Friday, September 16, 2022

Applauding the Queen’s Manners

Queen Elizabeth II meeting Hollywood luminaries in February of 1983 — Etiquette has long dictated that a lady best applauds demurely, and notably different from the men, by clapping with the fingers only of the right hand, clapping (or tapping) in the palm only of the left hand. The WikiHow site has a post on something they call the “Royalty Clap,” and write that it is done, “just by clapping with the first two fingers, tapping them into your palm. It should make very little noise, giving the impression that you’re clapping more than actually contributing to the group.” Is that what the Queen was doing? It’s entirely possible. After all, she was the ultimate “lady” in public.
– Photo of Hollywood Reporter Magazine image

On HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to the West Coast in 1983... “The sound of one hand clapping. Her hands never touch.” 

Several weeks back, my copy of The Hollywood Reporter arrived and I read of how all Tinseltown was abuzz with the upcoming visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In the back of the magazine however, there was a nifty article about the visit by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip back in February of 1983. An event that The Hollywood Reporter covered at the time.

The glitterati they met was breathlessly listed... Rod Stewart! Frank Sinatra! Joan Collins! Jimmy Stewart! Lucille Ball! Fred Astaire! George Burns! ... along with what Chasen's served; “The dinner menu included: Papaya with Bay Shrimp, Chicken Pot Pie, Fresh Spinach with Bacon and a Toasted Coconut Snowball.” A truly unique assortment, to be sure.

One of the more humorous quotes came from the magazine at that time, “... one guest described the Queen applauding as ‘the sound of one hand clapping. Her hands never touch.’”

But what really had me giggling was the story about Bette Davis and the issue of her not being issued an invitation; “And, of course, in the entitlement department, the royals had nothing on Old Hollywood.” 

Barbara Davis recalls that her late husband, Marvin – who bought Fox in 1981 and hosted the event – was deluged by requests to attend. One came from Bette Davis, who asked why she hadn't received an invitation. The studio owner told her the event was “full up.” She replied, “I want a f****ing invitation.” Somehow it was arranged, and at the dinner, the actress shook hands with the studio owner on the receiving line and said, “I'm so glad I was able to change my plans so I could attend.”

Jennifer Lopez immediately comes to mind as I read this story again now. According to actress Mary Louise Parker, when asked if she’d met the royal couple at the recent Hollywood BAFTA event, she responded, “I didn't meet them. I was shoved out of the way by Jennifer Lopez. Uh oh, I shouldn't have said that.” I guess that green dress Ms. Lopez wore to the event was not the only thing deemed inappropriate about her behavior that evening. — Originally written by Maura J Graber and published July 29, 2011 on the Etiquette Sleuth Blogspot

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

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