If you run into Prince William and Kate – or Prince George – during their 18-day sojourn in Australia and New Zealand, don’t lose your head – or refer to the Queen as “your grandma”.
Should you happen to come into royal contact, UK etiquette expert William Hanson, author of The Bluffer’s Guide To Etiquette, has some tips to help you act more like a toff.
“Being common is so 2013,” says Hanson, who describes himself as “24 going on 54” and “a teacup and saucer in a world of mugs”.
“For 2014, it’s all about good manners, being polite to the person who just pushed in front of you in the queue, and knowing how to greet the Queen properly when you do meet her.”
The royals’ schedule is busy, but the couple are likely to mingle with locals at dinners, events, fetes and shows.
So here are Hanson’s top tips on being a toff:
Dining – Pudding v Dessert. The final course of a dinner is “pudding” – never “dessert”. If you call your lemon posset with spun sugar basket a dessert when dining with the hoity toity, you might as well prepare for a future of dining at all-you- can-eat buffet restaurants where you can help yourself to the dessert buffet for all eternity.
Introductions – Never say “pleased to meet you” when greeting a stranger. Rather, say, “How do you do?” If you don’t know who they are, can you be sure you really are pleased to meet them?
Meeting people – Review your handshake. Try to avoid being a wet fish or a bone crusher. People judge others on the quality of their handshake.
Social occasions – Avoid attending Facebook parties. If you’re invited anywhere by Facebook, don’t go. It won’t be worth it and you’ll probably be served beer in the bottle or be given wine that hasn’t been decanted.
How posh are you?
1. Which of the words below is the upmarket choice for the sweet course on a menu?
2. When meeting royalty, from where on the body should men bow?
Any of the above
3. When asked at the home of a person of good stature what drink you’d like before dinner, the correct answer is:
Bacardi and coke
A dry sherry
4. When mixing with the nobility, your attitude to chargers (the larger, decorative plates often found on tables) should be:
“I just can’t buy enough of them”
“What a waste of money”
“Only buy them if they’re Royal Crown Derby”
“I’m hoping to inherit some”
5. Who is 14th in line to the British throne?
Miss Isla Phillips
Prince George of Cambridge
6. Wimbledon takes place when?
Last two week of June
Middle two weeks of July
First two weeks of July
Last week of June, first week of July
7. Who is patron of Henley?
The reigning monarch
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Prince of Wales
The Duke of Cambridge
8. When royalty attends a civilian funeral, where in the church are they correctly seated?
In front of the altar facing the congregation
They sit where they please
9. In old French, “etiquette” meant what?
10. On a man’s three-buttoned jacket, which button should be fastened?
Top and middle
Answers: 1: Pudding. 2: The neck. 3: A dry sherry. 4: “What a waste of money.” 5: Miss Isla Phillips. 6: Last week of June, first week of July. 7: The reigning monarch. 8: Front left. 9: Ticket. 10: Middle.
*The Bluffer’s Guide To Etiquette by William Hanson is available for Kindle and iPad at the iBookstore and Amazon.co.uk, or in print at 南宁夜网.bluffers广西桑拿,. See 南宁夜网.williamhanson.co.uk for more.