent's appeal to the sovereigns of Germany and to the Bundesrath. The matter is expected to remain in status quo for some time. 

The correspondent of the Associated Press learns from another source that Emperor William's anger was particularly aroused by certain references in the Regent's letter to the Empress and her family, a parallel being drawn on the question of rank in both cases, and his Majesty's ire was increased by the fact that the Legislature of Lippe-Detmold, at the Regent's behest and without awaiting the direction of the Bundesrath, passed a law in March prejudicing the chances of the succession of Prince Adolph of Schaumburg -Llppe, Emperor William's brother-in-law. — The San Francisco Call, 1898


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

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Japanese Imperial Court Etiquette

Prince Arisugawa Takehito, (1862 – 1913) was the 10th head of a cadet branch of the Japanese imperial family and a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy.  Prince Arisugawa was assigned to the escort of Russian Crown Prince Nikolai (who later became Tsar Nicholas II) during his tour of Japan in 1891. While he was in the Prince's charge, Nikolai was wounded in an assassination attempt, called the "Otsu Scandal," which led to a considerable worsening of diplomatic relations between Japan and Russia.

Everyday life of the Japanese court is practically unknown to the public in spite of the increasing enterprise of Japanese journalism, which has made repeated efforts to break down the barrier of excluslveness and mystery that has hitherto guarded all approach to the inner apartments of the Chiyoda palace. 

Invariably these attempts to violate the sanctity of the imperial precincts have ended in failure, and until a short time ago no consecutive and intelligent account of just what actually goes on at court had ever been published. The death of the Emperor Mutauhito, who has now joined the ranks of the Sacred Ancestors with the posthumous title of Meiji Tenno, and the retirement of the lord chamberlain, Prince Tokudaiji, have removed the two greatest obstacles In the way of a more intimate knowledge of palace happenings. 

The new emperor and his consort, the Empress Sadeko, are much more modern in their ideas and thoughts than the late ruler and it has not taken long for several expressions of their liberal tendencies to become evident. 

The three essentials of palace life would appear to be cleanliness, ceremony and tradition, or rather superstition. The maids who attend on the court ladles during their toilet perform their duties on their knees and on no account must they touch their own lower limbs. Should that accidentally happen, the offending maid must instantly withdraw and undergo a course of purification before she can again appear before her mistress. 

If the rules with regard to the maids of the ladies-in-waiting are so strict, it may be imagined that those with regard to the personal attendants of the sovereigns are even more so. It is, of course, well known that all service before their majesties has to be performed on the knees, and it is not etiquette to approach them except on the knees. Even the physicians who attended on the late emperor during his last illness were not exempted from this rule. 

It is also common knowledge that no one may touch the Imperial person with ungloved hands Last July Drs. Imura and Aoyama obtained permission for the first time to take the Imperial pulse without interposition of a piece of silk between their fingers and the patient's wrist, while for the first time on record medical instruments were applied to the Imperial body. This rule is equally strict for the ladies-in-waiting, and especially so when in attendance on their majesties when bathing or at their toilet. —The Mariposa Gazette, 1913

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

Etiquette, Bismarck and Victoria

Victoria, Princess Royal, German Empress, Queen of Prussia,  detested Prussia's emphasis on its army. This was to be expected, however, considering her British upbringing. “Vicky,”  as she was known, hoped to influence Prussia away from the tradition of “Warrior Kings” in favor of "a new line of enlightened executives." Though supported by her husband, she was bound to clash with Bismarck's rising force. The Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's most important legacy is the unification of Germany. Germany had existed as a collection of hundreds of separate principalities and Free Cities since the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Over the centuries various rulers had tried to unify the German states without success until Bismarck. Resulting largely from his efforts, the varying German kingdoms united into a single country. Bismarck's psychology and personal traits have not been so favorably received over time, and historian Jonathan Steinberg portrays a demonic genius who was deeply vengeful, even toward his closest friends and family members. 

Bismarck and the Crown Princess Victoria


London, November 25th— Court circles in Berlin are discussing the reconciliation which has just been effected between Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Bismarck. Their hostility had been of many years' duration, and was known to all the world, although it was thinly veiled by court ceremony. Many reasons have been assigned for it, but its real origin was the utter incompatibility of the Chancellor and the Princess. 

