Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Etiquette and Crowning Daughters

A hand-tinted photograph of Alice Roosevelt (by Frances Benjamin Johnston). This was taken around the time of her debut, in 1903
May Wear Crown at Coronation
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President's Daughter To Attend

Society is deeply interested in the report that Miss Alice Roosevelt will attend the coronation of King Edward. It is said here tonight, that Miss Roosevelt will sail with Special Ambassador Reid and Mrs. Reid, on June 5.

When Mr. and Mrs. Whitelaw Reid come to the capital, next week, the matter will be arranged in every detail. Her presentation at the first drawing-room immediately following the coronation, will be made by Ambassador and Mrs. Choate. The latter has been written to with regard, not only to the presentation gown, but what is of even greater importance, for minute directions as to the coronation robe. 

This, in accordance with the court regulations, must be of a rich crimson. The exact shade selected by Queen Alexandra, is of the shade of an American Beauty rose. Miss Roosevelt, as the daughter of the head of this nation, would, in accordance with court etiquette, wear coronation robes the same as any of the Princesses of the blood royal. In the latter case, as also with every Peeress to be present, there must be a crown worn. This, in the case of Miss Roosevelt, might be the same as those worn by the Princesses. – Los Angeles Herald, January, 1902


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

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Etiquette and Royal Rituals

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at the opening of Parliament in 1952

Elizabeth and Consort Chafe At Rituals Of the Royal Court

LONDON (UP) Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, as young folks might be expected to do, are chaffing a bit these days at the stupendous ritual and custom that hedges them around in the Royal Court. Wise courtiers say nothing and wait for the irritation to subside, as they know it will in the course of time. It always has. Modernization of Court proceedings is always in progress but it moves slowly. There are certain to be changes during the anticipated long reign of Elizabeth II, but nothing as dramatic as some of the sensational press are now demanding.

For one thing, it is obvious that pressure on the Queen, if the buffering army of functionaries were removed or cut radically, would be greater than it is under the present system. Thus, cutting away too much red tape would expose the Queen to the very evil from which her self-appointed saviors seek to rescue her. The Court of St. James is a very old Court, and, in a county where tradition is venerated as nowhere else, there is a reluctance to drop customs for any reason whatsoever. It is quite true that there are servants in the Royal households who have servants to wait upon them. But it has always been that way, and despite the unionization of the Palace help, there might be considerable unrest if this were changed.

It comes down to a question of whether the nation wants a Court or doesn't want one. And Elizabeth is known to love the pomp, the panoply, the ceremonial which blazes about the British throne. The Royal household is an immense establishment. There are eleven private secretaries and assistants to the sovereign. There are 23 officials in the privy purse, treasury and Royal charities office. There are 36 Royal chaplains. There are 20 physicians and surgeons and a special coroner. And many others. Before Queen Mary’s time there were even greater numbers of royal Courtiers, but the redoubtable old lady—as other Queens before her—chopped away a few of the jobs. And her grand-daughter, will doubtless whittle away a few more.

By Court etiquette, Elizabeth must not do anything directly. She can give orders to her private secretary, to her ladies of the bed-chamber or ladies in waiting, to her principal advisers and these, in turn, relay her orders to the lower echelons. This has irked the Duke of Edinburgh more than any single rule of the palaces, and he has broken it more than once by strolling down corridors asking the desired information or giving orders in person. Queen Elizabeth is expected to shorten the chain of command down the line from the throne as her contribution to the streamlining of etiquette.

Another windmill at which the critics are tilting is the strict procedure for public engagements. The newspapers contend that the Queen should not be tied up a year ahead to visits such as the one to New Zealand. The implication is that these things ought to be spun-of-the-moment affairs quickly accomplished by plane instead of great processions by sea with public interest drummed up over a period of time, this is a rather naive approach. 

New Zealand will invest a fortune in the Queen's visit and it may well be the event of the year there. Security has to be considered. Shops will get ready for extra business. New Zealanders from out-country may want to arrange to be at the points visited by the Queen. She will open playgrounds, lay cornerstones, attend ceremonials, make speeches. — The Edinburgh Courier, 1953

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Royal Etiquette in Sweden/Norway

Charles XV, was the King of Sweden and Norway (1859–72) ~ The son and successor of Oscar I. Seen as a liberal and popular ruler, he consented to many reforms, including the creation of a bicameral parliament. 

