Etiquette guide to meeting King Charles and Royal Family – Norwich Evening News

Published:
6:00 PM September 19, 2022



An etiquette expert has reflected on how the changing modern monarchy has meant a relaxation in some aspects of how the Royal Family interacts with the public.

But Philip Sykes, founder of The British School of Excellence in London, said crucial aspects of how people address King Charles III, the Queen Consort and other senior members of the Royal Family in formal occasions will continue after the death of the Queen.

Mr Sykes said people should always refer to the King initially as Your Majesty and then Sir.

The Queen Consort should be called Your Majesty and then Ma’am.


King Charles III at Westminster Hall, where both Houses of Parliament are met to express their condolences


King Charles III at Westminster Hall, where both Houses of Parliament are met to express their condolences

– Credit: PA

Those meeting the couple, as well as other senior members of the Royal Family, in formal events should either dip their head in acknowledgement to male figures or carry out a “gently curtsy” to women.

Other senior royals will continue to be referred to as Your Royal Highness and then Sir or Ma’am.

Mr Sykes said the golden rule in interacting with the Royal Family in formal events was “always wait for them to put out a hand before performing a handshake”.

He said: “A lot of people think etiquette and manners are for posh people but they are for everyone.

“They offer us the traffic lights for society so we don’t trip each other up.

“There is a more modern approach within the Royal Family. You can see how the crowds have been responding to King Charles.

“The way the family interacts with people has become more comfortable and it isn’t as formal as it might have been 100 years ago.

“They are part of people and want to connect with them. Etiquette has softened and is flexible to a degree. It is more relaxed.”

The training academy principal added it was “wonderful” when the now Prince of Wales hugged the Lionesses after their Euro 2022 win.

Despite the changes, he added people must never show their back to the King, never hug him or walk in front of him.


Philip Sykes during his meeting with the former Prince of Wales around 2005 in Gloucestershire


Philip Sykes during his meeting with the former Prince of Wales around 2005 in Gloucestershire

– Credit: Philip Sykes

Mr Sykes met the King between 2005 and 2007 while both men were involved in the Woodchester Mansion Trust in Gloucestershire.

He described King Charles as “someone who was genuinely interested in people and understood the country and its various issues.”

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