BBC Learning English 英语教学

Royal etiquette 英国王室礼仪


Royal etiquette 英国王室礼仪


The British Royal Family are busy people. Their packed itineraries of official engagements mean they rarely get time to sit down. And when they're out and about meeting and greeting people there are standards they expect from their humbled guests.

These standards are known as royal protocol – a set of customs and rules that must be met when interacting with the monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth II in particular would expect everyone to stand up when she entered a room – even members of her own family.

Also, she would not expect you to offer a handshake until she puts out her hand - and then she would only expect it to be shaken lightly.

To the uninitiated, meeting any royal can be a daunting prospect – there are rules about who can speak first, where to look and what to call them. For example, the Queen would expect to be initially addressed as 'Your Majesty' and thereafter as 'Ma'am'.

Most of the formalities date back hundreds of years. Dr Kate Williams, a historian at London's Royal Holloway University, told the BBC: "From medieval times, monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods." Even now, she says "you don't kiss them, you don't touch them, you bow – over and over again."

Of course royalty only expects bowing from the men and then only a bow from the shoulders or a bob from the neck. And they'd be looking to the women to curtsy – but nothing too dramatic – a little bob is quite enough!

But what happens if you breach protocol and break the rules? Apparently nothing. The official website of The British Monarchy states: "There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms." Former BBC royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, says "all this thing about not speaking to the Queen unless you're spoken to, I don't believe that. I always used to tell her jokes!" But when The Queen finally gets to meet you, what joke would you tell her? She's probably heard them all before.


official engagements 官方活动

humbled 谦卑的

protocol 礼仪

the monarchy 王室,君主

uninitiated 生手,没有经验的

formalities 礼节

bow 鞠躬

curtsy 屈膝礼

breach 违反

obligatory 必须的,强制性的


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