Thursday, December 14, 2017

Suffering Etiquette of Victoria’s Table

Dinner with Queen Victoria could be quite trying... “The etiquette is, do not open your month unless Royalty condescends to speak to you. Do not expect such a compliment. That is reserved for a few favored guests in the immediate vicinity of the regal hostess. The dinner occupies from sixty to ninety minutes, and, when ended, the Queen rises, all other ladies rising and retiring with her.” –1862

When Dining with a Queen

The London correspondent of the Philadelphia Press gives the following description of a dinner at Windsor Castle, with Queen Victoria:


At this season, except that fashion is slightly less bustling in Lent, London is generally very much alive— taking its tone from the Court. Queen Victoria’s little dinners always draw a certain number of invited - no, commanded guests; for the etiquette is, not that Royalty requests the pleasure of one's company, but orders it, indeed, for very autocratical is the system, that supposing you have arranged to give a dinner to a number of your own friends, and received a card from the Lord Chamberlain of the Queen’s household, desiring you to dine, on the same day, at the Queen’s table, there is no refusing on any other plea than that of positive illness. 

Not to go would be a sort of petty treason, and you would have to send a circular round to your own guests, stating that the Queen’s command, compelling you to dine at the palace, has compelled you to uninvite them. Nor, except the honor and glory of the thing, can there be much comfort or satisfaction in having one’s legs under the Royal mahogany. First of all, the guest must put himself into a Court dress, which makes him look like a footman in private life, with knee breeches and silk stockings, lace cravat and ruffles, amplest of waistcoats and shad bellyist of coats. Then, if he does not keep his own coach he must hire one looking like a private vehicle, for it is doubtful whether, since creation commenced, any one ever walked to a Royal dinner, and the idea of going thither in a cab would probably have a moral effect on the enormous porter, in scarlet and gold toggery, who receives your card of invitation when he admits you. 

Nor, supposing all the preliminary trouble ended — supposing that you have found your way to the drawing-room, and bowed to the Queen, and stealthily looked round at the pictures, and counted over (all the time in solemn silence) the spots of flowers on the carpet, for the tenth time, and marched in file into the salle a manger — supposing all this, do not imagine that you are going to enjoy yourself. No, indeed. None but Mark Tapley could be “jolly” at such a feast. Royalty has already dined, about 3 o'clock, probably off the hereditary leg of mutton and turnips, and has added the usual quantum of rice pudding, and the bit of old Cheshire, or rich Stilton, or double Glouster cheese, and imbibed the accustomed mug or two of Guinness or Meux. This repast, called lunch, is really a good, homely filling of dinner, and at the solemn repast, five hours later, people are expected to merely tip and taste through several courses, so that one is reminded of the famous feast of the Barmecide. 

The viands are of the best, the cuisine perfect, the vintages superb — but one can merely taste. Royalty’s appetite was blunted on the leg of mutton and pudding, the cheese and the bottled porter, and the guests should have taken the edge off theirs by a similar process. At these sadly solemn reunions dull silence grimly reigns. There is not even a whisper to your neighbor — if you know him. The etiquette is, do not open your month unless Royalty condescends to speak to you. Do not expect such a compliment. That is reserved for a few favored guests in the immediate vicinity of the regal hostess. The dinner occupies from sixty to ninety minutes, and, when ended, the Queen rises, all other ladies rising and retiring with her. The male guests remain some ten minutes longer, silently sipping their wine, or whispering in small knots with bated breath. 

At last the senior officer of the household present, rises on his hind legs and majestically gives “the Queen” as a toast, which every one drinks. It any male member of the Royal family be present, he bows an acknowledgment. Coffee follows, and then the guests depart— a few to the drawing room where the Maids of Honor are yawning, the rest going home, where it is supposed each man gets out of his livery, at once, and gets rid of his gnawing hunger by means of oysters and stout. Such, I am informed by one who experienced it, is the routine of a royal dinner. He was an East Indian, and suffered much . – Daly Alta California, 1862

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


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Etiquette and Polite Policing

The manual, “Courteous Selective Enforcement” takes its text from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.” Gibbons says he is going to keep drumming at it until his men are as polite as a Bobbie at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Courtesy Kick Irks Police In Philadelphia 

The city's policemen have given their new etiquette book a whirl and now, many of them say, they feel like a bather who wades ashore and finds that someone has taken his clothes. Issued at the bidding of Police Commissioner, Thomas J. Gibbons, the manual aims to refine police behavior, purify the cops' language: introduce at least a bit more patience; and improve his posture. “Please” and “thank you” are musts in the new vocabulary from have been expurged all coarse phrases, withering insults, juicy hyperbole, and richly elaborate sarcasms addresses to erring motorists.

The manual, “Courteous Selective Enforcement” takes its text from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.” Gibbons says he is going to keep drumming at it until his men are as polite as a Bobbie at the gates of Buckingham Palace. The book was thrown at the cops after the commissioner's office got a flock of complaints that many policemen were too quick to make arrests at intersections, grabbing drivers for going ahead on the amber signal; and that “wholesale ticketing” was coupled with insults and rough talk generally. – Philadelphia (UP), 1957


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

Court Etiquette Denies A Queen

It was a proud day in the British Empire, but of all its millions, the one who perhaps had the most reason to be proud, was denied by Court etiquette the joy of witnessing the triumphal event. At Sandringham Palace, Queen Mother Alexandra, who, forty-six years ago this month, gave Britain a King, awaited the news that her son had taken his place in the long line of British Monarchs.

