Touching Queen Elizabeth has long been considered one of the greatest taboos surrounding the British monarch, one of the unwritten rules about how people are expected to behave around the royal family.
When American actress Meghan Markle walks down the aisle of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to marry the queen’s grandson Prince Harry on May 19, she will have to have mastered those protocols.
Lucy Hume, the associate director at Debrett’s, a professional coaching company founded in 1769 and an authority on modern British etiquette, explains how members of the public should act if they happen to meet a member of Britain’s royal family.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I MEET A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY?
“One of the key things to bear in mind is how to greet a member of the royal family when you meet them for the first time, and it’s customary in a formal situation for women to curtsy - a brief bob is sufficient - and for men to bow from the neck.”
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I MEET A ROYAL AT A LESS FORMAL EVENT?
“Sometimes you might encounter a member of the royal family at a reception or a less formal occasion, in which case it might be appropriate to shake their hand, but it’s best to wait for them to offer their hand first before you reach out yours.”