Prince Bismarck scorns and condemns the little niceties of polite sriciety, and estimates women only as a factor in the problem of the continuance of the German nation. The Crown Princess had her education in a court and country where women arc treated with much deference, and where the canons of etiquette cannot be violated without serious consequences. The Princess has been, next to the aged Empress, the first lady in Germany, and refused to submit to what she termed Bismarck's boorishness. The result was warfare, sometimes open, sometime covert, as the necessities of court life required. 

Now there has been a reconciliation, and the question is; Which power conquered? The story most current in Berlin is as follows ... The Crown Princess, powerful as she is now, will be still more so when she becomes Empress of Germany. This must happen soon, and may happen at any time. 

The Chancellor is cultivating the friendliest relations with the Crown Prince, who may soon be Emperor, and has fouud it also desirable to propitiate the Crown Princess. He has, therefore, instituted certain reforms in his household and in his manners which makes his personality less disagreeable to her Imperial Highness. — Sacramento Daily Union, 1884

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Polite Love and Secret Love

Empress Augusta clearly abhorred war. In 1864, she founded the National Women's Association, which looked after wounded and ill soldiers and she convened with Florence Nightingale for ideas. From the Empress' initiative, several hospital foundations still exist today, including the German Society For Surgery.


Romance of an Ex-Empress:
The Story of an Affair Remembered by Only a Few People


A Berlin letter has the following romance about the recently deceased Empress Augusta of Germany: A member of the suite of one of the best known among our Princes tells a romantic story concerning the dead Empress Augusta, and it is believed that it has never before been given to the public.

Augusta was a Princess in the petty court of Weimar, where she was hedged about with all the straitlaced etiquette the small German principalities affected. When she was seventeen she was a romantic girl and had learned by heart the stories of the previous half century's gallantries at the court of Louis XIV, and so well had she read that she was prepared to fall in love with any man who might first appeal to her sense of beauty; but the rigid surveillance of her ducal father and mother made male acquaintances almost impossible. 

Before this romantic spirit had lived long enough to die, a young French noble scion of a more or less long lineage stopped at the Court Weimar in the progress of a pleasure jaunt from Auvergne. He remained for some weeks at this place and became a favorite of the Duke. He was accomplished, handsome, and a dare devil. At a court ball, shortly following his arrival, the Frenchman met the Princess. They were permitted to become partners and indulged in mutual love at first night. 

This love soon developed into indiscretion, which took the form of secret meetings in the palace grounds. The only people aware of these trysts were the maid and valet of the principals who served as the medium through which the correspondence was carried on, and the meetings arranged. 

The maid, whether through carelessness or spite, lost one of the letters intrusted to her, and it was picked up by the Duchess, mother of Augusta, before the maid could recover it. The letter was impassionate and eloquent, burning with the love song of the smitten Parisian, and filled with all those pretty words that came in with the Grand Monarch. 

This was all very well, for the two were young, but it led up to the suggestion of an elopement. It implored flight, and pictured the ideal life of love on the pastoral lands of the new America. The Duke and Duchess were consumed with rage at this discovery, and poured their indignation in unstinted volume. So high did feeling run in court that the Ducal Chamberlain challenged the Frenchman to a duel, and the lover fell, mortally wounded. 

As he fell the Frenchman tore open his tunic, and there, pressed against his heart, was a handkerchief belonging to the Princess. Toward it his hand feebly moved, and he died at the moment he had seized the lace and was struggling to carry it to his lips. The Duchess was so affected by the incident that she silently placed the handkerchief on the breast of the young man as he lay in the coffin, and it was buried with him. His body was covered with roses, strewn upon him by the devoted Augusta, and she, from swoons and sobs, became hysterical and almost crazed. 

For weeks, the Princess sobbed about the palace, until her parents were convinced that her sorrow must have some relief or she would become insane. They suggested a marriage with Prince William of Prussia. and the Princess gave her indifferent consent, careless and thoughtless of what might become of her. 

With William it was a matter of equal unimportance, for he had first been crossed in a love affair, and he was heart broken as well. There was no misunderstanding between them on the subject of their marriage. It was an affair exclusively of the parents and of an obedient but disconsolate youth and maiden. 

During their lifetimes, the Emperor William and the Empress Augusta maintained toward each other a most perfect and severe politeness. They were friends, they respected each other, but that was all. They were not lovers, and they could not tear from their hearts the memories of their early love and their early disappointment. 

