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  #361  
Old 09-14-2007, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Marmalade View Post
In the United States we do not bow to a current or former first lady. And there are many sophisticated Americans from all over my country...not just New England.
Your statement is a generalization. Bowing (in contrast to, and distinction from, curtsying) and kissing ladies' hands are a gesture of politesse (and not acknowledgement of someone's superior status) and are still practised, mainly by older generations of the polite society, American and non-American alike, all over the world.
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  #362  
Old 09-14-2007, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by banda_windsor View Post
Probably. But it's just very unusual to see a queen curtseying to other queen.

Btw, i have a question. Does a Queen have to curtsey when she meet Dowager Queen or Queen Mother??
Technically, a queen reignant (such as QEII), a queen consort (such as queen Sofia of Spain) and a dowager queen (such as queen Fabiola) are and shall remain majesties (excluding a queen reignant who abdicates) until their death and a majesty does not usually bow to another majesty. Within the same country, however, a queen reignant or a queen consort takes precedent over a queen dowager but the queen dowager does not need to bow or curtsy to the queen reignant or queen consort.

Many historians, however, have described repeatedly the scene of QEII visiting her grandmother, queen Mary, when she ended abruptly her tour in Africa and returned to London upon learning the news of her father's passing in 1952. When QEII entered the rooms of queen Mary at Marlborough House, the aging queen bowed, kissed the hand of the new monarch and uttered, "Long live The Queen". Obviously, queen Mary didn't have to do that, but she proceeded with the gesture to express her loyalty to the Crown and to impart on the new queen the gravitas of her role.

Finally, there aren't that many instances of a queen dowager bowing/curtsying to a queen reignant or a queen consort and vice versa, in public. One such instance was that during the wedding of King Constantine to princess Anne-Marie of Denmark (video may be found at the Greek royal family's official site). Inside the Athens Cathedral, at the end of the wedding ceremony, the dowager queen Frederika, while congratulating them, curtsied first to her son and then to Anne-Marie who at that time had become HM The Queen of the Hellenes, while the dowager queen was just HM Queen Frederika, the Queen Mother. Then, Anne-Marie responded to Frederika's rather odd gesture by curtsying to her mother-in-law. Please go and see this video; it speaks a million words.
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  #363  
Old 09-14-2007, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
If you scroll down this page, there is a photo of Princess Grace of Monaco curtseying to the Shah of Iran. Isn't this a breach of protocol? She was the consort of a sovereign herself.

http://www.angelfire.com/empire/impe...rsepolis3.html
Actually, at that time, Monaco was, for the most part, a protectorate of France. Indeed, Monaco entered the United Nations as an equal member only in or around 1991. This and not just her status as princess was, I suppose, the reason that she curtsied to the Shah of Iran. Had Monaco entered the UN as an equal member state/nation during her life, princess Grace should have not curtsied to anyone.
To answer your question in a different way, The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, consort of the Monarch of a sovereign country, member of the UN and the EU should never curtsy to a queen reignant, like QEII, or a queen consort, like queen Paola. Also, as discussed earlier, the wife of a country's president should never curtsy either. These are the dictates of common sense and diplomatic protocol. Now, what royal personages do or don't privately and within their Gotha world is an entirely different story.
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  #364  
Old 09-15-2007, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
If you scroll down this page, there is a photo of Princess Grace of Monaco curtseying to the Shah of Iran. Isn't this a breach of protocol? She was the consort of a sovereign herself.
The old rule among continental European monarchies (based on the German protocol) was a Serene Highness or Royal Highness always bows or curtseys before an Emperor or Empress, regardless of whether they are sovereign of their kingdom or principality.
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  #365  
Old 09-15-2007, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Philippe Egalite' View Post
Your statement is a generalization. Bowing (in contrast to, and distinction from, curtsying) and kissing ladies' hands are a gesture of politesse (and not acknowledgement of someone's superior status) and are still practised, mainly by older generations of the polite society, American and non-American alike, all over the world.
While it may be a sign of politness, no First Lady is required to curtsey, or for that matter do anything else which bespokes royal etiquette. It is not unusual for non-Americans not to understand my previous post given the sub-cultural differences with my own country. It was breach of protocol for Jackie to curtsey at all. But, given her desire to create the royal Camelot atmosphere of the Kennedy White House, it does not surprise me she did.
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  #366  
Old 09-15-2007, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
The old rule among continental European monarchies (based on the German protocol) was a Serene Highness or Royal Highness always bows or curtseys before an Emperor or Empress, regardless of whether they are sovereign of their kingdom or principality.
Thank you for this info. I find it so fascinating that one of the only existing absolute monarchies is still sometimes treated as being second class.
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  #367  
Old 09-15-2007, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
Thank you for this info. I find it so fascinating that one of the only existing absolute monarchies is still sometimes treated as being second class.
The other issue of protocol with Princess Grace curtseying to the Shah is she was the consort of a reigning sovereign, not a sovereign herself. She was a HSH Princesse de Monaco by marriage only.
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  #368  
Old 09-15-2007, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Marmalade View Post
While it may be a sign of politness, no First Lady is required to curtsey, or for that matter do anything else which bespokes royal etiquette. It is not unusual for non-Americans not to understand my previous post given the sub-cultural differences with my own country. It was breach of protocol for Jackie to curtsey at all. But, given her desire to create the royal Camelot atmosphere of the Kennedy White House, it does not surprise me she did.
Correct, although Jackie stated she did so as a courtesy and the fact she was no longer the wife of the President, which technically was true.

