The Dos and Don’t of Royal Wedding Etiquette

Yesterday Haute Living looked at the bizarre party of people who have secured the golden tickets to the Royal Wedding. Along with the invite these guests also received a 32-page protocol on what is to be accepted and expected.

Today, with just two days to go, we look at 15 points of etiquette our guests will be following at the royal wedding.

1. Women dress appropriately. Kate will be following the tradition of wearing a white gown that Will’s great-great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, started in 1840. You do not. White is strictly out, as are bright garish colours, sleeveless dresses and any cleavage. Hats or a fascinator are a must.

2. Men dress appropriately. Morning dress, full tails, or formal military uniforms. Simple.

3. Do not be late. The Queen is always the last person seated. Always.

4. Do not tweet from inside Westminster Cathedral. We’re betting that at least one tweet will sneak out.

5. When meeting the Queen, Prince Charles, and Kate’s parents in the receiving line make sure you address each correctly. Call the Queen ‘Your Majesty’ for the first time you encounter her and then ‘Ma’am,’ rhyming with jam or ham, not palm or harm, for any meetings after.

6. Do not refer to royals by name: instead of ‘Prince Charles’, opt for his title, ‘The Prince of Wales’ or ‘His Royal Highness’. ‘Charlie’ or ‘Willie’ will most definitely not be answered.

7. Do not speak unless you are spoken to and even when conversation is flowing do not ask personal questions.

8. Do not touch the Queen. Do not touch any of the royals. Michelle Obama take note.

9. Present yourself correctly. Lady Zara Phillips has said that people do not know how to curtsy anymore and so make sure yours is just a quick bob with the weight on the front. A quick bob for the men. Apparently the royals find elaborate gestures very funny.

10. Don’t start eating until the Queen starts and when she’s finished, you do too. Apparently she’s a considerate host though and will slow down should someone be lagging.

11. If you need the toilet during dinner, you’re in trouble. Leaving mid-course will cause massive disrespect. If you really have to go, wait until the end of the course and ask a servant to discreetly to take you.

12. Don’t drink too much. Everyone will be offered a glass of wine or champagne; maybe a second. You are rarely offered a third.

13. Be charitable. Family and friends will give gifts while everyone else has been asked to donate to one of the 26 charities selected by William and Kate.

14. Send a letter of thanks to the member of the Royal Household that sent you the invite.

15. Many of these rules will be relaxed for the evening party when more of Williams and Kate’s personal friends will arrive. But still, making wild shapes on the dance floor will no doubt be disapproved.

See who’s going to the royal wedding here.