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

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