Thursday, July 7, 2016

Royal Etiquette Confusion

"In an era of gentlemen adventurers, Theodore Roosevelt stood apart." — Travel and Leisure Magazine
Shortly after leaving the White House, the former U.S. President left for sites beyond the U.S. borders. World Monarchs did not know how to treat someone who no longer carried the title of "President," but that of "Colonel" and wherever he went, confusion followed.
The Colonel's Triumphal Progress in Confusing the Royal Courts 

Sore disturbance is caused by the advent of the Colonel among the crowned heads. The Court Chamberlains, the Lords of the Powder Closet and the lesser dignitaries who regulate the ceremonial observance that doth hedge a King are deeply agitated, making search for precedents and finding none. 

If Roosevelt were President of the United States the matter would be comparatively simple, but here is a man without official rank, who, nevertheless, must be received with almost royal honors. As the favorite son of the most powerful nation on the globe, Citizen Roosevelt bears a representative character that defies all precedent. 

Contemporary European Monarchs, who are men of the world, recognize the conditions and act on their judgment, ignoring traditions. But the situation causes acute distress to the custodians and interpreters of the severe and rigid etiquette that governs Courts. Any breakdown of these rules takes on the aspect of sacrilege among the minor dignitaries, who, in fact, owe their official existence to their function of making a hedge for royalty. 

At Copenhagen, for instance, the Chamberlains and superior Butlers of the Court were perplexed because the Colonel was compelled, by non-delivery of his baggage, to sit at the Royal Board in his old clothes. But the King of Denmark had more sense and at once accepted the situation. 

Emperor Wilhelm has announced that he will personally meet the Colonel at the railway station in Berlin and conduct him in one of the Royal automobiles to the castle. This is a distinction hitherto reserved for crowned heads. 

It need not be doubted that King Edward will not be outdone in courtesy by the Kaiser. It is a triumphal progress that the Colonel makes, breaking all precedents and shattering the consecrated code of Court etiquette. — San Francisco Call, 1910

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