Royal etiquetteYou must prepare yourself for what you are going to say when you are presented to the Queen. At the initial presentation you must address the Queen as “Your Majesty”. After this, throughout the duration of the visit you will call her Ma’am. Contrary to myth, Buckingham Palace assures us that the word “Ma’am” is not pronounced like “harm” or “palm” but like “dam” or “jam.  The same etiquette rules apply to other members of the Queen’s family. So initially you would refer to them as ‘Your Royal Highness’ and for the remainder of the visit “Ma’am“ or “Sir”.  Always allow the Queen or other member of the royal family to lead the conversation. It isn’t good form to change the topic and you should only ask very polite questions such as whether Her Majesty is enjoying the performance and not “How’s life in the Royal Household?” which would be completely unacceptable.

When in conversation with somebody at a Royal event you can refer to Her Majesty as “The Queen” but my recommendation is that it is more polite to refer to her as “Her Majesty”. If speaking about Prince Philip you should refer to him as the Duke of Edinburgh as it is considered rude to not use his official title and the same applies to all members of the Royal Family.  At all times you should be calm in the presence of royalty without being loud. Be yourself but think before you speak since your company is not going to be appreciated if you stumble across your words or are impolite in front of “Her Royal Highness”.

If you have to make a formal speech where The Queen is present, the correct procedure is to commence with “May it please Your Majesty” and when you have finished your speech to end with “Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to rise and join me in a toast: The Queen!”

How to behave during the National Anthem
When the National Anthem is played Royal etiquette demand you stand up, with arms straight down and hands at your side. Everyone present must sing the National Anthem. Many people get the line at the end of each verse wrong – it is not “God save our Queen” it’s “God save The Queen”. Few people know the second verse of the National Anthem but I recommend that you learn it before attending any state occasion because it may be necessary to sing the second verse. Whilst it is likely to be printed in the order of service it’s much better to memorise it rather than have to find it in your programme. Here are the two verses of the National Anthem:

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God Save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God Save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour
Long may she reign!
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God Save the Queen!

To learn more about Royal etiquette or etiquette generally for children please do get in touch.

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