The Empress always preferred French books, ideas, dress, and sentiment, and it was her favorite language. The influence of that unhappy loss remained with her until the last moment, and she doubtless carried the sweet regrets to the grave. Years have effaced remembrance of the affair, and it is safe to say that less than a dozen great personages know of it to-day. —The Marin Journal, 1890

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vatican Etiquette and a Pope's Dance

Pope Pius X declared tango dancing as immoral in 1913, and off-limits to Catholics. But when the tango proved to be too popular to declare "off-limits," Pope Pius X tried a different tactic, mocking the tango as "one of the dullest things imaginable," and recommending people take up dancing the furlana instead, a popular Venetian dance from the 17th and 18th centiuries. By February of 1914, the New York Times was reporting: 
"POPE'S DANCE' IS THE RAGE; The Furlana Now Rivals the Tango in Popularity Among Italians.
By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times"

The Vatican authorities have given the strictest notice to those who recommend people for audience with the Pope that they must guarantee that such persons will conform to Vatican etiquette in kneeling and kissing the hand of the Pope. This notification was issued as a result of the conduct of some Americans, a few weeks ago, who refused to kneel when the Pope appeared. — The Sausalito News, 1904

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

Etiquette Relaxed for Holiday

Potsdam at Christmas.... Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian Kings and the German Kaiser, until 1918.

The 1895 German Christmas season, according to reports made by the leading shops in Berlin, shows a boom in business. The sale of the cheaper class of goods has been slack in favor of the higher and more costly class, and the casual onlooker would consider that the merchants, as well as the public, have been having a fine time all around. The "North German Gazette" says that Berlin has received and sent out Christmas parcels far exceeding in number those sent and received during Christmas week of 1894.

The celebration in the new palace at Potsdam on Christmas Eve was even more brilliant than usual. The Emperor and Empress and the members of their family entered the Shell Hall at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, attended by the members of the Imperial household. The presents were spread out upon tables placed along the walls, and the young Princes could hardly be restrained from infractions of etiquette by rushing forward to admire the handsome gifts before all of the company had assembled. 


Immediately after the company had taken their positions, the members of the Emperor's suite, the court ladies, the Emperor, the Empress and the Princes, with their suite, having been assigned to places forming a square with a plastic representation of the nativity at Bethlehem in the cener, the Kaiser allowed court etiquette to relax, and everybody mixed freely with the others. The young Princes ran about, discovering fresh sources of delight upon each table, but after an hour's enjoyment of this kind, the children were obliged to retire.

The Emperor dined with his intimate circle, Dr. Von Tucanus, General Von Hahnke and others of his private Cabinet. — Sacramento Daily Union, 1895


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

Monday, March 14, 2016

Etiquette Breached by Dom Pedro

The 19th century Imperial family of Brazil, Dom Pedro II his wife and grandson

Dom Pedro's indifference to the rules of palace etiquette, during his stay in Berlin, horrified the German courtiers. He appeared at the Empress' reception wearing a black cravat instead of the regulation white necktie, which, as the Cologne Gillette observes, "is indispensable even at the White House in Washington." 

Kaiser William and his Empress called by appointment at the Hotel de Rome to return Dom Pedro's visit, but the Brazilian tourist was not in. Astonished and somewhat chagrined, the Kaiser gave directions to his coachman to drive back to the palace, when a droshke rapidly drove up, and a stout, elderly man in a gray overcoat, crying, "Sire! Sire!" alighted, and springing to the Imperial carriage, helped the German Empress out. 

The Emperor William followed, and on reaching Dom Pedro's apartments the latter apologized for his apparently rude conduct by saying he had gone to Professor Helmholtz without previously setting his watch to Berlin time, and a discussion on physiological optics had so much interest for him that he overstayed his time. 

The Brazilian sovereign had no desire to see the barracks and parade-grounds of Berlin, but the university, the art galleries, the scientific institutions, and above all, the palace library, underwent his careful inspection. Mariposa Gazette, 1877


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

Etiquette of French Nobility

Along with the demands of the exacting rules of court etiquette, there came a feeling of entitlement and narcissism. There was a sense that as a noble, one was possessed of greater intelligence, more refined sentiments and in general more deserving of the best life had to offer.

French Nobility


Nobility in France was hereditary, passed down through the male line. Being of noble birth had its privileges, such as being exempt from paying taxes, having the sole access to certain offices, coveted positions within the civil and military administrations of France, and all of the commissions in the army. 

There was a sense that as a noble, one possessed greater intelligence, more refined sentiments and, in general, that being of noble birth meant one was more deserving of all the best that life had to offer. Your position at the French Court was dependant on how well you recognized and defended etiquette. Personal feelings became irrelevant because the symbolic place held by a person actually mattered more. The attention you received from the place you held in the order of precedence, devolved from the treatment of others around you.

