How NOT to Behave when Meeting Royalty…

09 Nov 2009

Katie Heskett's lessons in etiquette

It’s not every day of the week that you get an invite to the British Embassy for a cocktail party with HRH Prince Andrew to mark the countdown to the 2012 Olympics. So with this in mind – and to ensure I made my grandparents proud – I logged on and researched what you’re supposed to do when meeting royalty:

1. Curtsey using your right foot back and a slight bob (not easy in heels, believe me)
2. Refer to them as Your Royal Highness and from then on as Sir
3. Never put your hand out to shake theirs… if they want to, HRH will make the first move

With research and practice complete, I was ready. But with over a hundred guests, I wasn’t expecting a one-on-one, so the above wouldn’t be needed… surely!?

How wrong I was. And how embarrassing it would all end up being…

The shock of having the man himself come up and join us – I was too distracted by Freddie Flintoff to see him approaching – then resulted in me sticking out my hand and exclaiming… “Oh hello Andrew, how lovely to meet you. Welcome to Dubai”. No Sir. No Curtsey. And definitely no waiting for the first move.

But being ever the gentleman, he brushed off my subsequent guffawing and rouge blushes and proceeded to shake hands with everyone there before dashing off to the next group of starstruck Brits. Now that’s what I call a professional – and a real nice guy.

And now at least I know for next time…