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geekyMary
02-25-2011, 01:41 AM
Any history experts know what the protocol would be when approaching British royalty? I assume a bow/curtsy, but do you have to wait for the monarch to tell you to approach?

Would it be the same in day to day workings, or just for formal occasions?

Time period is modified Victorian-ish.

Grazie!

alleycat
02-25-2011, 01:45 AM
I could guess, but I can't really answer your question. I do know you're suppose to wait for the King/Queen to speak to you before you speak to them.

Just offering a detail.

Drachen Jager
02-25-2011, 01:54 AM
This is modern, but these things tend to last a long time without changing much.

http://www.suite101.com/content/the-protocols-of-british-royalty-how-to-approach-the-royals-a227898

Shakesbear
02-25-2011, 02:38 AM
From the 'Official Website of the British Monarchy'
http://www.royal.gov.uk/HMTheQueen/GreetingtheQueen/Overview.aspx

You could always contact the website and ask them!

I think Victoria was more reserved and her court more protocol ridden.

Buffysquirrel
02-25-2011, 02:44 AM
You would be presented to the monarch before you could approach them. Bowing/curtseying are pretty much part of the protocol. Also, you must not turn your back on them. Good luck walking backwards if you haven't practised!

Duchessmary
02-25-2011, 05:27 AM
Most people, especially if you're a British subject, do it. It's a stiff bow from the neck for men, a deep curtsey for women. And yes, do not turn your back. You must back away, and hope you don't fall on your butt. :roll:

jaksen
02-25-2011, 05:32 AM
But if you're American you don't have to bow to anybody.

And yes I know we see Americans on TV do it all the time. Point is, they don't have to.

Duchessmary
02-25-2011, 08:09 AM
Yes but we are talking about Victorian times.

Amadan
02-25-2011, 08:24 AM
Yes but we are talking about Victorian times.

Even in Victorian times -- Americans were not British subjects, and not obligated to bow/curtsy to royalty.

Shakesbear
02-25-2011, 10:55 AM
But if you're American you don't have to bow to anybody.

And yes I know we see Americans on TV do it all the time. Point is, they don't have to.

Mostly it is courtesy and possibly respect. Point is that no one has to be courteous to the head of another state. Not as in United States.

pdr
02-25-2011, 11:32 AM
was rigid.

One was introduced by the major domo, escorted to the queen, made a deep to the floor curtsy or the low bow, and waited to be spoken to.

When dismissed one backed away. At more informal social gatherings with others in attendance around the queen one backed away the correct distance and then merged into the people. I believe the distance was around 3 metres, 9 -10 feet before it was correct to merge. In a very formal one on one meeting you jolly well backed out of the room when dismissed. I believe there were officials to field you if you wobbled or veered as you backed off.

The curtsy and bow were not the same as the ordinary every day ones. There were degrees of bowing and curtsying and they could be used to express superiority and the level of one's snobbishness or anger or disdain. The woman's curtsy is very difficult to do because the back must be straight all the way down and up, yet your rear nearly touches the floor! Anyone with classical ballet training who learnt to do the reverence knows what I mean.

Priene
02-25-2011, 01:23 PM
Mostly it is courtesy and possibly respect. Point is that no one has to be courteous to the head of another state. Not as in United States.

Nobody in Britain has to, nor has for several centuries. How many months in Pentonville do you get for failing to be obsequious?

Shakesbear
02-25-2011, 02:28 PM
Nobody in Britain has to, nor has for several centuries. How many months in Pentonville do you get for failing to be obsequious?


I don't get any months in Pentonville. I is a female and would go to Holloway! :tongue

Torgo
02-25-2011, 03:27 PM
I met Prince Philip once, didn't have to bow. Could be that he's not bow-worthy as he's the Queen's Consort rather than King or something, though.

Buffysquirrel
02-25-2011, 04:36 PM
Sure, nobody *has* to do all this stuff. It's just protocol. Although why you would go through all the flapdoodle to get yourself presented to the monarch only in order to insult them, I can't imagine. It just doesn't seem worth it.

geekyMary
02-25-2011, 06:40 PM
This is great stuff. Thanks very much!

Amadan
02-25-2011, 09:32 PM
Sure, nobody *has* to do all this stuff. It's just protocol. Although why you would go through all the flapdoodle to get yourself presented to the monarch only in order to insult them, I can't imagine. It just doesn't seem worth it.

An American (or any non-British subject) who doesn't bow/curtsy to the British monarch is not being insulting. You can be respectful without displaying what symbolically represents submission to their authority. I would be offended to see any American bowing to the Queen. Not bowing to kings and queens was one of the things that unpleasantness in the 1770s was about...

