The Etiquette Training Meghan Markle Had to Get Before She Married Prince Harry
Meghan Markle may have snagged herself a prince, but her induction into the royal family was no easy feat. As the American-born actress readied to wed Prince Harry, she had to learn a whole new set of rules and regulations. That’s right — Meghan had to have etiquette lessons. And there was more to her princess training than just learning how to curtsy before Queen Elizabeth. (But we’ll get to that in just a second.)
The Windsor Wave
Etiquette experts were critical of Meghan’s wave in her first public appearance with Harry, calling her motion too enthusiastic. So, she had to perfect that dainty gesture most associated with Queen Elizabeth and the British monarchy. “It’s a vertical hand with a slight twist from the wrist, a classy affair that oozes decorum but doesn’t get too excitable,” royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells ABC News.
Royal etiquette expert Myka Meier tells The Observer Meghan had to learn how to properly greet people — which is reportedly very different from the everyday greeting. “Verbiage is very different,” Meier says of British greetings versus American greetings. She notes a formal “how do you do?” is most often used.
The Duchess Slant
Crossing your legs may sound like the lady-like way to sit. But if you’re a royal, crossing your legs is actually frowned upon! Meghan had to learn the Duchess Slant, named after her sister-in-law Kate Middleton. Meier tells People Magazine “by slightly slanting the knees to create a zig-zag effect when wearing a dress or skirt, your legs are angled so that the camera only shoots the sides of your legs and protects your modesty.”
The Cambridge Cross
There is one exception to the Duchess Slant, and that is the Cambridge Cross. (Again, named for Kate Middleton.) This position is achieved by keeping knees pressed together and keeping both heels on the ground whilst crossing the ankles. It’s modest and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention up the legs.
Meier tells The Observer the way Meghan eats required princess lessons, “from how to hold cutlery to how the table is set, to which fork and knife are used and when.” Holding cutlery properly is a huge part of British etiquette, and is a way of showing respect for the culture and the monarchy.
Curtsy etiquette is incredibly important in the royal family, even among each other. Since Meghan married into the family, she has to curtsy to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, and the other “blood royals” in the family. (Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, for example.) However, if Prince Harry is with her at the time, Meghan’s “status” is elevated, and the blood princesses have to curtsy to her.
Time for tea
Tea time in the U.K. comes with a lot of rules. As one hotel tells Vogue, everything from when you add milk to how you pronounce the word “scone” has to be done a specific way. Since Meghan reportedly met the queen for tea before she and Harry got engaged, she had a leg up on this portion of her etiquette lessons.
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