We tried a special etiquette course designed to make you a real royal catch
The countdown is on: Prince Harry is coming to Florida for his Invictus Games in just four weeks. Cue the fantasies about a real-life season of The Bachelor: Prince Harry. (Otherwise known as The Ultimate Bachelor.)
For anyone hoping to bring that fantasy to life, there’s Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, who offers a course specifically designed to help women snag the hero royal. (With a healthy dose of winking humor.)
The one-on-one, four-hour course, which takes place at the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City, is cheekily designed around Harry, but it also offers general etiquette advice with real-world applications. (Meier is, after all, a professional etiquette coach and trained under a former member of the Royal Household.) In the name of journalism (and maybe some wish fulfillment), we decided to try out the course to learn the perfect way to be become a potential princess.
Make Me Kate-ish
Want to become a royal catch? Look no further than the original prince-charmer herself, Princess Kate. According to Meier, Kate is a perfect example to follow when it comes to proper royal etiquette, although that doesn’t mean that Harry would be looking for someone exactly like her (a copy-Kate, if you will). After all, Harry’s ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were definitely not carbon copies of the Duchess, but with their tony backgrounds they know how to work seamlessly from the pub to a black-tie event.
Style-wise, be conscious of what is socially appropriate and have a real conversation with yourself about what actually flatters your shape. Fashionistas may shrug at Kate’s many rewears, but she knows what works for her. Meier also stresses the importance of grooming, and the course was finished off with a royal-worthy blowout from the famous Warren Tricomi at his eponymous salon in the Plaza. (His secret to getting princess hair? A great haircut and “good blow dry serum.”)
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But the ultimate key to princess-worthy polish, says Meier? Confidence.
Over lunch at the Plaza Hotel’s Champagne Bar, Meier explains the intricate rules of princess-style eating: bites need to be cut into tiny morsels so they can be finished in one or two small munches and, even more daunting, all food needs to be balanced on top of your turned fork tines – not speared.
While I’m breaking into a cold sweat trying to balance a tiny beet salad sliver on my fork, Meier notes that soup is the real royal food challenge. As Prince William and Harry both went to Eton, they likely learned what she calls the “Eton flick,” a special way to eat soup that involves pushing the spoon away from you, slowly drawing it back up to your mouth and flicking the soup into your mouth – all while carrying on a conversation and remaining totally elegant. Oh, and while you’re doing all this, remember to keep your elbows close to your sides, your knees and ankles together, your napkin perfectly placed on your lap (fold facing you, using only the inside to blot – not wipe – you mouth if needed) and holding your hands as far down your utensils and glassware as possible while eating. Otherwise, no big deal.
Yes, you’re sitting wrong too. First, sit up straight (but not pushing out your chest – a delicate balance for someone who is used to slumping over a keyboard all day), and don’t let your back touch the back of a chair, so you are perched elegantly at the edge of your seat.
Never cross your legs, and instead simply keep your ankles and knees glue together. If your legs are getting tired or uncomfortable, you can cross your ankles, but keep both of your heels firmly on the ground.
Meier also recommended a way of sitting that was inspired by Kate, which she calls “the Duchess Slant.” Instead of sitting with your legs placed in front of you, lean your knees (still glued) to one side so your legs are angled at a diagonal against the chair. This move is particularly useful if you have mile-long legs, just like Kate.
What happens if you actually find yourself face-to-face with the prince? Meier notes that the basic rules of politeness go a long way – and yes, that means absolutely no selfies!