However, it was a breach of protocol for the widow of a former President to curtsey to royalty or a titled person of any kind.
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  #369  
Old 09-16-2007, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Marmalade View Post
While it may be a sign of politness, no First Lady is required to curtsey, or for that matter do anything else which bespokes royal etiquette. It is not unusual for non-Americans not to understand my previous post given the sub-cultural differences with my own country. It was breach of protocol for Jackie to curtsey at all. But, given her desire to create the royal Camelot atmosphere of the Kennedy White House, it does not surprise me she did.
With all due respect, I was arguing your earlier statement "In the United States we do not bow to a current or former first lady" which is indeed a generalization. There are American men who still do bow to, or kiss the hand of, ladies whether they are current or former, first or non-first, including the lady next door. I have lived in the USA for 25 years and I know that for a fact.

Now, you are returning with a different subject matter, that is, about a current or former first lady of the USA curtsying to a queen. And, here, you are absolutely correct. Current or former First Ladies, when they meet, say, the queen of Great Britain, not only are they not required but they should never cursty to the queen, as long as the meeting takes place in public and they (the first ladies, that is) happen to attend in their official capacity, ie as the wives of current or former presidents of the USA - simply because they stand in behalf of an office (the Presidency of a Nation) and not in their capacity as private persons.
To make the point crystal-clear. If, say, Mrs Bush were an equestrian (and so is the queen) and she and the queen had known each other privately and independent of Mrs Bush's current capacity and they had met in a private setting, it would have been up to Mrs. Bush's judgement as a private person to decide whether to curtsy or not, and it would not be a faux pas if she did curtsy - that would be her prerogative (as a private person).
Now, let's return to the cause celebre, the curtsy of Mrs. Kennedy to Prince Philip during the State Funeral of the late president. Mrs. Kennedy and the Kennedy Family had the right (like all families of deceased presidents) to choose between a private funeral and a State Funeral. A State Funeral is a State function of the USA (the Nation) and as such, it is subject to the Rules dictated by Protocol, which are implemented with emphasis to incredible detail by the Chef de Protocol of the White House. Even though, Mrs. Kennedy was no more the first lady during the funeral, she was a central character in this Grand State function of the USA, that is, she was still representing the USA and as such, throughout the funeral events, she stood as the widow of a deceased president of the USA and not as Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, the private person. Thus, she had to comply with the instructions of the chief of protocol and her curtsying tio Prince Philip was most inappropriate, a historic faux pas and I totally agree with you on that!
I do not know how it all happened, the exact scene, but if, say, Prince Philip kissed her hand, she should have acknowledged the gesture with a nod of her head and nothing more.
And I would also like to stress again: Kissing hands on the part of men toward ladies and bowing on the part of men and women toward their peers are matters of politesse, gallantry or respect (whichever applies in different cases) and, as such, consistent with, and not disallowed by, the Constitution of the USA or any country on the Globe. However, curtsying is an implicit act of subjugation and, as such, incompatible with the Constitution of the USA, of Greece and many other countries - and I completely agree with you on that. Of course, what people do or don't in their capacity as private persons is a matter for their conscience.
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  #370  
Old 09-16-2007, 05:09 PM
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It is a matter of personal choice whether or not to curtsey or bow to a royal personage. This is true even for British subjects when in the presence of the royal family and even The Queen. As a matter of good manners, it certainly is appropriate for The Sovereign to be accorded proper respect with a bow of the head at a minimum.

