Royal etiquette tips, just in case you meet Will & Kate this weekend


The lady in the Canadian flag dress should see #4 below.  Photo by Arne Berg.

Just in case you meet Will and/or Kate this weekend while they’re in Ottawa, here are some quick etiquette tips, adapted from the Canadian Heritage web site.

  1. Members of the Royal Family are called Your Royal Highness initially and Sir/Ma’am as the conversation continues.
  2. It is up to those meeting members of the Royal Family to choose whether or not they wish to bow/curtsy or simply shake hands.  Description of a bow/curtsy for those who choose to make it:
    Men: a neck bow – just a little more than a nod of the head;
    Women: the right foot is placed behind the left heel, and the knees bent slightly.
  3. It is quite in order to shake hands if the opportunity presents itself and a member of the Royal Family offers to do so.
  4. Members of The Royal Family do not wish anyone to be put to unnecessary expense by buying special clothes, hats or gloves. 
  5. There is no requirement for hats to be worn, though it is entirely acceptable to do so. Hats are not normally worn at functions after 6:30 p.m.
  6. There is no requirement for gloves to be worn. However, if a woman wishes to wear gloves, they need not be white and should not be taken off before the wearer is presented.
  7. Members of the Royal Family like to eat the food and drink of the country/region visited.
  8. Will & Kate would probably prefer tea instead of a double double from Timmy’s.

More tips and protocol here…

See also: Ottawa Royal Tour Guide
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OttawaStart Staff


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