Queen has “never put a foot wrong” in the eyes of the public, says expert
In pre-pandemic years, the Queen would host more than 50,000 people at various garden parties, lunches, dinners, banquets and receptions at Buckingham Palace. Amid a series of health concerns, Her Majesty has withdrawn from royal duties in recent weeks. She missed the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph and also withdrew from the COP26 summit among a number of other planned engagements. However, she still plans to welcome the entire royal family to Sandringham this Christmas.
She will host the grand festive gathering at the Norfolk residence after reassuring her family that she is “far better” and “looking forward” to starting the festivities, Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers reported last week.
When meeting the queen, a certain protocol must be followed, also for family members.
However, it is expected to be relaxed behind closed doors as the family gathers to eat, drink and make up for last year’s canceled festivities.
Guests must follow a six-point protocol on all royal occasions, as described by Royal Author Karen Dolby in her book ‘The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II’.
The protocol, Mrs. Dolby wrote, “must not give Her Majesty little cause for amusement, at least privately.”
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The Queen’s guests must follow royal protocol.
The Queen will be hosting the entire Royal Family in Sandringham this Christmas.
The first point, Mrs Dolby said, is that everyone should stand when the Queen enters the room because she “never has time off.”
The rule even applied to Prince Philip, though Mrs. Dolby remarked that the Queen probably relaxed the rule when they were alone.
The second rule is that the queen must first be addressed as “Your Majesty” and afterwards as “Madam”.
Mrs. Dolby explained that the pronunciation should rhyme with “ham not hurt” and guests should return to “Your Majesty” when the Queen leaves the room.
According to the third rule, women must refuse, while men can bend from the shoulders or nod in the neck, both when they meet and say goodbye to the monarch.
Everyone must stand when the Queen enters the room, a rule that even applied to Prince Philip.
Mrs Dolby said: ‘The Queen herself is said to be very relaxed in terms of returning and commented that it’ is not necessarily true for modern times’.
“The last person she bowed to was her father, King George VI.”
The fourth rule has been somewhat disregarded in recent years, with the exception of a few ceremonial occasions, due to health and safety measures.
Guests previously had to walk backwards on departure.
For the penultimate rule, when dinner is served, no guest can start eating before the queen, nor can they continue when she is finished.
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Michelle Obama admitted that the Queen once said that the Royal Protocol is ‘nonsense’.
The last rule is that Her Majesty is not meant to be touched.
Mrs. Dolby wrote, “If she gives a hand, it is polite to take it, but for the shortest touch rather than a full handshake.”
She continued: “Follow these rules and your meeting with the Queen should go smoothly.
“But even the most educated in such matters can still slip.
Donald Trump has reportedly broken the protocol on five occasions.
“Despite the general understanding that the Queen should not be touched, there have been some notable violations of this ‘rule’.”
During a Q&A session in 2018, Michelle Obama reminded that the Queen once told her that royal protocol is “nonsense”.
And former President Donald Trump reportedly managed to break the royal protocol on five separate occasions.
He was reportedly late for Windsor Castle on his first visit to the UK in 2018, and immediately went straight for a handshake.
After breaking the tradition twice in a matter of minutes, he then walked in front of the queen.
On yet another visit in 2019, he again took a handshake as he greeted Her Majesty. Melania also shook hands with the monarch.
Eventually, it appeared that Trump was touching the queen’s back as she rose from her seat at Buckingham Palace during a visit that coincided with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing.
‘The Wicked Wit of Queen Elizabeth II’ is written by Karen Dolby and published by Michael O’Mara in 2015. It is available here.