Thursday, December 28, 2017

Etiquette According to One Queen

Louise of Hesse-Kassel was Queen of Denmark. She died in 1898 – At the royal table, to which her children were not admitted before their tenth year, they were not allowed to ask for anything, but had to wait until they were served, according to age, by the steward. If something was served which they did not like, they were forbidden to open their mouths about it, and had to eat a little of it for “politeness' sake,” and out of regard for table manners. “Those who are to rule in the world, must first taste rule themselves, and find out what it means to obey without murmur,” said the Queen.

Denmark’s Late-Queen and Mother... One of the Oldest and Best-Liked Royalties of the Old World 
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Strict Discipline Under Which Her Children Were Brought Up 

It was said of the late Queen Louise of Denmark, that next to Queen Victoria, she of all women in Europe exerted the strongest influence in the politics of the continent. “She is the female Bismarck of Europe!” exclaimed Bismarck himself once, in admiration of her diplomacy and political foresight. Her daughters became Princess of Wales, Empress of Russia and Duchess of Cumberland. One of her sons is the King of Greece; another, the Crown Prince, married the daughter of the rich Carl XV, King of Sweden, and the third is the husband of the Princess of Orleans, the daughter of the Duke of Chartres. These alliances put into the hands of Queen Louise many wires, whereby she kept in touch with Russia, England and France.

King Christian, being too easy-going, the Queen took upon herself the task of educating and disciplining her children. She was both their mother and their Queen. She taught her daughters housekeeping, dressmaking and the art of spending money. The sons were trained to keep an account of every penny they spent out of their weekly allowance, to dress plainly, and to be courteous to inferiors. 

A writer, a Danish Baron, thus describes the Queen's family discipline: While a mere boy, her eldest son, the Crown Prince, was caught trying to get the better of one of the sentries of the Royal Guard, of whom the little Prince demanded that he should present arms to him. According to Court etiquette, a royal child is entitled to a “shoulder arms” salute until its confirmation, when “present arms” is the salute given. The boy Prince demanded the latter salute, but the sentry stuck to his orders. The Queen obliged the Prince to go down and ask the soldier's pardon “for unbefitting attitude and rudeness,” and having done this properly, he was locked into his room for two days. 

At the royal table, to which her children were not admitted before their tenth year, they were not allowed to ask for anything, but had to wait until they were served, according to age, by the steward. If something was served which they did not like, they were forbidden to open their mouths about it, and had to eat a little of it for “politeness' sake,” and out of regard for table manners. “Those who are to rule in the world, must first taste rule themselves, and find out what it means to obey without murmur,” said the Queen.

When her youngest son, Prince Waldemar, married the Princess of Orleans, the young lady at once moved about in the castle as though she did not know that there was a Queen above her. During a hunt, the Princess’s 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 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 had been guilty of breach of Court etiquette, and must 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 days. I may add that by this time Princess Marie is fully cured, and is doubtless now mourning the loss of Grandma Louise, who was, after all, a splendid teacher. – Sausalito News, 1899


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