All London Resplendent in Glory at Grandest Event in Modern History of Monarchies
————————————————
Golden Crown Sparkling With 3,000 Diamonds and Other Jewels is Bestowed

LONDON, June 22. King George V, Eighth of the House of Hanover, was today crowned King of the British Empire and given the public homage of his world-wide subjects. With his consort, Queen Mary, his Majesty was crowned in the Abbey of Westminster with all the wealth of religious rites and Royal ceremonial prescribed by custom. The picture within the gray-walled Abbey was one of medieval splendor. The coronation services, solemn and imposing, were those handed down from the earlier centuries, and the actors in the principal and secondary roles of today's great function were garbed in reproductions of the multicolored, gold-embroidered trappings worn by their ancestors. The latter made a wonderfully effective setting around the central figures. 


Outside, the usually dull streets had been transformed into a mass of color. The King and Queen's progress to the Abbey and the route to Buckingham Palace was one unbroken ovation. The route was hedged with a vast ployglot host with a background of gaily decorated viewing stands and windows and roofs, all of which were crammed to their capacity. The pressure of the crowds was so intense at many points, that the police cordon was broken and the aid of troops was required to restore order. 

When dawn broke the skies were heavy and showers fell during the progress of the processions of the Royal guests and the junior members of the Royal family to the Abbey; but as the King and Queen left Buckingham Palace to be crowned, the heavens smiled and a flood of sunshine brightened the splendid pageant. It was a proud day in the British Empire, but of all its millions, the one who perhaps had the most reason to be proud, was denied by Court etiquette the joy of witnessing the triumphal event. At Sandringham Palace, Queen Mother Alexandra, who, forty-six years ago this month, gave Britain a King, awaited the news that her son had taken his place in the long line of British Monarchs.

Those who think the Britisher too cold blooded to enthuse, should have seen him “coronate” today. He is fit to stand beside the most rampant American “Fourth of July” or Gaelic celebrator of the anniversary of the proclamation of the republic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, Germans, Frenchmen and natives of all lands, from China to Peru, joined the hustling throng and yielded themselves up with magnificent enthusiasm to the coronation glamour. – Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 1911

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Queen’s Acts “Contrary to Etiquette”


A bodyguard was just what Queen Victoria was in need of, when she decided to eschew the constraints of etiquette, especially in the Scottish Highlands. John Brown fit the bill, but Victoria's children and ministers resented the high regard she had for Brown, after the loss of her husband, Prince Albert. Predictably, rumors that there was something improper in Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, circulated throughout Royal circles . The 15th Earl of Derby, Edward Stanley, noted in his diary, that Brown and Victoria slept in adjoining rooms, “contrary to etiquette and even decency,” while the Queen's own daughters joked that the burly Scotchman was their, “mama's lover.” The Queen dismissed all this chatter as “ill-natured gossip in the higher classes.”

John Brown is a burly, grey-haired Scotchman, who is known as Queen Victoria’s bodyguard. A gentleman seeing from a tavern door, the Queen riding by, and Brown seated at the back of the carriage, was thus spoken to by the host: “There he goes to take of her. Shouldn't like to be the man who tried to touch her when he was by. He's as big as a house, and as strong as a lion. He looks after her, he does, and quite right of him too; he’s paid to do it.” This was not bad as a rude definition of the position and definition of this favored servant. 

The extreme simplicity of the Queen’s life has long made some domestic of this sort necessary. In the Highlands, the Queen loves to roam about in perfect freedom from etiquette and ceremony, and yet it would not do to have her roam quite alone. She is no longer young; there are dangers by flood and field in such a region; and besides there are more fools than a passing stranger in the world. 

Brown exactly supplies the want; he would lay down his life for her, not without requiring two or three in return, and, en attendant, he thinks nothing of carrying her in his arms, and perhaps a Princess or two to follow her, across a fordable stream. When she rides, he takes his place at the head of the pony, and if the pony were too troublesome, he probably would not make much difficulty about carrying him. Brown is not a lacquey—he wears no livery; on the other hand; he is not a gentleman by birth. He has a sort of undeterminate office as Strong Man. He is death on all intruders on the Queen’s privacy. 

Once when he met some reporters whom he suspected of dogging her footsteps for “copy,” he ordered them off the public highway as though he held all the Highlands in fee. It was grossly illegal, but they went. He has saved the Queen in a greater strait. When young, mad O'Connor darted out on her from the shrubbery at Buckingham Palace, pistol in hand, he positively plucked the puny wretch up from the ground as if he had been an offending kitten, and held him out so, clawing the air with his paws, until the Queen had passed out of harm’s way. He is a true clansman in the character of his service; he worships the Queen. He thinks there never was such a Queen, and there never was such a woman in the wide world. 

The Queen treats him with the condescending confidence which often subsists between the very great and the very little in our older society. She knows there can be no mistake about their positions; it is those who are nearer to her who are kept the farthest off. He is “the old servant” who is also the old friend of the family. He has seen most of  “the children’’ grow up. He probably knows a good deal more about family affairs than many a minister of state. To do him justice, he lets nothing out to his more distinguished colleagues of the Cabinet. A true Scotchman, he is as close as the grave. It is rather through the Queen’s own frank avowal, that we may judge of the extent of her confidences to him. – Youth’s Companion, 1879

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

Obsolete Royal Court Etiquette

The Royals at the Empire Exhibition – This was the first time he was induced to speak for “distribution” — due mainly to obsolete Court etiquette, which had always required the Sovereign’s words to be conveyed strictly and literally by “word of mouth” (and hearing.)
  
Out with the Old and In with the New!
King George to Talk by Radio 

LONDON, April 22 (United Press)—Britain’s great $100,000,000 “empire boosting” exhibition will be officially opened tomorrow by King George —appropriately enough on St. George’s Day, the feast of England’s patron saint. For the benefit of those unable to attend the opening ceremony, King George's speech will be broadcasted by wireless — the first time the British Monarch has been broadcasted. 


Elaborate ceremonial will mark the opening, and the general public admitted at the scheduled price of one shilling, and expence will be strictly marshalled to conform with the occasion. Wemberley Park being some eight miles from Buckingham Palace, the Royal party will motor the greater part of the distance, changing into state carriages drawn by four horses about a quarter of a mile from the exhibition. 

The King is immensely interested in the arrangements for broadcasting for, although a wireless fan, this was the first time he has been induced to speak for “distribution” — due mainly to obsolete Court etiquette, which has always required the Sovereign’s words to be conveyed strictly and literally by “word of mouth” (and hearing.) The Royal party will also witness a section of the “Pagent of Empire,” depicting the history of the British race and the growth of the empire, and make hasty tour of the exhibition. – Madera Tribune, 1924

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

Victorian Royal Ball Dress Etiquette

A gentleman ventured to appear in the regulation Court coat and vest, but with trousers. A functionary beckoned him into a corner, and communicated to him the awful fact that be had been guilty of a breach of breeches, which must never happen again. 

Of Bare Shoulders and Breeches

Low dress is de rigueur at the balls at Buckingham Palace, and a few ladies who have thus far ventured to depart from it have been severely commented on by others of their sex. One great lady took the precaution of writing to the Lord Chamberlain, explaining that her shoulders had recently grown so dreadfully thin during a long illness, that they were not fit to be seen, and should be grateful to be allowed to wear a half high dress. This was graciously permitted. 


At the St. Patrick's Day ball at Dublin, a few years ago, a gentleman ventured to appear in the regulation Court coat and vest, but with trousers. A functionary beckoned him into a corner, and communicated to him the awful fact that be had been guilty of a breach of breeches, which must never happen again. When the culprit faltered out that he had been informed that trousers were now permissible, the functionary replied, severely, “at a levee, sir, but breeches, always breeches at a ball!” – Daly Alta California, 1876

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

A Royal Mother Bucks Etiquette

The Royal Standard, according to the etiquette in such matters, can only fly over the residence of the Sovereign, which at present is Marlborough House. Queen Alexandra, at Buckingham Palace, is only entitled to fly the Union Jack, the same as any subject of the King. However, it is said that she prefers to live under the Royal Standard, and accordingly it is at the masthead at Buckingham Palace.

Two Royal Standards Upset English Precedent
______________________________________
King Allows Mother Unusual Privileges in Flying Banner

LONDON, July 3.—The fact that two Royal Standards are at present flying in London, one over Buckingham Palace and one at Marlborough House, is quite unprecedented and irregular. The Royal Standard, according to the etiquette in such matters, can only fly over the residence of the Sovereign, which at present is Marlborough House. Queen Alexandra, at Buckingham Palace is only entitled to fly the Union Jack, the same as any subject of the King. However, it is said that she prefers to live under the Royal Standard, and accordingly it is at the masthead at Buckingham 
Palace. 

It is causing some surprise in Court circles that Queen Alexandra has not already left Buckingham Palace and gone to Sandringham, which will be her chief residence in future. Under the King's will she gets the house and gardens at Sandringham, while the estate and shooting, which costs $40,000 a year to keep up, belongs to King George. He is very fond of Balmoral, unlike King Edward, who detested it, and will pass a considerable time there in the autumn. King Edward offered to make him a present of Balmoral some years ago, but the then Prince of Wales did not care to undertake the expense of maintaining it. – Los Angeles Herald, 1910

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Chafing at Royal Etiquette

All smiles on her coronation, but reality loomed large –– 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...

Elizabeth, and Her Consort, Chafe At Rituals Of Royalty

LONDON (UP) Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, as young folks might be expected to do, are chafing 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 spur-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. – Madera Tribune, 1953

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

Etiquette and “Snobbery”

The word “Snob” crept gradually into vogue in England among the gentry, as a recognized, but permitted, slang word for a low-born, vulgar, “base mechanical” person.Thackeray applied the word to all vulgarly, pretentious persons, however high their rank or large their wealth; and this sort of snob, he said, was scattered freely through all classes of society in all countries.  

The Word "Snob"— Of words which have two clearly distinct senses in both countries, the commonly used, but yet slangish and not very pleasant, “snob” is an example. Snob crept gradually into vogue in England among the gentry, as a recognized, but permitted, slang word for a low-born, vulgar, “base mechanical” person. This sense it retained, exclusively I believe, until the appearance in Punch of Thackeray's Snob Papers, before which time it was not used and was almost unknown in this country. 

In those humorous and savagely satirical papers, Thackeray applied the word to all vulgarly, pretentious persons, however high their rank or large their wealth; and this sort of snob, he said, was scattered freely through all classes of society in all countries. “There are snobs in China,” he remarked. Had he seen Dickens’ book-plate with its crest, knowing Dickens’ origin and early habits of life, he would have called that snobbish. In this sense, the word came rapidly into vogue in the United States. Here it has, in New York at least, been subjected to yet another modification in certain circles, where it is used to mean a person who somewhat pretentiously affects the society of persons condition and wealth. – Richard Grant White in Atlantic, 1879

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Royal Etiquette Dos and Don’ts

A King never writes a letter to anybody outside his family circle. All other correspondence has to be conducted through one of his secretaries. Nor does King George accept invitations to dine or stop with a subject. What he does when he wishes to pay such a visit, is to invite himself. Another strictly observed point of etiquette, is that on ascending the throne, a King shall withdraw from any clubs to which he has hitherto belonged.

Royal Etiquette

In England it Assumes a Number of Curious Phases

Things the King Cannot Do... 
He is Barred from Accepting Gifts From Individuals, He May Not Belong to a Club and May Not Marry Without Parliament's Consent

It may sound a little curious, but there are quite a number of things which, despite his exalted position as Sovereign of the Realm, King George V cannot do. These disabilities range over all sorts of matters and concern etiquette, politics, religion and law. To begin with etiquette. It is an established practice that His Majesty must never call upon or grant an audience to a foreign Monarch except in the presence of a responsible minister. Etiquette also precludes him from accepting a gift which a loyal subject may wish to make him. Should, however, the gift be a joint offering, the prohibition does not apply. This enables a King George to accept gifts which are subscribed for by a number of people together.


A K
ing never writes a letter to anybody outside his family circle. All other correspondence has to be conducted through one of his secretaries. Nor does King George accept invitations to dine or stop with a subject. What he does when he wishes to pay such a visit, is to invite himself. Another strictly observed point of etiquette, is that on ascending the throne, a King shall withdraw from any clubs to which he has hitherto belonged. Similarly he cannot become a Free Mason, and if he happens to be one at the date of his ascension, he must resign from the craft. King George, however, has not been initiated.

Even in affairs of the heart a sovereign must bow to the will of others. Although King Cophetua might have loved and shared his throne with a beggar maid, the Royal Marriage Act would render the occurrence of any such romantic union impossible in England. Members of the blood royal must have the sanction of Parliament before they can marry, and this would certainly not be accorded unless the birth and position of the lady were beyond reproach.

An English King's position toward the law is somewhat peculiar. Theoretically, he is above the law. In practice, however, he has to obey it, just as have his subjects. He must observe the established legal system of the country. Any royal proclamation which he issues, is only binding in so far as it is founded upon an existing law. It cannot alter the common law or create a new offense, nor can a King set up private tribunals, such as the Star Chamber, or add to the jurisdiction of a court by a special act of Parliament, it has also been decided that if his Majesty were to lose an action brought against him by the revenue authorities, he would be liable for the payment of costs.

By the law of the land the King cannot possibly commit an offense. Any injury or wrong suffered by a subject at his hands has to be attributed to the “mistake of his advisers;” hence it happens that King George is the only person in Great Britain who cannot arrest a suspected felon, even if such a one were to be seen by him entering Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. The reason for this is because no action for wrongful arrest could lie against him, and therefore if the person arrested by him were proved innocent there would then be a wrong without a remedy. Another legal disability of the King is that he is barred of all rights in matters relating to land after a lapse of sixty years. He is also prohibited from serving on a jury or from giving evidence.

Until so comparatively recent a period as 1870 if a subject were convicted of treason or felony, the King could claim his property. Another lapsed prerogative of the crown is one known as “corody.” During its existence, a King who wanted to advance the interests of a royal chaplain could compel a bishop to support such a clergyman until a benefice had been found for him. Nowadays, he has not even the right of founding a bishopric or creating ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Similarly he must always be a member of the Church of England and cannot change his religion.

The theory that the King “reigns, but does not govern” is amply borne out by the political system of the country. While the members of Parliament are his Majesty's “faithful commons,” they have certain privileges which he himself does not possess. Thus, King George can summon or prorogue Parliament at will, but he cannot prolong it beyond a definite period. Similarly he is absolutely debarred from imposing any sort of taxation whatever without first securing the consent of Parliament. 

So jealously guarded is this privilege that a King cannot create new officers with new fees or annex new fees to existing officers, as such a course would be considered as imposing a fresh tax. In bygone times, however, when an English Monarch was in want of funds, he would levy taxes right and left and without asking anybody. The franchise does not extend to English monarchs. King George is one of the few men possessing a genuine stake in the country without the privilege of recording a vote. — London Bellman, 1911


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


19th C. Official Australian Etiquette

Like the wild, wild west... Official etiquette requires the minister to interpose with a remark something like this: “You had better all retire and have it out, and I will settle with the survivor.”

Australian Parliamentary Fun

If one is to believe the statements of Mr. J. L. Dow, formerly minister of lands for Victoria, parliamentary life in Australia has all the breeziness attributed to the legislative transactions of the western territories of the United States in the early days of settlement. Mr. Dow has put his experiences in shape as a lecture, which be is delivering at various points in the Antipodes. 

A recent report says that he mentions by name a brother member of Parliament, who is paid by the caterer in the government building to make speeches, because his orations drive the honorable members to drink. He describes deputations who visit Parliament, and says that as a rule they contradict one another and a free fight ensues. Then official etiquette requires the minister to interpose with a remark something like this: “You had better all retire and have it out, and I will settle with the survivor.” – Healdsburg Tribune, Enterprise and Scimitar, 1891

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Royal Proposal Etiquette


It may not be generally known that Royal etiquette forbids any Royal personage of lesser degree, to propose marriage to a female Sovereign.

How Queen Victoria Proposed

It may not be generally known that Royal etiquette forbids any Royal personage of lesser degree, to propose marriage to a female Sovereign. Accordingly, it became necessary that Queen Victoria should ask Prince Albert whether he would share her lot. For a young woman this was naturally an awkward and rather delicate duty, but the most trying ordeal was when the Queen had to make the announcement of her wedding to the privy council. 

At one time there was a possibility that the marriage would not take place, owing to the desire of the Queen that she should not be married too early. In 1839, Prince Albert confessed that he came to England with the intention of telling his royal sweetheart that if she could not then make up her mind, she must understand that he could not wait for a decision as he had done at a former period, when the marriage was first talked about. 

It was at Windsor, at a ball, that the Queen broached the subject, by giving the Prince certain flowers from the bouquet she carried, and her boy lover, understanding the significance of the gift, and being tightly buttoned up, from waist to throat, in a green Rifle uniform, made a cut in his tunic just above the heart and put the flowers within it. The next day the Queen put the critical question, and the contract was sealed from that moment. —London Telegraph, 1897


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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Carriage and Auto Etiquette

Slowly and deliberately she turns to the footman and mentions the destination to which she will be driven. It is regarded as a shade more elegant for the lady to look directly in front of her, and, not noticing the waiting footman entirely, to speak her wishes as if she were addressing the wind, as if it ought to be glad to obey her.

Shades of snobbery and class warfare in early 20th century America – “My dear footman, you are the wind and happy to obey me!”

Carriage etiquette is rigid and precise. Take the matter of getttng into a Victoria, for example. The footman stands on the sidewalk. He may have the lap robe over his arms, or it may be spread over the front of the carriage. The lady steps into the Victoria without noticing the respectful way in which he touches his cockaded hat. She settles herself comfortably down in the cushions. Then her part is done and his begins. 

It is his task to tuck the lap robe about you, and then pass back of the carriage, and see that it is properly adjusted on the other side. All this must be done with the greatest deliberation. The footman finally finishes his work and places himself on the sidewalk by the Victoria to receive his mistress' orders. It is then that his mistress for the first time says where she is going. To be really elegant, the lady must show no signs of hurry.

Slowly and deliberately she turns to the footman and mentions the destination to which she will be driven. It is regarded as a shade more elegant for the lady to look directly in front of her, and, not noticing the waiting footman entirely, to speak her wishes as if she were addressing the wind, as if it ought to be glad to obey her.

In calling, the lady does not leave her carriage until the footman has rung the doorbell and learned if the lady of the house is at home. If she it not, he leaves the card and returns to the vehicle for orders, says the Washington Post. The same thing is required of the chauffeur of a private motor. The arrival of a private motor in front of a house has, indeed, come to be an occasion of ceremony.

The vehicle hurdles up. The chauffeur alights, opens the door, and receives the card. He goes up the steps and rings the bell. The lady is at home. He hands in the card and returns to the motor.

Its occupant then alights. If there is a footman, he accompanies her up the steps to ring the bell again if necessary. In any case, he must extricate the occupant of the vehicle before he allows her to alight from the motor. – Los Angeles Herald, 1906



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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Etiquette for Elizabeth II

While in London, the Queen also will slip out one day for her only shopping expedition of the year to choose personal Christmas presents. All her clothes and wants of the year are brought to her at the palace or purchased by a Lady-in-Waiting in accordance with Court etiquette. But she can shop in public if she is buying gifts for somebody else. 


Queen Elizabeth Seeks Yule Tree at Windsor

By MARGARET SAVILLE LONDON (UPl)—Queen Elizabeth II is keeping her eyes open literally for a Christmas tree. During her horseback rides at weekends on her estate surrounding Windsor Castle, she is looking for a tall fir which can be cut just before the long Christmas weekend. The family will spend the holidays at Windsor. The tree, part of the Christmas tradition which the Queen loves, will be gaily decorated and set up in a corner of the castle ballroom to be illuminated at dusk on Christmas Day. Holly and mistletoe will be brought in to decorate the rooms, along with masses of white chrysanthemums from the hot houses. The kitchens will be busy cooking roast turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies for the traditional dinner. 


Chief Guest 

Before leaving Buckingham Palace for the castle, about 25 miles up the Thames River from London, the Queen will be the chief guest at what must rank as the world’s most exclusive Christmas staff party. The Buckingham Palace Social Club gives the annual buffet dance for the staff of the Royal household. The Queen dons a ballgown, lends one of her white and gold state rooms for the evening, and goes along to dance with her chauffeur or telephone operator or perhaps the chef. Prince Philip, her husband, partners with a housemaid or sewing maid. Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, once danced with a junior footman who long had cherished a secret admiration of her and enlivened the moment by reciting a long romantic poem he had composed in her honor. Once Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, faced with a blushing gardener who had never been round a dance floor before, said, “Well, just hold my hand and walk round but please don’t tread on my toes.” He didn’t. 

While in London, the Queen also will slip out one day for her only shopping expedition of the year to choose personal Christmas presents. All her clothes and wants of the year are brought to her at the palace or purchased by a Lady-in-Waiting in accordance with Court etiquette. But she can shop in public if she is buying gifts for somebody else. So she makes the most of the opportunity at one of the big department stores. She drives up to a side door and is escorted around by the manager as she goes through the long list—four children and 21 godchildren for a start, not to mention friends and relatives. 

Not Cash 

The Queen does not pay cash. The checks go later in triplicate to the treasurer at Buckingham Palace. For the Christmas weekend, Elizabeth invites the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon with their two children, the Duke and Duchess of Kent with their two, Princess Alexandria and her businessman husband, Angus Ogilvy, with their two, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester with their younger son, Prince Richard. The elder, Prince Michael, is abroad in the diplomatic service. Prince Philip’s widowed mother, Princess Andrea of Greece, who now makes her home at Buckingham Palace, is expected to join the party attend a carol service in the local church and exchange their gifts on returning home. These are generally modest because expensive presents are reserved by custom for birthdays. The children find their gifts in their stockings when they wake up on Christmas morning. They also get to see Prince Philip the way the public never does—dressed up as Santa Claus. –The Desert Sun, 1967

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


Etiquette for Meeting Elizabeth II


Naturally, protocol for meeting Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is formal; but is not as elaborate nor complicated as the public often supposes. 

Manners Fit For A Queen

LONDON (UPl)—When Queen Elizabeth II is presented with a bouquet of flowers, she prefers them to be light scented. A heavy perfume will set her sneezing. When traveling abroad, she is happy if her host refrains from putting caviar on the menu because she does not like it. When conversing with a stranger, she does not mind if asked a direct question so long as the subject is not of an overly personal nature. These snippets of information are culled from a brochure which Buckingham Palace sends out to the British embassies concerned when the Queen goes abroad. The information is intended to be passed on tactfully to the several thousand people who are presented to the queen on such a visit or who entertain her. 
Protocol naturally is formal; but is not as elaborate nor complicated as the public often supposes. 

Fingers Only 

On introduction to the Queen and Philip, their hands not are actually shaken but the fingers simply touched in token of greeting or the Royal couple would have sprained wrists from greeting so many. Gentlemen are expected to give a normal bow as they take the Royal hand. Ladies give what is knowm at Court as “a short curtsy” — a little dip made by placing the left foot just behind the right and inclining the head. The old style, floor-touching curtsy was abolished, because it takes too long for the lady to go down and rise again. The deep dip slowed the receiving line. 

The Queen wears gloves, usually white ones, on outdoor: occasions and with evening dress. She prefers other women do the same because so much hand-shaking is involved, but would never refuse to meet a woman whose hands were bare. Most men like to wear gloves for the same reason. Elizabeth always takes a wardrobe of new clothes with her to compliment her hosts. Guests do not have to follow suit by buying a new outfit, but they should be dressed fittingly. Very low-cut dresses always are considered inappropriate. 

Likes Flowers 

Bouquets of flowers should not be heavily scented because the perfume increases in a hot room or bright sunshine. The Queen likes locally grown flowers best and is interested in being told what they are and how they are grown. If the bouquet can be given to her by a child, so much the better because the Queen, a mother of four, likes to see children everywhere she can. She is never disturbed if a child suddenly turns shy at the crucial moment. She has long experience in putting them at their ease. Conversation with the Queen and Philip is an easy, natural thing. Both are skilled in leading it. Etiquette allows them to be asked direct questions so long as they are not too personal. 

Would-be hosts are told that the Queen’s tastes are simple. Neither she, nor the Prince, likes soups, oysters, other shellfish or caviar. The Queen is fond of china tea while Prince Philip drinks coffee whenever he can. Both are fond of fresh fruits and enjoy chicken dishes. 

Prince Cooks 

They like to sample the local specialities. Prince Philip, who takes great interest in cooking and does a little himself at home, often asks for the recipe of an unfamiliar dish he has enioyed. The Royal couple do not smoke. They drink wine and champagne at formal meals and the Prince takes an occasional glass of light beer with his lunch. — The Desert Sun, 1969

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia@ Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette and “the Right Fork”


Using Your Utensils

Using “first” forks — Cocktail forks, oyster forks, escargot forks, and the like, are used with the right hand only. If snail or escargot tongs are being used, they are held in the left hand to hold the snail shell in place.

All spoons are used with the right hand, including individual caviar spoons and caviar spades.