The most popular sovereign of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway is Charles XV, and his Queen is a Princess of the House of Orange. He has been on the throne about eight years, and is now in his forty second year. He lives principally at the Palace of Ulrichshall, a little distance from Stockholm. It is fitted with articles of vertu, china and ceramic ware, which the Monarch takes delight in collecting. 

When the Prince of Wales paid him a visit some years since, it was entirely redecorated, and many rooms fitted up expressly for the Royal guest, and they now remain as they were then left. Very little State etiquette is preserved by the Court, and the Monarch travels daily down the Maylar Lake to Ulrichshall in the public steamboat like the rest of the world, the only difference shown him being that the other passengers forbear to crowd the end occupied by him. —Sacramento Daily Union, 1867


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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Etiquette When Royalty Dines

The finger bowls for the fruit or dessert course, currently being used for Royal dinners at Buckingham Palace.





Meal at Which the Ordinary Guest is Bound to Be Uncomfortable

Dinner is the only meal at which the royal guests are expected to appear, when the King of England sits in the center of one side of the table, as is his custom at home, says a well known writer. Etiquette used to demand that only the royalties should be provided with menus, but this custom is not invariably observed at the present time. 

It is still "de rlgeur" that there should be no finger bowls on the table, a custom dating from Jacobite days, when the partisans of the Stuarts used to pass their glasses across the finger bowls before drinking, which was their way of toasting "the King over the water." 

Should the royal guests be in mourning, every other guest must appear in mourning of the same degree, and of course no one must dream of leaving before the royalties have retired. When the King is accompanied by the Queen the men must wear knee breeches and silk stockings, but not so when the King is alone.

Another curious item of etiquette is that neither the Queen nor the Princess of Wales must ever be entertained by a bachelor. I have never heard whether it is permissible for the King or the Prince to be entertained by a maiden lady. The King, though not liking long dinners, has a keen appreciation of what is good in eating and drinking, in other things. On at least two occasions he has bestowed the M. V. O. (Member of the Victorian Order) on his host's chef in acknowledgment af the satisfactory nature of his cooking. 


This order was originated by King Edward and has frequently done duty. Doubtless it has made its recipients extremely happy, but it has come to be regarded with much amusement by the King's intimates.

On one occasion it was bestowed on the mayor of some little foreign town where his Majesty had been detained in order to listen to some tedious, though complimentary, speechifying. Speaking of the incident that same evening, the King said of the mayor: "I didn't know what to do with him, so I gave him the M. V. O." "And served him —well right!" exclaimed one of the listeners, at which his Majesty laughed as heartily as anybody. — Sausalito News, 1910

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hilary Robinson on Etiquette and Grief

How to Help Friends in Grief
Give some thought to the way in which one deals with having friends who are in mourning.

I wrote this several years ago (although have little memory of doing so) but because the subject is too often part of our lives, and advice about it is often wanted but not sought out, I thought it was worth re-posting.

I’ve recently been on the receiving end of condolences and it has caused me to give some thought to the way in which we deal with having friends who are in mourning.

The conclusion of a life is a strange time for all those involved, not just immediate family but friends, acquaintances, work colleagues and even people we see casually or sparingly throughout life – the friendly dry-cleaner, the nice woman at the deli. No one really knows what to say, what to do or how to act, including the person doing the grieving.

I had this pointed out to me afresh the other day. Someone I haven’t seen or spoken to since all this happened sent me an instant message saying “how are you? how’s the family?”.

I, in my still slightly foggy state, couldn’t remember when we’d last spoken and couldn’t actually remember if he knew my news. What to do? It seemed blunt to just come out with it and stupid to beat around the bush so I took a half-way approach and said that I was fine but mourning was a tiring business. He, because he knew of the underlying situation, understood immediately and sent his condolences but, poor thing, was then completely stymied about what to say next. He felt badly because to his mind he didn’t have the ‘right’ words. He felt like he should say something profound.


Should I call?

Telephone calls can be difficult so unless you are very close to the person grieving stick to writing a note. Aside from the fact that there are many arrangements that need to be made in the first few weeks (all by telephone) it is also a much more wearisome thing for the person having to say “I’m fine thank you” or “We’re about as you’d expect” and so on.

