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 Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia