Thursday, October 11, 2018

Royal French Hospitality

 Etiquette of the day would require the newest skating finery, if one was a guest at the French Empress’ skate parties – “Let your dress fit closely, but at the same time be of sufficient ease to insure freedom of motion. Neither skirts to coats nor full trousers should be worn. Let flannel be worn next to the skin by the delicate, and an extra undergarment by the robust. Let the chest be well defended against the cold. A piece of brown paper laid between the waistcoat and shirt is a cheap chest protector, or use one of Andrew Peck & Co.’s improved chest protectors, which is worn next the skin.” – “The Skater's Manual, A Complete Guide To The Art of Skating,” 1867

Of Empress Eugénie, Her Parties and Royal Skating Guests

It is a peculiarity of the hospitality so largely exercised by the present occupants of the French throne, that while the greater number of their guests are persons of high diplomatic and official position, or distinguished for rank or wealth, a good many are invited whose claims to such an honor are purely literary, scientific or artistic. 

Among the ladies — especially among the Russians and Americans here — great beauty or liveliness seem to be a passport equally to the good graces of Emperor and Empress. A reputation for great skill in skating is also a passport to the favor of both, and is sure to procure invitations for the court skating parties, and the Empress’ “private parties” of seven hundred. – Letter from Paris, 1865

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

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