When they are ready for calls, they will let you know.


Should I write?

I think many people are put off writing letters of condolence because they don’t know what to say. Somehow they think they need to be profound and have the ‘right’ words, or they think they’ll sound stupid, overly-sentimental or that the person they are writing to won’t want to be reminded of the situation.

I can only speak to my own experience, but I feel sure it’s not unique: it was lovely to get notes, letters and emails; it was lovely to know that the person I loved, respected, admired and missed so much, was loved and missed by others and that friends had me in their thoughts.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone you care about has lost someone they care about, write to them. They will, eventually, be glad to have it; it may even be passed to other generations – we still have all the letters written to my grandmother after my grandfather died and they give me an insight into someone who exists only on the edges of my memory.

If you think you would struggle with what to say in your letter, card or email (in these cases hand-written is so much nicer, but email works too), here are some places to start – it’s not necessarily easy, but it’s not necessarily meant to be:

If you were well acquainted with the person who died and spent time with them:

Include a few of your memories of them, such as: “I remember when we…” or “I still laugh when I think of…”

Talk about their character or personality “I always admired the way he…”

Don’t be afraid to say that you too will miss them: “I’ll miss the way she brightened up a room”.

If you really only know the person or people left behind simply speak to their sense of loss and/or use things that you know about the person who has died:

You can use phrases such as, “I know you will miss his tenacity and strength of character” or simply, “I know how much you will miss her.”

There are a few things that it’s best to steer clear of, at least for the first while:

Talking about it being a release; best for the person who has gone; that they have been relieved of their suffering. All this may be true but it doesn’t take away from the reality that a much loved person was taken “too soon”, for whatever reason – keeping in mind that too soon can be from 0 to 102 – and that this pill is a bitter one to swallow.

Be careful about religious references unless you know the strength and depth of the person’s faith; grieving can test these things, so tread lightly.


What do I say?


Often times running into someone in mourning is the most difficult thing of all. Grief is the elephant in the room. Should you ask them how they are? Give them your condolences? Give them a hug? Tell them it will be get better with time?

The best thing to do is judge the situation carefully – the better you know someone the easier that is. These few tips might help no matter how well you know the person:

By all means, give your condolences but keep the encounter short, not ‘rude short’ just not prolonged. There are only so many ways for someone to say they are fine when they don’t mean it.


Be careful about asking how they are, sometimes the mere question is enough to provoke upset (usually unexpectedly for all concerned). You can get around this (if you feel you need to ask the question) by asking about other family members and working your way back to the person in front of you.

Hugs are great if you are somewhere out of the way and if you know the person well, otherwise, steer clear. Someone gave me a hug at the office – quite unexpectedly – and it really threw me.


The thing that should be avoided is telling someone things will get better with time. Things will, but no one in that situation believes it and all it means is that they have to summon up the strength to agree with you.
Should I bake a pie, make a casserole, send food?

One of the loveliest things that someone did for us was send a grocery order. An old and cherished friend went online and ordered all the things we had loved and shared in my parents’ kitchen over the years. It made us all cry but it also made us laugh as we unpacked and commented on her choices.

Others made food or brought over good coffee or dropped things off on the front porch. It was all welcome – we certainly weren’t going to be cooking, even eating was touch-and-go; having the food in the fridge ensured that if we were hungry we could eat.
Kindness is the key

As I said at the beginning, the conclusion of a life is a strange time for all those involved. The key thing to remember is to be kind.

To the person in mourning: Be kind to yourself. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be happy (or sad), to go out or stay home – you get a pass, pretty much, to do what you need to do for yourself.

To the friends, family and others who surround the person grieving: Be kind. Mourning doesn’t finish at a funeral, it merely begins. It is a very strange time and no one ever knows how it will affect them; some days are good, some are less so. Give the person the space they need, or the company they crave but feel they can’t ask for. Keep in touch but don’t force; call but don’t bombard.

Make sure they know they are loved and supported and you will be doing your job as a friend
.


