Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, December 11, 2014



At first, it seemed like any other photo op for LeBron James. Over the past decade, he has posed for thousands of pictures...and not just with basketball fans. He's been snapped with admiring politicians, famous movie stars, hip-hop heroes...even President Obama. However, this time, Big #23 was taking a photo with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. LeBron made a huge faux pas when he put his arm around Kate Middleton. Instantly, British tabloids erupted. The Independent called it a "blatant disregard for protocol." The Guardian called it "gauche."

To help our readers avoid the same embarrassment suffered by LeBron, we here at the DUNER BLOG have some handy tips for meeting Royalty for the first time.

The Invitation.  First of all, the Queen doesn't invite people to events. She commands them to attend. Here's how the process works: You'll receive written correspondence from the proper staff member. The Lord Stewart of the Household oversees banquets. The Master of the Household handles funeral and memorial services, while the Lost Chamberlain organizes Garden Parties and Weddings. It will arrive via ROYAL MAIL.

Your Reply.   Don't send a text saying: C U then. According to Debrett's in London, your reply should be in this written form: "Sir Duner and Lady Godiva present their compliments to the Lord Chamberlain, and have the honour to obey her Majesty's command to the luncheon on April Second." NOTE: Do not refuse any command from the Queen. If you absolutely must decline, illness is the only acceptable excuse.

The Greeting.  When you approach royalty, men should bow and ladies should curtsy. Just make sure you do them correctly. A bow shall be "an inclination of the head, not from the waist." Likewise, the curtsy should be a "discreet but dignified bob." Both gestures should never be "prolonged or exaggerated." Needless to say, High Fives and Fist Pumps are not allowed.

Your Language.  When in the company of royalty, be sure to alter your vernacular. See, before you say anything to the Queen of England, you must always first employ her title: Your Majesty. Subsequent references use 'Ma'am' (rhymes with Pam). If you have to introduce your friend to a monarch, you say: "May I present Lord Disick, Your Majesty." You should always refer from shaking hands, kissing cheeks or touching any member of a Royal House.

Your Toast.  If your engagement with the Queen is going swimmingly, you might feel the need to raise a glass and toast her. Don't embarrass yourself with your usual toast: 'Over the lips; past the gums. Watch out stomach, here it comes! Chug!.' Nope, you'll impress her by first praying for silence, then announcing your intent to propose a Loyalty Toast. Be sure to name all royalty present by rank. Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke & Duchess of Cambridge all require notice. If you're in Lancaster or the Channel Islands, different rules apply.

Your Departure.  Don't be like LeBron and run to the locker room. Have dignity and request permission to withdraw from the Duke. Then, thank them for allowing you in their presence. Finally, you must bow or curtsy appropriately, then leave.

See? You're all set. Next time royalty comes knocking, you'll be prepared!

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