For Americans, it is generally accepted that bowing or curtseying to royal figures or a foreign head of state is inconsistent with the Constitution and respect for the Republic's democracy. It is never acceptable for any elected official or their spouse, even in private, to do so. A former elected offical or their spouse may do so in private, but never a former President or First Lady.
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  #371  
Old 09-17-2007, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
The other issue of protocol with Princess Grace curtseying to the Shah is she was the consort of a reigning sovereign, not a sovereign herself. She was a HSH Princesse de Monaco by marriage only.
True she was, but I would bet that you will never see HRH The Duke of Edinburgh bowing to HIM Emperor Akihito (in deference, not as a greeting). He is also royal by marriage only, having renounced his own titles prior to marriage and being, in the strictest sense of the word, a commoner. I had thought it a hard and fast rule that reigning sovereigns and their consorts bow to no one (excepting the Catholic monarchs who bow and curtsey to the Pope).
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  #372  
Old 09-18-2007, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
True she was, but I would bet that you will never see HRH The Duke of Edinburgh bowing to HIM Emperor Akihito (in deference, not as a greeting). He is also royal by marriage only, having renounced his own titles prior to marriage and being, in the strictest sense of the word, a commoner. I had thought it a hard and fast rule that reigning sovereigns and their consorts bow to no one (excepting the Catholic monarchs who bow and curtsey to the Pope).
The Duke most certainly would bow to the Emperor of Japan, unless the British Government advised him not to. He is a Royal Highness and Prince of the UK and the protocol would be to do so.

Unlike Princess Grace, Philip was born royal as a Prince of Greece & Denmark. Although he legally renounced his royal title and became Lt. Philip Mountbatten, RN prior to his marriage, George VI created him a Royal Highness in his own right, along with his dukedom.

In 1957, The Queen issued letters patent creating him a Prince of the UK with precedence ahead of all princes of the blood, including Charles, so he was royal in his own right in the UK.
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  #373  
Old 09-18-2007, 11:54 AM
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I think it would be fun for all of them just to confuse us and bow to each other when they meet up. :-)

All the rules of protocol and what not may be confusing.

I remember reading a story when an elderly lady went to curtsey to HM QEII, and then could not get back up out of the curtsey position. The poor dear had to be assisted back up again.

I still remember the episode of "I Love Lucy' when she was in England and performing in one of Ricky's shows and she was practicing curtseying and got a charlie horse and went to meet the queen but was stuck in the position so had be carried on two men's shoulders to be presented..too funny...

So ladies, if you are ever in the presence of royalty and know you are going to curtsey, exercise those legs and make sure knees are on full strength!
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  #374  
Old 09-18-2007, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
The Duke most certainly would bow to the Emperor of Japan, unless the British Government advised him not to. He is a Royal Highness and Prince of the UK and the protocol would be to do so.

Unlike Princess Grace, Philip was born royal as a Prince of Greece & Denmark. Although he legally renounced his royal title and became Lt. Philip Mountbatten, RN prior to his marriage, George VI created him a Royal Highness in his own right, along with his dukedom.

In 1957, The Queen issued letters patent creating him a Prince of the UK with precedence ahead of all princes of the blood, including Charles, so he was royal in his own right in the UK.

Certainly he is royal now, my point was that he was technically a commoner upon his marriage to Queen Elizabeth. I still don't buy that he would bow to the Emperor of Japan and until I see a picture of it, I will refuse to believe it. Or take your pick of the "non royal" consorts. Prince Henrik, the late Prince Bernhard, Princess Lalla Salma, etc.
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  #375  
Old 09-18-2007, 08:32 PM
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Philip was not a commoner upon marriage to The Queen. The day before the wedding, George VI created him Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich with the style and rank of His Royal Highness.

So, when she got married the next day, she was marrying a Royal Duke, not a commoner.
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  #376  
Old 09-18-2007, 11:45 PM
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A duke yes, but not a prince.
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  #377  
Old 09-19-2007, 04:43 PM
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A duke yes, but not a prince.
The understanding was Philip enjoyed the personal style of a Prince since he was the first Duke created in the Peerage of the UK with the rank of HRH that was not born a son or grandson of The Sovereign.

