Buckingham Palace was kind enough to remind American journalists what is appropriate attire around visiting members of the Royal Family, so I wanted to take the opportunity to address proper etiquette. In preparation for the visit the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have planned to New York City, this post is dedicated to the topic of How to be a Lady.
-Always behave as if there are cameras on you. Because in this day and age, there probably are.
-Be well read and articulate. A lady is an excellent conversationalist, never curses or stammers and can speak knowledgably about a wide range of topics.
-Never lose your temper or yell. You do not need to raise your voice to make an impactful statement.
-Be confident in manner and speech.
-Have good posture.
-When standing, your hands should be at your sides or across your diaphragm. Never on your nether regions.
-Don’t play with your hair in public.
-Don’t play with your hair while grabbing your nether regions.
-Dress properly in garments that fit well and aren’t revealing. The only thing worse than exposing your undergarments with sheer clothing…
… is exposing yourself wearing no undergarments.
-In addition to not being immodest, attire should be appropriate for the day’s activities.
-Never adjust your undergarments in public. Always excuse yourself and adjust in a lavatory or other area where you will have total privacy.
-Don’t bite your nails.
-Always exercise proper etiquette when eating and drinking. For example, champagne flutes should only be held by the stem.
-Never drink excessively.
-Take your sunglasses off when speaking with someone, unless he or she is a very close friend or family member.
-Be a gracious guest. Smile warmly and thank your host or hostess for his or her hospitality.
-When exiting a car, pivot when you are still seated so both feet hit the ground outside the car at once. Getting out one foot at a time not only looks awkward, it can result in an embarrassing flash of undergarments.
– Never behave snobbishly, treat others with respect. Class has nothing to do with lineage or titles, it’s about how you act towards others.
– Do not whisper or gossip, it can make others feel ill at ease.
– A lady is always gracious in any activity and is careful not to flaunt her success at the expense of others. As American Football Coach, Paul Brown, stated, “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”
-When in the company of others, keep your cell phones away. Texting, Tweeting and talking on the phone sends the message you do not find your present company interesting enough to give your undivided attention.
-Always remember that your actions in public reflect on how well you were raised.
-When traveling abroad, always remember you are a guest of that country.
While the Royal Family may have certain expectations of conduct from society towards its representatives, society also has certain expectations from the Royal Family’s representatives. Can respect and special concessions be demanded for a duchess who cannot even manage to conduct herself as a lady, especially in a country where titles are merely quaint reminders of a system of government our country has rejected? Perhaps the focus should be on Kate acclimating herself to the customs of the country she is visiting as well as familiarizing herself with how to behave as a lady instead of making demands on our free press.