Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Etiquette for Former President

Theodore Roosevelt in Egypt, 1910 — Of all US Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness and popularity increased when he left the office. When he toured Europe in 1910, as "Colonel Roosevelt," he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their castles and palaces. Etiquette note: When a President leaves office, the title of President is not supposed to be used, unless it is used in the title "Former President." But we continue to see and hear former US Presidents referred to as "President" on television and radio programs. The job is a temporary one and the title belongs only to the current office holder. 

Monarchs Perplexed About Etiquette Regarding "the Colonel"

WHAT to do with Roosevelt, or rather about Roosevelt? Lord Cromer is reported to have audibly thanked his God that the Colonel made no sally upon India, where the relations between the British Raj and the natives are even more strained than in Egypt. 


The cautious British statesman conceives of the Colonel as one who goes about dropping matches in any convenient powder magazine that lies in his itinerary. The Colonel has such an overpowering personality, that they never know what he will do next. But they always know it after it is done.

Therefore King Edward is reported to be no little perplexed and, in a word, frightened about the advent of the Colonel. A nice, old gentleman who has been carefully fenced about all his life with rigid barriers of exacting Court etiquette and saturated with an atmosphere of polite deference may look forward with some dread to meeting one who speaks his mind so bluntly. 


The Colonel is not skilled in the observances of a court where the worst crime in the calendar is the faux pas. So the King is reported to be anxiously considering whether the rules of Court etiquette might not be used as a convenient shelter in which to hide.

The Kaiser is different. He is not bothered by etiquette and precedent. He makes precedents, and is ready to meet Roosevelt, man to man. There is no flutter in the Imperial dovecotes at Potsdam. The Kaiser has a homely taste for plain living and high thinking. He bid his guest to potluck on sauerkraut and sausage, it may be and bids Polly put the kettle on, for a big talkfest is on the way. 


Princes and potentates are all human in their, several ways, and some prefer the heady brew, while others like to look upon the tea when it is pink. — San Francisco Call, 1910


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