Hilary Robinson is the Senior Trainer and Owner of Polished Professionals in Toronto, Canada. With her background, spent running events for Prime Ministers, CEOs and academics (in the UK and Canada), one might think that she’s all about following the rules. However, she prefers to train people to understand their parameters, what it means to follow them, what advantages there are in knowing how and when to bend them, and the value in using good manners to put others at ease. With 20 years working worldwide in events and communications, Hilary believes manners and courtesy are not only powerful communication tools but the foundations on which self-confidence and success grow.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Royal Victorian Sunday Etiquette

She seldom leaves her bedroom much before 1:00, at which hour breakfast is taken with any member of the royal family who may be there, a cup of tea and a little toast having been previously conveyed to her Majesty's bedside by one of the "dressers."

The Queen's Sundays

Among the articles in the November ' Quiver" is one by Mary Spencer Warren telling how the Queen spends Sunday. In former years it was customary for her Majesty to rise quite early on the Sunday morning—as, in fact, she did every day in the week. Of later years, however, she seldom leaves her bedroom much before 1:00, at which hour breakfast is taken with any member of the royal family who may be there, a cup of tea and a little toast having been previously conveyed to her Majesty's bedside by one of the "dressers." After breakfast the Queen has a turn around the grounds in her donkey carriage, the donkey being the one she bought at Florence.


To preach before the Queen is, of course, a greatly coveted honor, and etiquette formal and prescribed has to be observed. No personal reference to her Majesty is permissible, a pure Gospel discourse being de rigueur, delivered as though her Majesty was not present. Many have tried to evade these rules. The Queen likes and enjoys a plain, practical discourse, selected from the lessons or Gospel of the day, to occupy about twenty minutes in delivery. Questions of the day, and, above all, politics, must be entirely excluded. A celebrated divine broke this rule one Sunday, and preached a very strong political sermon; but it was his last opportunity—the royal pulpits have neither of them been filled by him again. Wherever her Majesty may be it is now her inevitable custom to drive out in a pair-horse carriage on Sunday afternoon.

 Dinner subsequently is somewhat stately. Very often the Queen partakes of it with only the members of her own family present, or any royal guest who may be staying there, save and except that the officiating clergyman of the day and the minister in attendance generally receive an invitation. As a rule, other guests are not asked. 

After dinner the Queen retires direct to her own special drawing-room, where, together with any of her family who may be present, she will enjoy some music of the old masters, preferably Beethoven and Mendelssohn. The Queen herself often takes part in duets with one of her daughters, and the Duke of Edinburgh, when present, contributes with his violin. — Sacramento Daily Union, 1897

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

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Etiquette of Royal Courts

Tokay is the name of the wines from the Tokaj wine region in Hungary, or the adjoining Tokaj wine region in Slovakia. The region is noted for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot, a style of wine which has a long history in this region. The "nectar" comes from the grapes of Tokaj is mentioned in the national anthem of Hungary.

Etiquette of Royal Courts
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That It Calls for Some Queer Proceedings Is Here Shown

In the Austrian Court it is contrary to custom for perishable articles to appear twice on the Imperial table. The result is large perquisites for the attendants. To one man fall all the uncorked bottles, to another the joints, and to another still the game or the sweets. Every morning a sort of market is held in the basement of the palace, where the Viennese come readily to purchase the remains. And there is no other means of procuring Imperial Tokay than this.

Long ago in England even the greatest men in the land were pleased to receive such perquisites. In the reign of Henry II, for instance, the Lord Chancellor was entitled to the candle ends of one great, and forty small, candles per day. And the aquarius, who must be a Baron in rank, received 1 penny for drying towels on every ordinary occasion of the King's bathing. 


The ceremonial that the Revolution swept away, the first Emperor Napoleon was careful to revive in a less extreme form, and it is characteristic of the man that he made a special study of it, and went so far as to prescribe the special forms to be used on great occasions. Before his coronation, M. Isabey, the miniature painter, gave seven rehearsals with wooden dolls, appropriately dressed, of the seven ceremonials that were to be enacted. And one ceremony being especially intricate, the functionaries rehearsed it in person in the Gallery of Diana at the Tuileries, a plan having been carefully traced with chalk on the floor. This was the sort of thing in which Napoleon especially rejoiced, and he himself arranged beforehand all the details of the entry of Maria Louisa into France, and of his subsequent marriage with her. 

