Saturday, June 2, 2018

Royal Court Etiquette Ignorance

Whoops! In her first invitation the Duchess intimated that a semi-Court costume would be sufficient, but afterward she sent another card asking those she had invited, to come in full uniform. But alas, for the Duchess of Westminster, only the King himself has the privilege in this dominion of demanding full Court dress, as the Duchess herself was informed very quickly by the Lord Chamberlain. 

’Twas a Fearful Mistake to Make, Don’t Ye Know

London—The Duchess of Westminster has come into humiliating conflict with the Royal Court by asking her guests to appear in full court dress at the Royal ball she is to give in her own residence. In her first invitation the Duchess intimated that a semi-Court costume would be sufficient, but afterward she sent another card asking those she had invited, to come in full uniform. This would be necessary, she explained, because so many foreign Royalties would be present, in addition to the British King and Queen. But alas, for the Duchess of Westminster, only the King himself has the privilege in this dominion of demanding full Court dress, as the Duchess herself was informed very quickly by the Lord Chamberlain. Full Court costume, this functionary reminded her, is never worn at any private party. 


The Duchess pleaded ignorance of the Royal regulations, whereupon she got a hint that King George and Queen Mary think no Duchess of the realm should should be so lamentably unacquainted with Court etiquette. The result of the incident was that the Duchess ordered her second cards to be cancelled, but she showed, nevertheless, no inclination to place herself in so humiliated a position before her guests. The King could not well withdraw his own and the Queen’s acceptance of the invitation as the foreign Royalties and others had been especially invited to meet George and Mary. The upshot of it is that His Majesty has caused it to be known that he does not expect full Court costume to be worn at the Duchess of Westminster’s Royal ball. The Duchess got up the ball at the request of the King, so while she knows she blundered, she says she feels accordingly vexed at his Majesty’s interference. - San Pedro Daily News, 1911
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia