Top tips on how to behave as a new member of the Royal Family
With the Royal Wedding now just two months away Meghan Markle, the newest addition to the Royal Family, will be studying and practicing new etiquette and protocol skills that will be essential in ensuring her future success, both as a member of the Royal Family and Ambassador to many charitable causes. Whilst these rules may appear reserved for the upper classes, we can all take some guidance from the skills that she will be learning.
Here are my top tips on how to be elegant and refined like a royal:
1. Public displays of affection should be avoided, and social kissing is only reserved for those that we know well as it is an intimate gesture. The guidelines for the Royal Family are stricter; they should not be touched by anyone, although they can initiate body contact if they wish. This rule dates back to the middle ages when it was believed the monarchy was appointed by God and should be treated as such.
2. Careful attention should be given to deportment i.e. how we carry ourselves. No number of designer handbags or sunglasses will compensate for the inelegant image of someone slouching when sitting or walking.
3. Ladies should sit either with their knees together or ankles crossed. For optimum refinement I suggest keeping your knees together and slanting your legs to one side, thus avoiding the inelegant ‘V’ gap, which can occur when legs are crossed.
4. Personal grooming is paramount for consistent elegance. This doesn’t mean full makeup and a ball gown on a daily basis, but rather using products to highlight features in an understated manner. Royal ladies are given strict guidelines to ensure that they do not look overly made-up. Nail polish, if worn, should be neutral; one of the most popular shades is Ballet Slippers by Essie, apparently the Queen’s favourite, and worn by Meghan Markle for the official engagement photos.
5. Modern technology brings a whole new set of etiquette rules and the Royal Family has a strict ‘no selfie’ policy. Thankfully we do not have to adhere to this, but we should respect others privacy and gain their permission before posting any photos on social media channels.
6. A good knowledge of dining etiquette is essential when creating a refined image. You may walk well, dress well and speak well but if you are shovelling food in your mouth and eating like my dog with her head in the bowl then all illusions of refinement will collapse. Meghan Markle will need to abandon the American style of eating, often referred to as the zigzag method, and learn to place the tines of the fork down at all times when dining in the British style.
7. Keeping up to date with current affairs, movies, books and world events means you can feel confident when meeting new people. Small talk is essential in building relationships; after all, you can’t get on to the big talk without the small talk first! Forming new alliances with people from a variety of backgrounds is not only vital for Meghan Markle, but for all of us.
8. Learning how to control our emotions is challenging; avoiding drama, negativity and gossip is the first step to maintaining our dignity. Meghan Markle will have to work very hard in perfecting this skill, especially with the inevitable media attention.Finally, a truly elegant and refined persona starts within our hearts. It really doesn’t matter whether you are royalty or not, treating everyone as equals and showing kindness, respect and consideration regardless of someone’s background, social class, education or nationality is the mark of a truly elegant and refined person.