Mind Your P’s and Qs- Royal Wedding Etiquette and Traditions You Never Knew About

If you’re lucky enough to score an invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding, chances are you already know a little about royal etiquette- after all, their ceremony and guest list are much smaller than Prince William’s 2011 marriage to Kate Middleton, and it’s mostly comprised of fellow members of the royal family, foreign dignitaries, and friends of the couple. However, even if you’re not invited, it’s fun to brush up on royal etiquette, so you can better appreciate the lengths that people go to when they show respect and homage to the crown. Here are a few royal wedding traditions and points of etiquette that you may not know about.

1. Everyone must acknowledge the Queen with a bow or curtsey as she passes by

As the monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II is the most senior member of the royal family, and her presence is traditionally acknowledged with a bow or curtsey, depending on your gender. Men bow from the head – think of it as a slightly prolonged nod, with your hands by your sides – while women curtsey by crossing their feet at the ankle and dipping their knees slightly. If you want to show the Queen how much you respect and honor her, you can make the bow or curtsey last slightly longer, but there’s no need to do anything showy.

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