The rules of royalty: etiquette lessons for the modern-day princess

What does it mean to be a Royal?

There is something so incredibly fascinating about the royal families of the world. It’s their old school, traditional ways of dressing and behaving and conforming to regulations that no longer have value in our modern world.

In saying that there are some etiquette tips that even the modern woman should learn to master. A princesses’ polish and poise can easily translate to the boardroom, dining room and bedroom.

These royal etiquette tips will give you the cutting edge you need to display timeless class in modern day.

1. Posture makes perfect 
I did 10 years of ballet lessons and while I can’t thank the classes for destroying my feet, I can be grateful for my lifetime lesson of ensuring good posture.

My teacher always told me to stand as if a thread is pulling up through your stomach up, into the centre of your neck and through the middle of your head. Stand tall, shoulders back and down with your chin parallel to the ground.

Posture is of critical importance, not only to the royals but to how people perceive you. It is noted that good posture represents self-worth and confidence….so stand tall.

2. Deliver a meaningful handshake 
They say your handshake reveals a lot about your personality. If you want to act royal, here’s the breakdown of the official (kind of) royal handshake: Keep direct eye contact with the person in front of you, grasp their hand firmly but not painfully, shake for one or two pumps (no more!), and shine a royal smile.

A handshake can also accompany a kiss on the cheek. It is recommended that both men and particularly women learn to adopt a handshake policy in business. It is a social greeting that sets a positive tone to the start of a business relationship.

3. The ladylike leg lean
Duchess Kate is the poster child for royal elegance – surprising considering her ‘non-royal’ upbringing. She always sits straight up with an egg-width distance between her back and the seat and her chin parallel to the floor.

Her legs stay together with a slight lean, which prevents people from seeing up her dress. You will note she never crosses her legs. Not only does this lift the skirt too high to reveal some scandalous thigh, but it also leaves an impression on your leg which is bad for photos.

If you have to sit on stage, or in a public forum, try the leg lean. For extra comfort tuck one ankle behind the other and place your hands in your lap – this will help you with your balance and ensure you don’t slouch.

4. Hold your teacup in a pinch & your wine glass by the stem.
Despite every British farce, you never, and I repeat never, raise your pinkie in the air when you drink a cup of tea.

Pinch your fingers together through the handle and use the other hand to hold the saucer.
As for wine, by holding the stem you avoid heating the wine and also dirtying the glass with your finger marks.

If you are wearing lipstick, make a point to drink from the same spot to avoid a ring of colour.

5. Hold utensils in the correct hand
While we don’t expect every family to set their table with three types of forks and knives like the royals, you can demonstrate proper table manners that will make you a polished and perfect dinner party guest.

Hold your knife in your right hand and you fork in your left with the fines facing down.
Instead of stabbing your food, balance your food on back of your fork, then bring it to your mouth. This will encourage you to take smaller portions and digest your food mindfully.

These every day tips will trick everyone into thinking you’ve attended finishing school…just like a royal.

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