3 Social Customs to Master Before Dating a Prince
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So you’re being wooed by royalty—congratulations! If you’re lucky enough to be courted by your prince in person—rather than being married by proxy hundreds of miles away for political reasons—you’re going to run into some tricky social situations. Herewith, some advice:
Grooming and deportment
Cover your head and arms at all times—your hair and skin, while beautiful, are not for all to see. (That said, your neckline may plunge as low as your armpit!)
Play it cool: walk at a sedate pace and hold your head high, but be careful about catching anyone’s eye—people will be quick to read what they wish into your gaze. However, you must always maintain eye contact with your social betters lest you be thought rude, dishonest or scheming. Always present your face to nobility—never your back.
If a person of greater social standing should join your group, fall back and allow the highest-ranking persons to stand closest together.
Under no circumstances should you touch the hands of or link arms with a man not of your own family. Scandalous!
In the English court, BYO knife and never eat with a fork—it is for cooking only. Spoons are solely for broth. Use both hands if drinking from a shared vessel, but if offered a drink from the host’s goblet, do not presume to pass it on.
Take your cues from the senior-most royal at the high table: only begin eating after them and lay down your knife when they do.
Courtship and marriage
Items you may accept from your beloved include: hairbands, brooches, lace, handkerchiefs, combs, cuffs or gloves. You may carry his portrait or standard, even a ring, so long as you accept the gift with humility.
You’ll already be married to your English prince by the time you greet your people: the ceremony will take place in private before a public procession. Be gracious in accepting accolades and well-wishes. You and your husband may even bestow gifts on the commoners to commemorate the event.
Wishing you years of happiness, Your Highness!
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