Manners & Misdemeanors

10 Etiquette Lessons We've Learned From the Royals

There are eight words we know Kate has never said to the Queen.
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Even though Duchess Catherine makes it look easy being a royal, there are a lot of rules she had to embrace before brushing shoulders with Queen Elizabeth II and other members of high society on a regular basis. Now, while your social circle probably doesn't expect you to follow such strict etiquette, these lessons are so simple (and smart!) that you'll want to incorporate them into your everyday life.

1. Say hello with a kiss — and a firm handshake.


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Kate follows local customs when it comes to greeting people. That means with friends and close acquaintances, she gives them a kiss a cheek kiss (the right cheek to left cheek) and a firm handshake for everyone else.

2. Exit the car with a "swivel and pop."


It's always important to exit gracefully... even from a car. To do this like Kate, sit as close to the door as possible, then place both hands behind you as you turn with ankles and knees together to place your feet outside the car. Finally, when you stand and exit with a quick "pop."

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3. Use your clutch to cover up.


As for keeping yourself covered up on top when wearing a low-cut dress, Princess Diana used her clutch to shield her chest from photographers. Genius.

4. Hold your handbag in your hand.


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Once you're out of the car, a lady always holds her clutch in front of herself with both hands. You'll never see Kate tuck her purse under her arm or on put it on the ground at dinner. Instead, she'll slip it between her back and the back of the chair.

5. Sit in the "Duchess Slant."


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Posture is everything for the royals, which is why Kate always sits straight up with an egg-width distance between her back and the seat and her chin parallel to the floor. Her legs stay together with a slight lean, which prevents people from seeing up her dress.

6. Fold your napkin in half, with the crease facing you.


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At dinner parties, Kate and other royals wait to place their napkins in their lapsuntil the hostess does. When you need to wipe your hands or mouth, wipe inside the fold so the mess doesn't get on your clothes.

7. Hold a wine glass at the stem.


Not only does this prevent your body temperature from heating up the liquid, but it also looks superdainty. And if you're wearing lipstick, be sure to drink from the same place on the glass each time in order to prevent a "lipstick ring" from forming.

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8. Hold your tea in a pinch.


That means pinch your thumb and index finger together, then rest your middle finger under the handle. For coffee, use a loop, which means your index finger goes through the handle, too.

9. Your knife stays in your right hand, your fork in your left.

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Even when you're taking a bite. You should also put food on the backside of the fork to eat, take three bites, then rest. When you're done eating, lay your silverware diagonally across the plate.

10. Never say these eight words.


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If you do ever mingle with the most elite people in the English society, you should avoid these eight words at all costs: Toilet, pardon, couch, living room, dad, perfume, patio or posh (and for good reason!).

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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