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


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