Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Etiquette of Serving Charles II

One of the most popular monarchs to play is Charles II, or “the Merry Monarch”
 (as portrayed by Rupert Everett, above)

Few courts have been more brilliant than that of the Merry Monarch. All the beauty of fair women, the gallantry of brave men, and the gaiety of well-approved wits could compass, perpetually surrounded His Majesty, making the royal palace a lordly pleasure house. Noble banquets, magnificent balls, and brilliant suppers followed each other in quick succession. Three times a week—on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays—the King and Queen dined publicly in ancient state, whilst rare music was discoursed, and many ceremonies observed, amongst these being that each servitor of the royal table should eat some bread dipped in sauce of the dish he bore. 

On these occasions meats for the King's table were brought from the kitchen by yeomen of the guard, or beef-eaters. These men, selected as being amongst the handsomest, strongest, and tallest in England, were dressed in liveries of red cloth, faced with black velvet, having the King's cipher on the back, and on the breast the emblems of the Houses of York and Lancaster. By them the dishes were handed to the gentlemen in waiting, who served royalty upon their knees. “You see,” said Charles one day to the Chevalier de Grammont, “how I am waited on.” “I thank your majesty for the explanation,” said the saucy Frenchman; “I thought they were begging pardon for offering you so bad a dinner.” [This mode of serving the sovereign continued unto the coming of George I.] – From Royalty Restored or London Under Charles II, by J. Fitzgerald Molloy, 1885

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

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