7 things you’re forbidden from doing in the Queen’s presence.
1. Don’t touch Her Majesty
This rule dates back to Medieval times, when, as historian Kate Williams puts it, “monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods, so they demanded to be treated as gods.”
2. Don’t show up empty handed
What do you get the woman who already has everything? Sure, the Queen has several homes full of priceless trinkets, but bringing a gift is a must.
3. Stand to attention
You may be dead on your heavily-bunioned feet – but you should always stand when the Queen enters the room.
You may only sit once she’s nice and comfy, so keep a close eye on when the Queen sits down herself.
4. Don’t just twiddle your thumbs
When the Queen is making a beeline for you, or when you’re next in the line to meet her, it’s important you either bow or curtsy (depending on whether you’re a woman or a man).
5. Resist the temptation to refer to her by her first name
Or, heaven forbid, by a NICKNAME.
6. Only speak if the Queen speaks to you
Remember when you were a small child and all your elders would drop wisdom such as “don’t speak unless spoken to first” and “children should be seen and not heard”?
The same applies to meeting the Queen.
7. Don’t eat before she does
No matter how tasty and tempting the banquet morsels spread in front you look, you can only start eating once the Queen does.
So perhaps have a quick snack beforehand, in case any speeches go on for a long time.
Oh, and if she has finished eating, you better be full too.