Jan. 10th, 2012

sprezzatura: (Siouxsie)
The following question occurred to me this afternoon when I got a passage of dialogue from The King's Speech stuck in my head on a loop.

If you met a member of the royal family would you bow/curtsey/conform to other protocol such as not turning your back on the monarch? Can people be thrown in the Tower, or some modern equivalent, for not doing so?

I wouldn't describe myself as an abolitionist (I agree with Anne Robinson, who once said in an interview "I don't mind them being there, but don't expect me to take them seriously") but the idea of grovelling before other human beings based solely on a spurious birthright makes me very uncomfortable. It works the other way, too. A few years ago I had the good fortune to spend a night in an insanely posh hotel in Tokyo and I found the deference of the staff incredibly hard to deal with.

Some of you must have encountered royalty in a formal context, how did you handle it?
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