Priene
02-25-2011, 09:34 PM
An American (or any non-British subject) who doesn't bow/curtsy to the British monarch is not being insulting. You can be respectful without displaying what symbolically represents submission to their authority. I would be offended to see any American bowing to the Queen. Not bowing to kings and queens was one of the things that unpleasantness in the 1770s was about...

We don't submit to their authority. We had some unpleasantness in the 1640s that sorted all that out.

Buffysquirrel
02-25-2011, 10:17 PM
An American (or any non-British subject) who doesn't bow/curtsy to the British monarch is not being insulting. You can be respectful without displaying what symbolically represents submission to their authority. I would be offended to see any American bowing to the Queen. Not bowing to kings and queens was one of the things that unpleasantness in the 1770s was about...

What authority?

I think if you deliberately violate protocol it will certainly be perceived as insulting. Bit like omitting to refer to former presidents as Mr President.

jaksen
02-25-2011, 10:31 PM
It's not a matter of protocol. Americans do not have to bow to anyone. But we can show our respect in other ways. If she offers her hand, we will take it. If she speaks to us or acknowledges us, we will respond politely. This goes for all 'royalty' in all nations which still have royals.

Buffysquirrel
02-25-2011, 10:40 PM
It's not a matter of protocol. Americans do not have to bow to anyone. But we can show our respect in other ways. If she offers her hand, we will take it. If she speaks to us or acknowledges us, we will respond politely. This goes for all 'royalty' in all nations which still have royals.

It is a matter of protocol, and that's all it is. British people don't have to bow to anyone, either, but if we put ourselves in a position where it's expected, we know that not doing so would be bad manners.

Oh, and you don't touch the Queen. Seriously.

Amadan
02-25-2011, 10:49 PM
Sure, nobody *has* to do all this stuff. It's just protocol. Although why you would go through all the flapdoodle to get yourself presented to the monarch only in order to insult them, I can't imagine. It just doesn't seem worth it.


What authority?

I think if you deliberately violate protocol it will certainly be perceived as insulting. Bit like omitting to refer to former presidents as Mr President.


Did you actually read the link above? The official website (http://www.royal.gov.uk/HMTheQueen/GreetingtheQueen/Overview.aspx) of the British monarchy says that the "traditional" bow/curtsy is optional.

It is not protocol for Americans to bow to the queen.


Oh, and you don't touch the Queen. Seriously.

From the official website:


Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.

DrZoidberg
02-25-2011, 11:08 PM
Every royal house has their unique little twist on how it is done. Each royal house today should have a web page or resource where they explain how it works and why. Good luck.

pdr
02-28-2011, 02:03 AM
all this fuss about bowing the reason why many of the Americans I met in Japan could not/would not? use the Japanese bow? It is still common there to bow on meeting people.

Amadan
02-28-2011, 02:15 AM
all this fuss about bowing the reason why many of the Americans I met in Japan could not/would not? use the Japanese bow? It is still common there to bow on meeting people.


I imagine most Americans don't bow because they don't know how to do it right. A bow in Japan is more like a handshake. Bowing to someone in greeting isn't the same as bowing to the Emperor (which would definitely not be appropriate for an American).

mtrenteseau
02-28-2011, 07:58 AM
I think if you deliberately violate protocol it will certainly be perceived as insulting. Bit like omitting to refer to former presidents as Mr President.

Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners) has stated that as there is only one President of the United States, and only one Vice President, former holders of these offices should be referred to by the highest title they held that is not unique.

Thus, Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush would be addressed as "Governor," while George H.W. Bush would be addressed as "Ambassador," which would be a higher title than "Congressman." Obama, when he leaves office, would once again be "Senator."

This tradition dates to the earliest Presidents - Washington insisted on being addressed as "General," while Jefferson failed to mention his presidency in his epitaph. Needless to say this rule hasn't been followed at least since Taft, who managed to be both "Mr. President" and "Mr. Chief Justice."

Torgo
02-28-2011, 02:14 PM
On touching the Queen: fine, a handshake if it's offered, but you can get in trouble for unsolicited touching. I seem to remember the Aussie PM getting into a bit of bother for putting his arm around her at one point.

DrZoidberg
02-28-2011, 04:10 PM
On touching the Queen: fine, a handshake if it's offered, but you can get in trouble for unsolicited touching. I seem to remember the Aussie PM getting into a bit of bother for putting his arm around her at one point.

It must have been traumatic to get a reminder of what kind of riff-raff they sent to the colonies :)

Torgo
02-28-2011, 06:27 PM
It must have been traumatic to get a reminder of what kind of riff-raff they sent to the colonies :)
Indeed! Check out the shameful display (http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2007/05/08/va1237245883769/Keating-5475324.jpg). They called him 'The Lizard of Oz' thereafter.