Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Fascinating Friday (Protocol for meeting and speaking to Royalty)

On Fridays we discuss the technical aspects of Royalty, their traditions and functions. Today we will have a short post dealing with the interesting aspect of meeting and\or greeting a Royal followed by the laws of protocol in speaking to them. The funny thing with speaking to Royalty in public is that these rules apply even to them in relating to one another. Royalty can only be free from the requirements of protocol when they are of the exact same rank and to some degree when they meet as families in private. Here follows the intricacies of a public encounter.

When one is due to meet a Royal it will be made clear to you what is expected by an attendant. The chances of meeting Royalty without being screened by officials is impossible unless you are a direct member of the family. Even government officials and other Royals will always first pass through the curtain of "the attendant". So you will be briefed of protocol before you meet a Royal and it follows that you will be announced. Thus you will never speak to a Royal without first being announced. Once announced you will be faced by the Royal who will wait for you to bow the head if you are male or for a curtsy if you are female. This is only necessary if your rank is lower than the Royal you are meeting.

The Countess Dysart executes a perfect curtsy to Empress Crystobel. A curtsy is performed by ladies only and takes place by placing the left leg behind the right and bending the knees and dropping the chin. The left arm is swept back and the right crosses over the chest. If the Royal being curtsied to feels generous they could take the right hand of the person curtsying and "help" them upright.

The Grand Duke of Serbieski bows to Lady Arcwhite at an official meeting. Men just bend forward slightly and drop their heads when showing the expected courtesy to a superior rank.

During the curtsy or bow the Royal being met will greet the visitor by their title and/or name first which is then followed by the visitor greeting the Royal using their style of address. We dealt with the styles of address in detail in a previous Fascinating Friday post regarding that topic. Let's use the first photo to reconstruct what the dialogue would have sounded like to serve as an example. The Countess Dysart curtsies and is greeted by the Empress as follows: "Good afternoon Lady Dysart." The Countess responds: "Good afternoon, Your Imperial Majesty." In the second photo Lady Arcwhite received her visitor as follows: "Good day, Your Grand Ducal Highness." To which the Grand Duke responds: "Good day, Lady Arcwhite. "

After the introduction the discussion ensues and the higher ranking person is allowed to lead and end the conversation. The style of address is used once during the greeting then it is followed by "sir" or "ma'am" depending on the gender of the Royal. Once the conversation comes to an end one is expected to bid farewell using the appropriate style of address once more for the last time.

That is the simple process for meeting a higher ranking Royal officially. Hope it will help you when the day comes that you have the privilege.


  1. Hello from Spain: I studied a course of a year on the protocol. I remember that the bows were very complicated. The protocol is a symbol of education and respect but it is very difficult ... We remain in contact blog blog

  2. The Countess Dysart is so pretty!! What kind of doll is she?

    1. Hi Sergio. I actually can't remember exactly. I think she might be the Raquelle doll from the Barbie 2011 Fashionista range.