The Queen formally clarified this matter in 1957 by issuing letters patent creating him a Prince of the UK in his own right.
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  #378  
Old 09-19-2007, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Marmalade View Post
I still remember the episode of "I Love Lucy' when she was in England and performing in one of Ricky's shows and she was practicing curtseying and got a charlie horse and went to meet the queen but was stuck in the position so had be carried on two men's shoulders to be presented..too funny...
Ha ha...that was one of my all-time favorite episodes.
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  #379  
Old 09-22-2007, 08:54 PM
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The other issue of protocol with Princess Grace curtseying to the Shah is she was the consort of a reigning sovereign, not a sovereign herself. She was a HSH Princesse de Monaco by marriage only.

You raise two different, and dinstinct from each other, issues here that require clarification.
You are correct in stating that a modern day consort of a reigning monarch (=sovereign) is not a sovereign herself, at least not constitutionally backed, even though there were cases where queen consorts exercised the regency. For example, the dowager queen Olga of Greece became the Regent of Greece for a short interval (during the intreregnum) after the death of her grandson, King Alexander.
However, despite lack of constitutional backing, a sovereign's consort usually enjoys the ceremonial privileges (style etc) of her husband simply because she has the so-called life estate in her husband's dignity, and this has nothing to do with her being a princess suo jure (that is, in her own rights) or not. Thus, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg enjoys exactly the same ceremonial rights and precedence accorded to the Grand Duke and, therefore, her not being a suo jure princess is irrelevant here (unless her marriage was morganatic in which case she would not share the title and style of her husband anyway)..

Now, insofar as the royal world per se is concerned, a Grand Duke/Duchess or a Prince/Princess, a Higness, obviously follows and should bow/curtsy to a King or Queen, who is a Majesty. However, if and when a Duke or Grand Duke or a Prince is a sovereign, that is, a Head of State and attends functions in that capacity along with other Heads of States, be it Kings, Queens or Presidents, he/she and his/her consort are considered, and mandatorily treated by diplomatic protocol, as equal.

Thus, if, say, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg made a State visit to Great Britain, the Grand Duchess, in her capacity as the consort to the Head of State being honored, should not curtsy to the queen for that would be a humiliation for the Sovereign State of Luxembourg.
It should, however, be understood that royals have also their own inner world and privare functions which are governed by different rules and, then and there, they may act differently based on the Gotha etiquette.

In the case of Princess Grace curtsying to the Shah, it had nothing to do with her not being royal in her own rights, it had nothing to do with being the consort of a monarch and not the monarch herself, but rather with the fact that Monaco, until 1992-93 was a protectorate of France and had not been introduced to the United Nations as an independent State. And in the end, who wouldn't want to endear oneself with the sovereign of an oil-producing country (particularly minute tax-haven Monaco), even though The Queen did not attend and the rumour was that the Persepolis fanfare was too crude and vulgar for the dignity of the British Monarch.
I remember, as a young student in Greece, during the Persepolis celebrations, the media had accorded the characterization "the Cecil de Mille" celebrations, the ultimate caricature of history.
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  #380  
Old 09-22-2007, 09:56 PM
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I have to say I do find these comments along the lines of, "We're Americans; we don't have to bow/curtsey to anyone", rather arrogant. We're all human beings, and every nation (including the USA) has its strengths and its failings. A bow or curtsey is simply respecting the traditions of the country the Royal in question comes from, as well as showing respect to the person themselves. To find that demeaning does suggest a certain insecurity?
I would clearly dissent here. It is not arrogant at all for people to be demanding to be equal and be treated as equal, even symbolically - and curtsying is a symbolism/acknowledgement of one's superior (and therefore somenone else's inferior) status. This is how many among the citizens of the USA, Greece and numerous other countries feel and this may not be criticized as being arrogant.
At the same time, Great Britain, another sovereign country has different rules whereby the citizens are subjects, and this is also their prerogative and must also be respected and not be criticized as being servile.

My wife, however, who is both an American and a Greek citizen would never curtsy to any queen or any princess out of conviction (which has nothing to do with her being an American or Greek citizen) and not out of disrespect for, say, HM the Queen, whom in fact she praises as an outstanding professional and good monarch.

So, guys, like the French say, chacun a son gout and vive la difference. If you enjoy curtsying do so, if you don't it's also fine and has nothing to do with lack of respect or arrogance.
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