Among other particulars on reaching what was then French territory, the Archduchess was conducted into the eastward room of a three roomed house near Braunau; the French Commissioner entered westward; while the third room in the middle was occupied by the rest of the party. And M. de Bausset, who gives an account of the proceedings, having bored holes with a gimlet in the door of the middle room, had a splendid view of the unconscious Princess. But, he quaintly adds, it was the ladies who took advantage of his forethought.

The ceremonial of the Chinese Court is somewhat exacting. It used to include, if it does not now, complete prostration before the throne. Last century a Persian envoy refused to go through the degrading ordeal. Directions were given to the officials to compel him by stratagem to do so. On arriving one day at the entrance to the hall of audience, the envoy found no means of going in except by a wicket, which would compel him to stoop very low. With great presence of mind and considerable audacity, the Embassador turned around and entered backward, thus saving the honor of his country. — New York Evening Post, 1895


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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Washington DC Etiquette Advice

Advice from the wife of a U.S. President — "How would you like your wife to show dislike for some of the men you bring home?"

"ONCE OVERS”

Husbands, you may not like some of the women friends of your wife, but you are not giving her a square deal if you object to her entertaining them. Also, you are a cad if you do not give them courteous treatment while under your roof. How would you like your wife to show dislike for some of the men you bring home? Raise a rumpus if she should make it evident that she disapproves of those men whom you choose at times to be your guests—tell the truth, would you not? 

Your wife’s friends may be estimable women, companionable to her, but not agreeable to you; however, this does not give you the right to be rude to them nor to put your wife in the position of not daring to invite them for fear you may insult them and her. Your men friends appeal to you, and the same is doubtless true of the friends of your better half. The true gentleman is always courteous to each and every person who enters his home. You want to be a credit to your forbears, don’t you? - Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, 1918

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

Portuguese Royal Court Etiquette

Doña Maria Pia of Savoy ~ She was a Portuguese "Queen Consort," spouse of King Luís I of Portugal
The Best Dressed Woman In Europe

The Queen of Portugal is supposed to be the best dressed woman in Europe. The statement that she never wears a dress twice is an exaggeration. What are evidently referred to, are dresses worn on public occasions. This is in accordance with Court etiquette. 


It may not be generally known that the Queen of Portugal has all her morning dresses made in London, and a morning costume just finished for her Majesty is in blue and brown, a plain skirt in brown brocade in a floral design, the outline of the pattern being in pale blue. Over the skirt is draped a pointed tunic of brown cloth, with black draperies of the same. 

The bodice of brown cloth is shaped somewhat like an officer's shell jacket, with little gilt buttons all round the edge. Where the jacket is cut away in front, a loose vest front of pale blue silk is revealed, a sash of the same being ranged like a scarf drapery passing under the basque of the jacket behind, tied in two loops. — Cardiff Mail, May 8, 1885


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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Romanian Queen's Faux Pas

Officials were busy trying to hush up criticism of the Queen’s violation of diplomatic etiquette in holding a State Dinner here last night without first making a courtesy call on President and Mrs. Coolidge

Queen Marie ‘In Dutch’ 
————————
Already in National Capital 
Gives Dinner, Failing to Call On President and Wife

By United Press


WASHINGTON, D. C., October 19th - The onward sweep of Queen Marie’s American popularity tour hit a snag today. Officials were busy trying to hush up criticism of the Queen’s violation of diplomatic etiquette in holding a State Dinner here last night without first making a courtesy call on President and Mrs. Coolidge. Although her Majesty’s banquet was described by the Roumanian legation as “a family dinner,’’ invitations were sent to the Ministers of Poland, Czecho-Slavakia, Jugo-Slavia, the Charge d’Affairs of Great Britain and France and other officials. 


Critics of the Queen’s diplomatic dinner said her impropriety could have been avoided had she called at the White House immediately after arriving in Washington, the original plan announced by the State Department. With these worries on its hands, the Department was undecided today what reply if any should be made to protests of newspaper publishers against alleged exploitation by the Queen for commercial purposes of this government’s hospitality. — Healdsburg Tribune, 1926

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Etiquette Above the Salt

A royal salt holder — In medieval times, due to its scarcity, salt was extremely expensive and only affordable by those in the higher ranks of society. At that time, royalty and nobility sat at the 'high table' while the commoner servants sat at lower, trestle tables. Salt was placed in the center of the high table. Only those of rank had access to the salt. Those less favored, and of lesser rank on the lower tables, were below, or beneath, the salt.
The proposed visit of the Infanta Eulalia of Spain to this country has given rise to a pretty exhibition of Court etiquette. She and her husband, Prince Antony, were to be the guests of the United States government, but in proffering hospitality, the mistake was made of intimating that the Duke of Veragua would be included in the company. This was quite too much for Spanish notions of propriety. 

