The Queen tells the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate) to curtsy to the 'blood princesses’ The Queen has updated the Order of Precedence in the Royal family, making it clear that the Duchess of Cambridge must curtsy to the Princesses by birth.
The Duchess of Cambridge may be the future queen, but she has discovered that there are several women in the Royal family to whom she must show reverence. Mandrake hears that the Queen has updated the Order of Precedence in the Royal Household to take into account the Duke of Cambridge’s wife.
The new rules of Court make it clear that the former Kate Middleton, when she is not accompanied by Prince William, must curtsy to the “blood princesses”, the Princess Royal, Princess Alexandra, and the daughters of the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
When William is with her, Kate does not need to bend the knee to either of them, but she must curtsy to the Prince of Wales (Charles), the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla), the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Despite being married to the Queen’s son, the Countess of Wessex (Sophie) will, however, have to curtsy to Kate, even when William is not present.
“Updating the Order of Precedence has been a simple matter of following the precedent set when the Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles,” a courtier tells me . . . after Charles remarried, the Queen changed the Order of Precedence “on blood principles” so that neither Princess Anne nor Princess Alexandra, the granddaughter of George V, would have to curtsy to Camilla when her husband was not present.
Although the etiquette may seem arcane, it is taken very seriously by the Royal family, whose members bow and curtsy to each other in public and in private. A vivid illustration came after the Trooping the Colour ceremony last weekend, when Kate could be seen curtsying to Prince Philip on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The Order of Precedence affects other aspects of royal protocol, such as who arrives first at an event. For example, Camilla was forced to wait in the drizzle outside the Guards Chapel, Windsor, for the arrival of Princess Anne at a memorial service in 2006, because Charles had not accompanied her. A Buckingham Palace spokesman declines to comment.
So, what I want to know is what happens if you are in a room and someone is starting to curtsy to you and then someone else walks into the room changing the Order of Precedence? Does one stop mid-curtsy and risk losing one's balance? What would be the protocol for falling down while attempting to curtsy? Get up and re-curtsy or accept a curtsy from someone else while lying on the floor? Maybe they all just walk in packs to avoid any faux pas. Oh, yes, there's the protocol for order of arrival . . . I love this stuff!