Princess in training: what has Kate had to learn?

Princess Catherine

Princess Catherine

With an upcoming royal visit planned for Canada, followed by a series of other royal engagements, the royal family wants to be sure the new addition to their family irons out any gaps in her knowledge of etiquette and protocol.

It has been alleged that prior to the wedding, Kate did take up lessons in royal etiquette to ensure she is ready for her new role as Duchess of Cambridge.

After all, William has grown up learning the do’s and don’ts of being a royal. Jean Broke-Smith, a former principal of the famed Lucie Clayton School of Grooming and Modelling, explains: ‘It’s a way of life for him. Kate, however, will have to concentrate hard to avoid making a faux pas.”

Jean should know what she is talking about, as the principal of The Lucie Clayton School of Grooming and Modelling for 30 years, she has taught politicians, royalty and TV stars, and all of Prince William’s girlfriends – except Kate.

For us commoners, Jean offered an inside scoop to what Kate most likely learned during her etiquette lessions. She offers us a step by step guide to royalty training.

Greeting Royalty is top of the training list. Jean explains “Princess Catherine will have to show subservience to other royals, and shake hands several hundred times a week, for the rest of her life.” A handshake is simply not enough, with Kate needing to perfect the curtsey with precision.

Posture is key. To prepare the new royal for the endless hours she will be standing still, there would most certainly be a focus on exacting posture with emphasis on bum in, shoulders back and head up. Not only is there a particular way to stand, but sitting is equally important.

Jean’s method is to lower her bottom onto the edge of the chair, push back into the seat then place feet to the side. Crossing ankles is the final important step to ensure knees stay together.

Believe it or not, there is an appropriate way to walk too – The Glide. ‘Start with all your weight on your back foot,’ says Jean, ‘otherwise you’ll be striding like a giant.’ She explains the correct way to place your weight is on the heel, instep, then toe.

And for all the banquets to come, table manners are imperative. Cocktail parties have their own rules, with glasses needing to be held in the left hand to keep the right hand free for shaking guest’s hands. At the table, there is no leaning over the table, no using a fork as a scoop, no asking for refills, etc….

Even more surprising is the fact that royals have a specific way of dealing with their coats. Jean demonstrates, “Put in one arm and pull the collar right up to your neck. Then when you reach behind, the other sleeve will be in exactly the right place.”

To take off the coat, you “Push the coat a little way off your shoulders,reach behind you and grasp the cuff of the left sleeve in your right hand. You take it off, bring the coat round to the front, take both cuffs in your left hand, and then reach through the arms to the collar.”

Finally, Kate would have likely been taught how to properly get into and out of a car. Jean’s one rule: always enter the car bottom first, so you can slide in backwards. Getting out is a simple matter of remaining seated while you swing both legs to the side and exit on the diagonal.

After watching the wedding, it seems to me Kate’s got this etiquette thing cracked.

What do you think?

With royal wedding fever raging, see what many parents are doing to get their little princesses ready for a life less ordinary:

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