Royalty 101: How To Compose Yourself Like One
“Royalty is completely different than celebrity. Royalty has a magic all its own.” - Philip Treacy, OBE, Milliner
There is a certain effusiveness in the air with the royal wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry Windsor. This comes with the long fascination with the most chronicled monarchy in the world – the life of the Mountbatten-Windsors.
In this clip from tonight's @bbcone programme "The Coronation" The Queen talks about St Edward's Gold Crown and her memories of when Her Majesty's father King George VI wore in 1937 & when Her Majesty then wore it for her Coronation in 1953. The Coronation, which is part of @royal_collection_trust Season on the BBC, will be broadcast tonight at 20:00 BST. It will also be shown in the US on the Smithsonian Channel at 20:00 ET/PT and in Australia on ABC on Sunday 4 February at 19:40pm AEDT.
The recently released “conversation” with Queen Elizabeth captures Her Majesty in a new light. A slew of movies and shows have been making it mark on our times, from The Kings Speech, where we are introduced to George VI, father to Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Ann, to The Crown, the Netflix miniseries that captures the lives and loves of the royals. There is also Downton Abbey which provided discourse on the English aristocracy, and its suggested decline. In most part, what was nuanced in every episode is the sense of duty, honor, and yes, comportment and civility.
It doesn’t take very much to behave like a royal. It is all about composure and a level of gentility. The old folk would harken on the need of breeding and lineage, but those days are gone. Breeding, it is said, is just about good sense, and good nature, and the time to put others before oneself.
I guess having Lilibet and Philip on binge watching, or if you’ve seen Anne Hathaway’s “Princess Diaries,” you will get my drift. A few pointers of make you feel more patrician.
Now, let us begin.
Think yourself a marionette, and a string runs through your spine. Breathe in and imagine the string being tugged ever so gently. Feel yourself slowly being erect, and poised. Keep your chin slightly lifted (not too much, you may appear aloof) and keep that string on your spine tugged and straight. Standing requires balance, so keep your feet in a comfortable position, but in line with your shoulders. For ladies, take a cue from Kate Middleton, hold a clutch. Men, no hands in your pocket and stop fiddling with your cellphone.
Again, everyone has taken notice of the way William and Kate present themselves. Gentlemen, you may cross your legs, or keep both feet firm on the ground. Ladies, put your legs together and you may give it a slight tilt. Avoid showing places where the sun does not shine. Remember, always, back straight, and pay attention.
The car ride:
The only time one gets their picture taken in this country coming of a car is usually on your wedding day, or if you are an endorser. But should you want to feel gracious, the days you spent at the gym and pilates come in handy. Unless you have a footman, or a nanny, slipping out of the car in a dress needs some practice. Sit at the side favoring the porte cochere. Usually sitting on the side right back seat. When the door swings open, let your right foot plant itself on the driveway, and using the left hand, push yourself out of the car. Honestly, your partner should be around to help you, if you do want to make the Diana appearance practice. Sorry, this isn’t a selfie moment.
Elegance in simplicity:
The key to looking the part is about fit. It's about quality over flash. Dressing well is something you get into your groove, but the cardinal rule is you shouldn’t really call attention to yourself, but rather get the wow from how the ensemble came together effortlessly. More often, those that are dressed in designer from head to toe get more comments about lack of creativity, rather than those that put their wardrobe to good use. Jewelry is always a good idea, but again, unless you are monarch, the rocks can be worn simply. Pearls are always a classic.
Making the entrance:
Remember, gentlemen, to always let the ladies step ahead. Walking in heels for a lot of women takes practice, so do, if you must. For men, stand tall, keep a pace behind or the right of your escort. Nod when you see people and no flaying of hands. Imagine the walk of model Su Yen Chi, one of Manila’s sought our catwalker in her heyday. Effortless and simply elegant.
The months ahead will continue to be filled with royal news. Between Harry and William, they are welcoming a new era of a modern monarchy. Harry and Megan, moreso, as the Royal Household continues to retool protocol and tradition, to meet the needs of changing time.
There is a difference between royalty, and celebrity. Celebrities fade, but this monarchy continues.