A person of royal blood to sit with a mere nobleman, and have the salt between them on equal terms — never! A Monarchical guest must take separate treatment to sustain her dignity; to hobnob with an inferior is tantamount to insult. So the Infanta gets out of this disparaging predicament by undertaking to pay her own expenses, an independent course which may grieve this country the less inasmuch as Congress has not appropriated a dime for her august entertainment. — New York Herald, 1883

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

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Etiquette for the Birds?

Many people have often laughed at the curious etiquette noticeable in the behavior of bees toward their Queen. But the peafowl etiquette in introducing young chicks to their owner is at least as curious.
Birds of a Feather, Mind Their Manners Together


The Hen's Formal Introduction of Her Brood to the World

For bringing up their families peahens are a model to every other feathered fowl in existence. The nest is usually made of a quantity of dry sticks, and when fairly set, and on it, the difficulty is to find out where the hen is. (So beautifully does the ash gray plumage assimilate with the surroundings that it is often possible to tumble over the nest before recognizing it.) In this nest are laid from three to four, large, whitish eggs about the size of those laid by the common domestic goose.

When the chicks are hatched out, they are the most delightful little brown birds imaginable. The color is a rich deep brown, and they much resemble young pheasants both in size and in coloring. Many people have often laughed at the curious etiquette noticeable in the behavior of bees toward their Queen. But the peafowl etiquette in introducing young chicks to their owner is at least as curious. As soon as the chicks are able to walk the mother marshals them in a procession, and, leading herself, she stalks to the place where she and the others are generally fed. Having formally introduced her brood, she takes them back to the nest, and they are not seen any more for some weeks. The hen will come and be fed, but the chicks are supposed to remain in retreat until they are grown to the size of spring chickens, when they come out and join the rest of tho fowls and learn to feed for themselves.— Country Home, 1911


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

Friday, September 9, 2016

Leopold's Belgian Royal Etiquette

King Leopold's was an ultra-ceremonious Court, making up in strict attention to every detail of Royal etiquette for the smallness of the Kingdom. 

Royalty is handsomely lodged in Belgium. A spacious summer home at Ostend, a Palace in Brussels larger than the Treasury building at Washington, and an ornate chateau in a magnificent park in tbe suburb of Lacken afford Mr. and Mrs. Leopold and family places for worrying through life with a tolerable certainty of always having a comfortable roof over their heads. 

The Court oscillates between the Palaces at Brussels and Lacken, with the King's predilections rather in favor of the latter. It is an ultra-ceremonious Court, making up in strict attention to every detail of Royal etiquette for the smallness of the Kingdom. 

The Diplomats of Europe quartered in Brussels seem to agree that it is an excellent place to acquire a knowledge of all punctilious observances, and that an Ambassador or Minister who has served a term here can be sent elsewhere or return home, serene in the knowledge that he has learned his trade and will find no other Court where greater or more elaborate ceremony is extended and expected. — Los Angeles Herald, 1888

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

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Etiquette, Emily Post and BBQ


On Martha's Vineyard, Emily Post was accused of "losing it" when she served members of the Garden Club barbequed meats, rather than the anticipated tea sandwiches. When town members gossiped about her social gaffe, she responded that grilled meats seemed more festive for the occasion than "old-fashioned ladies food."

Make sure your barbecued meats are festive, especially if you are serving it with tea. After all, who really wants "old-fashioned ladies food" at a garden tea party?


Since the time when men were hunters and gatherers, the meat of their hunts was cooked or roasted over an open fire for family members and others of their tribes to enjoy, so barbecues are nothing new. 


According to Margaret Visser, "The word "barbeque" is derived from the word "barbacoa," a word used by the Taino Indians in the Caribbean to describe an elevated wooden rack on which they slow-smoked fish, lizards, alligator, and other game."