Using dessert forks alone— Pie forks, ice cream forks, fruit forks can all properly used in the right hand, if no cutting with a knife is involved, with one notable ex-ception being the mango fork. A mango fork is held in the left hand while using a fruit knife or fruit spoon in the right hand.

Using dessert spoons alone — Ice cream, pots de crème, and other soft desserts eaten with spoons in the right hand.

Using a dessert fork and spoon together — Dessert eaten using 2 utensils is nearly always done in the Continental style, except this is done with a fork and spoon as opposed to with a fork and knife. The fork is held in the left hand with tines facing down, and the spoon is held in the right hand. The fork is used to hold or keep a dessert in place as the spoon cuts off small bites. This works well with desserts such as Baked Alaska or certain types of cakes.

An exception to this rule is pie or cake, à la mode. These are both eaten with a dessert fork and spoon. The spoon is used to cut and then place a bite of cake or pie and a bit of ice cream on the fork, which is held in the right hand and used to eat the dessert.

For all other dining with a knife and fork, the fork is in the left hand and the knife in the right when dining in the Continental style.

Fork tines point down for all cutting and eating in Continental dining, save for stringy pasta.

Fork tines point down only for cutting food, in the American style of dining.




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


BFF Etiquette and "Lillibet”


Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret arriving at Glamis, Scotland, with their nanny at the time, Margaret “Bobo” MacDonald, in 1931 ~ MacDonald was in the Queen’s service for 67 years -Photo: Getty Images

The Queen’s Maid Travels Loaded

LONDON (UP)—Have ironing board, will travel. Such is the case with Miss Margaret MacDonald, a brisk, auburn-haired Scotswoman in her 40’s. Miss MacDonald, or “Bobo,” is personal maid to Queen Elizabeth II and accompanies her wherever she travels. Miss MacDonald went to work for the Royal family as a girl of 18, coming from her home in Inverness to be nursery maid to the Duchess of York and her baby daughter. Princess Elizabeth, as a small girl, would dash from behind a door to startle the maid by crying "Bobo.” The name stayed and so did Miss MacDonald. Ever since, she has looked after the woman who became ruler in 1953.

Her Friend 

Bobo is the Queen’s closest friend and confident, the only person outside the immediate royal family who calls Elizabeth "Lillibet” in private. She attends to all the Queen’s wardrobe and it is her pride to send Elizabeth out looking immaculate, no matter how close together the number of public appearances. Then, Bobo slips on her own jacket and joins the crowds, probably wearing the diamond clip the Queen gave her recently, or the gold watch, which was a gift from the Queen Mother. 

The Queen's personal maid is on duty every day, taking time off as she feels inclined. She does most of the Queen's personal shopping, since Court etiquette precludes the Queen buying her own make-up and accessories. The maid lives in her personally-furnished suite in Buckingham Palace. It is Bobo who always wakes the Monarch with a tray of tea in the morning, and then reminds her of the day's list of duties. Miss MacDonald has her own sleeping compartment in the royal train and cabin on the royal yacht, Brittania. There also are a chair and berth for her in the royal aircraft. And wherever Bobo is, with her are ironing board and sewing basket. 

Does Everything 

Her job is to pack the Queen’s clothes, using typewritten lists of every article for quick reference. She does Elizabeth’s personal laundry, helps her with her daily dress, and presses clothes the Queen wore the previous day. The maid travels with a typed outline of Elizabeth's itinerary each date, with a code number beside it to indicate what outfit the Queen means to wear for a particular engagement. It is Bobo who makes the appointment with the hairdresser, the chiropodist, the dressmakers. She calls the physician if it seems Elizabeth is getting a cold, telephones other Royalties with personal messages, buys picture postcards for Elizabeth to mail back to Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and shops for souvenirs. And when the Queen is through with any of her clothes, Bobo cuts out identifying marks and sends them to the Salvation Army for distribution to the needy. The exception: the gowns of state, which are destroyed because no one else is entitled to them. 

The Queen's maid usually dresses in plain black on duty, but likes to look elegant when not at work. In the afternoons, she sometimes walks across from Buckingham Palace to the staff quarters of St. James’s Palace to have tea with her sister, Ruby, who is Princess Margaret’s personal maid. Her sister is married to one of the Queen's footmen, and the couple lives in a small apartment in St. James’s. – Madera Tribune, 1957


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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

British Naval Etiquette

Lord Charles Beresford’s career in the British Navy, was marked by a longstanding dispute with the Admiral of the Fleet, Sir John Fisher, over reforms championed by Fisher introducing new technology and sweeping away traditional practices. Fisher, more successful and slightly senior to Beresford, became a barrier to Beresford's rise to the highest office in the navy. Beresford failed in his ambition to become First Sea Lord.

A Minor Naval Etiquette Breach

London, July 26 – Lord Charles Beresford Jr., Lord of the Admiralty, has resigned. He had been requested to withdraw his resignation. The cause of his resignation was a minor breach of etiquette at Spithead during the naval review last Saturday, when the private signal made by Lord Charles from the Royal yacht was converted into a public signal, it is described as follows:

While the Queen was receiving the Captains of the Fleet in the saloon of the Royal yacht Albert and Victoria, the Lord signaled to the Enchantress, aboard of which his wife was, the following message: “Tell Lady Charles to immediately go aboard the yacht Lancashire Witch, where I will join her.” The Captain of the Enchantress, when the signal was given, thought of course, it was a special Royal command. But as the message was slowly spelled out, he became greatly enraged. He had, however, to smother his feelings, not daring to report Lord Charles in view of his position as Lord of the Admiralty. 