In general, there were 3 ways to become a noble:
1) By birth ~ The father must be of noble blood, known as Noblesse d'épée (Nobility of the sword), also known as Noblesse de race ("Nobility through breeding"). Noblesse uterine ("Nobility of the female line"), was for titles that were matrilineal (held through the mother's line) and could be inherited by female heirs; this was found in some families in the former independent territories of Champagne, Lorraine and Brittany. Illegitimate children could be ennobled by letters patent from the sovereign. The king’s illegitimate offspring were automatically noble, and therefore needed no ennobling. but they were still illegitimate, and needed to be legitimated, accomplished by naming only the father, and not the mother.


2) By holding certain offices ~ Noblesse de robe (Nobles of the Robe or Nobles of the Gown) were French aristocrats whose rank came from holding certain judicial or administrative posts, either by purchase or appointment, such as in the King’s household, or in the French Parliament.

3) By a royal decree ~ Chevalier an otherwise untitled nobleman who belonged to an order of chivalry; earlier, a rank for untitled members of the oldest noble families. Later distinction was that a Knight (Sieur) went through the dubbing ceremony (touched with a sword on the head and shoulders by the King), while the lesser rank of Chevalier or Knight Bachelor received the rank without the ceremony.

Écuyer (Shield Bearer) was the lowest specific rank in the nobility, to which the vast majority of untitled nobles were entitled; also called valet or noble homme in certain regions.

Gentilhomme (Gentleman) was the lowest non-specific rank indicating nobility


The following were the titles of nobility, the order of their importance and precedence:

1) Duc
2) Comte
3) Marquis
4) Vicomte
5) Baron

These titles, as well as the names of the family derived from, and the properties they were attached to, could each only be carried by one person. However, the presence or absence of a title was not in itself a test of nobility, because there were generally many more family members than there were actual titles to go around.

One you had reached the threshold of nobility, there were still more degrees of nobility that affected one's rank: How long had your family been noble? How many of your paternal and maternal grandparents’ lineages were noble? The oldest nobility was traced to the “Mists of Time,” back in the early recorded history of France.

Of those already blessed enough to claim the ties of nobility, some could also claim peerages. These peers originated from the twelve dukes who were raised in the 12th century above the other dukes by the King as his direct vassals. 
There were two kinds of titles used by French nobles: some were personal ranks and others were linked to the fiefs owned, called fiefs de dignité.

There were ecclesiastical peers, which ranked ahead of lay peers. For lay peers, the order of precedence was determined by date of peerage’s creation- except as it applied to Princes of the Blood, they gained precedence over the other peers, regardless of peerage creation date, because of their claim to royal blood. –Sourced from books and several online nobility websites, including Wikipedia, www.nobility.org and 
www.heraldic.org


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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Washington Etiquette and Precedence

Franklin Pierce and his Cabinet — Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States, became President at a time of seeming tranquility. The United States, by virtue of the Compromise of 1850, seemed to have weathered its sectional storm. By pursuing the recommendations of southern advisers, Pierce — a New England Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation —hoped to prevent still another outbreak of that storm. But his policies, far from preserving calm, hastened the disruption of the Union.


The New York Commercial, in an article on Etiquette and Precedence, tells its readers what are the rules and regulations observed, in that connection, at Washington : 
The representatives of foreign governments are somewhat punctilious on points of etiquette, and attach considerable importance to the right of the first visit, and to precedence in entering a room or being seated at a table. 
We believe that formerly Senators of the United States on going to Washington for the session, called upon the President and Vice President, and there stopped, received the first call from all others, including Judges of the Supreme Court, Cabinet Ministers, Foreign Representatives, etc... 
The Judges of the Supreme Court now claim the first visit, and consequently precedence of place, for the one necessarily implies the other; and Senators are understood generally to waive the question in favor of the Judges, though Mr. Clay and some of the older Senators are said to have resisted the concession. 
A concession of precedence has also been made in favor of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on the grounds that he is next to the Vice President in the line of succession to the Presidency in case of death, resignation, etc... So that the following would seem to be the order of official precedency:
1. President 
2. Vice President 
3. Speaker of the House 
4. Judges of the Supreme Court 
5. Senators 
6. Cabinet and Foreign Ministers
7. House of Representatives 
The Secretary of State, we believe, takes the precedence of the other members of the Cabinet, but we are not sure that the claim is allowed. — 1853

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