A Sampling of Taino Etiquette 

Etiquette, respeto and educación are important components of Taino Indian social structure and interaction. People believe that directness is rude and use a variety of euphemisms and dodges to avoid it, making indirection an important strategy. 

Friends customarily greet by kissing each other, and engaging in animated conversation is viewed as a social asset. Close friends are allowed a certain directness, but try to maintain the boundaries of respect, preferring people who are publicly expressive, but not excessively so. Social drinking is acceptable, but drunkenness is not.


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

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

German Imperial Court Etiquette

French champagne was avoided... The Kaiser was very precise about the table settings and frequently planned the menus himself. 

German Imperial Court etiquette required that a man invited to a luncheon at the Emperor's Imperial Palace must wear a special white tie and frock coat.

When the Emperor and Empress entered, all rose to their feet in silence, and remained standing until their Imperial host permitted them to resume their seats by a wave of the hand.

The Kaiser was very precise about the table settings and frequently planned the menus himself. The Imperial table at Potsdam was probably the only one in Europe that was never graced by a French menu card. Emperor Wilhelm favored the more comprehensible, if less appetizing, native phraseology.

The style of the table decorations was always the same, roses being the only flowers the Empress would tolerate. Wine was the sole beverage. French champagne was avoided and guests were required to converse in an undertone.

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Etiquette for Infanta Eulalia

New York society women now brushing up!
"Dorothy Q" fills her readers in on the efforts of the Gilded Age society women to brush up on rigid Spanish etiquette for an Infanta's visit.

The Spanish Royal's Visit was Supposed to be Incognito 


The ball that the society women of New York are contemplating giving in honor of the Infanta Eulalia, is just now under animated discussion. The etiquette that "doth hedge" a royal representative of Spain, is appallingly rigid, and as no one in the exclusive set of New York wishes to commit a breach of propriety, more studying is being done of pedigree and Court etiquette than ever before in the world of form and convention. 

As the Infanta is supposed to travel incognito, she could not accept the cordial invitation of Mrs. Hearst, who offered her mansion at Washington for the Infanta's use while there, and also extended to the Infanta the freedom of the yacht, "Vamoose." If the coterie of ladies who inspired the idea of giving this entertainment for the Infanta can carry out their plans, the ball will be a notable social event of Wednesday, May 17. —Dorothy Q., New York, May 8, 1893

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

Monday, September 5, 2016

Etiquette: A Queen's Disadvantages

A rare photo of Queen Victoria dining with children and grandchildren.
Not Many Privileges ...

Some of the Disadvantages of Being a Queen


The Queen is not allowed a great many privileges that the humblest of her subjects can boast, says the London Tid Bits. For instance, she is denied the pleasure of handling a newspaper of any kind. She does not read a letter from any person, except from her own family, and no member of the Royal family, or household, considers it etiquette to speak to her of any piece of news in any publication.

All the information the Queen is permitted to have must first be strained through the intellect of a man whose business it is to cut out from the papers each day, what he thinks she would like to know. These scraps he fastens on a silk sheet with a gold fringe all about it and presents it to Her Majesty. This silken sheet with gold fringe is imperative for all communications to the Queen.

The deprivation of the Queen's life are illustrated by an incident which occurred not long ago. An American lady sent Her Majesty an immense collection of flowers of the United States, pressed and mounted. The Queen was delighted with the collection and kept it for three months, turning over the leaves frequently with great delight. At the end of that time, which was as long as she was allowed by etiquette to keep it, she had it sent back with a letter saying that, being Queen of Great Britain, she was not allowed to have any gifts, and that she parted with it with deep regret.San Francisco Call, 1897

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

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Breaking Royal Etiquette

Prince Albert with Queen Victoria ~ In Prince Albert's days the etiquette of the Court was extremely severe...


Court Etiquette

In Prince Albert's days the etiquette of the Court was extremely severe, and some of the young ladies in attendance had occasionally to be reminded that they were expected to remain standing when the Queen or the Prince was in the room, and that, moreover, they must not mix in the conversation by word or laughter, unless requested. A certain maid of honor who had a beautiful singing voice, and has since become a charming peeress, relates Truth, was one day bidden to sit down at the piano and play something. She declined, forgetting thut the Queen's wishes were a command. The Queen insisted kindly, but the maid urged that she had a cold. "Well, then, you had better go to bed," said her Majesty, " Oh, no thank you," was the answer, " but, if you don't mind, I'll sit down," and she did.