The Captain could not refrain, however, from complaining privately to his friends, and in this way a reporter of the Times learned of the incident. The result was the publication of the whole story in Monday's Times. Lord Charles then had no option but to resign. The incident is believed to be unparalleled. Disciplinarians declare that Lord Charles' conduct was virtually a gross insult to the Queen. The permanent officers of the Admiralty Office, it is said, are delighted over the position in which "reformer" Beresford is placed by the affair. – Sacramento Daily Union, 1887


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

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Snuff Etiquette and History


A tract in the British Museum on “The Natural History of Tobacco” reads: “The Irishmen do most commonly powder their tobacco and stuff it up their nostrils.” This makes the Irish the probable inventors of snuff. In some remote and primitive parts of Ireland at a dead man's wake, a plate of snuff is placed on the body of the deceased, and the etiquette is for all those who are invited to attend the funeral, to take a pinch on entering the house of mourning.


A History of Snuff
It Antedates Generally Conceived Opinions of the Dust

In the “First Part of King Henry IV” a speech is given to Hotspur, the famous and fiery Harry Percy, which has puzzled many readers, says the Troy Times. After the battle of Holmedon, on the Scottish border, in the year 1401, Hotspur, who was victorious, describes an interview he had, after the fight was done, with a certain effeminate courtier, and says:

He was perfumed like a milliner,
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took't away again:
Who, there withangry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff.
Shakespeare’s play was written, or at least published in the year 1598, near the close of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and the question propounded is not only was snuff taken in Hotspur's time, but nearly two centuries later, in Shakespeare's time. As far as can be ascertained, what is known in modern times as snuff, was used by fashionable gentlemen in Shakespeare's time. Tobacco was in use in England years before Shakespeare made Hotspur ridicule a fop for taking snuff in an affected manner. 

From the native Virginians came the practice of smoking (taken up by the English in 1500); but a tract in the British Museum on "The Natural History of Tobacco" says: “The Irishmen do most commonly powder their tobacco and stuff it up their nostrils." This makes the Irish the probable inventors of snuff. In some remote and primitive parts of Ireland at a dead man's wake, a plate of snuff is placed on the body of the deceased, and the etiquette is for all those who are invited to attend the funeral, to take a pinch on entering the house of mourning.

In the “Life of Columbus” it is stated that the great voyager had noticed smoking and snuff-taking in Hispaniola. Las Casas, writing in 1529, also mentions it, with much minuteness of detail. Frequent mention is made in the Spectator (Addison and Steele's well-known weekly, begun in 1711) of female snuff-takers in the reign of Queen Anne. 


Fashionable ladies, it is said, of all ages freely indulged in it, even offering their boxes to their friends as they sat in the church pews during divine worship. Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and grandmother of Queen Victoria, was a perpetual snuff-taker during the whole time of her residence in England, from her arrival and marriage in 1701 to her death in 1818. She had a great partiality for accepting presents of snuff, particularly when it was given in gold snuff-boxes. The enmity exhibited by Queen Charlotte against Caroline of Brunswick, the unfortunate wife of him who finally became George IV, has been attributed to the fact that in an intercepted letter from Caroline to her mother the Queen, was ridiculed as “snuffy old Charlotte.”

Snuff has very much fallen into disuse. In our time the fair sex do not patronize snuff. The leaders of “Martin Chuzzlewit” must sympathise with Betsy Prig's remarkable objections to Mrs. Gamp's untidy ways with her snuff, when she had to entreat that admirable harrican not to "go-a-dropping none of it” into the dish of sliced cucumber, prepared in vinegar which they were to have for supper. “In gruel, barley water, apple tea, mutton broth and that, it don't signify,” Mrs. Prig added, “and it stimulates a patient, but I don't relish it myself.” – San Francisco Call, 1891


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

Royal Etiquette and Brewers


The Sole Exception –A Brewer is 
the Only Tradesman Permitted to Dine with Queen Victoria

“A very handsome woman now attracting attention in English society is a Lady whose title would appear to indicate that her lineage extended back at least to the crusaders. She is a fine figure to look upon; her manners are faultless, her carriage stately, her pride immense. She is always a conspicuous figure in London drawing-rooms, and the society papers have as much to say of her as though she were a Royal Princess, yet she will not be found further back than the last edition of Burkes. She is Lady Iveagh, wife of Edward Guinness, manufacturer of beer. 

It is a strange rule that in England a successful brewer is regarded with affection by the Sovereign, and may dine with her after he has become wealthy. No other tradesman or manufacturer is allowed a similar privilege, nor is ever ennobled. Beer is regarded as fondly as poetry by the aristocracy of the country. It applauds when the laureate is created Lord Tennyson, and exults when an Irish brewer is made Lord Iveagh. There is a wide range of intellectual appreciation in this that is startling but admirable. It is hoped that Tennyson will write an ode commemorative of the beauty of the scheme before he dies.”— Chicago Herald, 1891


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