The British Royal Family is known for having strict etiquette when it comes to their greetings. They are often seen bowing and curtsying to one another in an attempt to show respect and honor the proper order of rank. But who bows to whom exactly?
In this article, we will provide a detailed breakdown of the British Royal Family’s greeting customs. So that, you can better understand the rules of protocol in British royalty.
Important Figures and Their Greetings
At the top of the hierarchy, Queen Elizabeth II does not bow or curtsy. Rather, she is always greeted with a respectful head bow by those around her. The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip follows suit as well although he may give a slight nod or bow of the head in acknowledgment.
However, after her majesty’s sad passing last year, this legacy goes down to Prince Charles. Next in line is the Queen’s son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, who is usually greeted with both a bow from men and a curtsy from women.
His wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall does not receive any bows or curtsies as she is not officially part of the royal family. Instead, she receives simple respectful nods when people greet her.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Catherine) are also greeted with bows and curtsies respectively. This is extended to their children as well: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all receive bows or curtsies upon arriving at an event or gathering.
For other members of the Royal Family like Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle), and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the typical greeting is a simple head nod or bow.
Etiquette for Commoners
For commoners, the rules of etiquette are slightly different. Typically those who meet members of the Royal Family should stand up and extend their hand for a handshake if the person wishes to do so.
Instead, a respectful handshake should be enough! If not, it is appropriate for one to simply bow or curtsy at an angle that corresponds with their rank in relation to the royalty they are meeting. For example, if one were to meet Prince Charles, one would perform a deeper bow than when meeting his children.
The Last Word
While the rules of etiquette may seem daunting, they are actually quite simple. By understanding who bows and curtsies to whom, one can ensure that they show proper respect when meeting members of the Royal Family. After all, properly following protocol is essential in order for everyone to feel comfortable and respected.
But compared to other royal families in the world, the rules of the British royalty are pretty strict.