On another occasion, a maid of honor who had accompanied the Queen to the opera, and who ought by rights to have taken a seat at the back of the box, heedlessly sat down in a chair reserved for the Prince Consort. A glance from the Queen warned her that she had committed a blunder, but the girl was either obtuse or stubborn, for she merely removed to the next chair in the front row, intended for another member of the royal family, and this time she not only stuck to her place, she ignored the fitness of things by applauding throughout the performance, like the rest of the audience. 


This, however, is not so bad as the conduct of the newly appointed equerry, who had been told that he must appear in knee-breeches at the Royal dinner table, but who came down in trousers, and naively apologized to the Queen, saying that he had found his new breeches too tight. – Mariposa Gazette, 1879

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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Etiquette Breach Grounds Princess

Queen Louise of Hesse-Kassel in centre, with her daughter Alexandra, Princess of Wales, and granddaughter Louise


The Incorrigible Princess d'Orleans

When the Queen of Denmark's youngest son, Prince Valdemar, married the Princess d'Orleans, this incorrigible young woman at once evinced her inborn desire for independence, and moved about in the castle as though she never knew that there was a Queen above her. During a hunt the Princess' horse fell, and, gathering her skirts "rather high," the intrepid girl jumped the ditch herself and took another horse. The Queen found it out. The following morning the Princess woke up to find herself a prisoner in her own bedroom. 


A message from the Queen was handed her by a sentry, informing her that by jumping the ditch in such fashion she was guilty of breach of Court etiquette, and had to consider herself a prisoner for seven days. Another time the saucy Princess drove out with the Royal children, and dismissed her driver and footman at the first inn outside the city. Somehow the horses got frightened, overturned the carriage and "spilled" the Princess and the children on the highway. They were picked up by a peasant, who brought them to the city. The Princess laughed, the children cried, and the Queen ordered the arrest of the Princess at once, and detained her in her bedroom for fourteen consecutive days.—Boston Evening Transcript, 1898


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

Friday, September 2, 2016

Versailles Bedroom Etiquette

 The Royal State Bed at Versailles

Bedroom Etiquette in the Time of Louis XV

The following illustration is given of etiquette in the time of Louis XV: In the Queen's apartment there were two chambers. One day the Queen saw a speck of dust on her bed and showed it to the Madame de Luynes, her maid of honor. The latter sent for the valet de chambre, bed-maker to the Queen, that he might show it to the valet de chambre, bed-maker to the King. 


The latter arrived at the end of an hour, but said that the dust was none of his business, because the bed-makers of the King made the common bed of the Queen, but were forbidden to touch the State Bed. Consequently the dust must be removed by the Officers of the Household. The Queen gave orders that they should be sent for, and every day for two months she asked if the dust had been brushed off, but they had not yet found out whose duty it wat to remove the speck. 

Finally the Queen took up a feather duster and brushed it off. Great was the scandal thereof, but no one dreamed of blaming the absence of the officers. They only found that the Queen bad been wanting in etiquette. –The Daily Alta, 1872


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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Etiquette and Royal Bloomers

Queen Victoria would have probably been as shocked at having her luggage gone through, bloomers and all, by foreign customs agents, as her daughter in-law was in 1904. Most likely, even more shocking to Queen Victoria, would be to hear that her old bloomers sold at auction for nearly £10,000 in July of 2015


Kissing the Queen's Hand?

An incident of the Queen's journey to the south deserves to be recorded. At Toulon, Admiral Gervais was so carried away by his feelings that, in violation of all royal etiquette, he kissed her Majesty's hand and kissed it with fervor, an act which was taken in very good part by our kind-hearted sovereign.— Pall Mall Gazette, 1895


Searching the Queen's Baggage?

The Queen of England has had an experience with the foreign custom-houses for the first time in her life, and it is said that she did not enjoy it. It was while she was returning to England from Denmark, and her thirty trunks were thought to belong to some one else in Belgium and thoroughly searched. This, of course, was a grave breach of etiquette, and some one must have suffered besides the Queen.—New York Tribune, 1904



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