Friday, 15 June 2012

By Royal Appointment

A nice little piece by Julie McCullough of BBC news has caught my eye, having just scoffed three Pancetta rashers with buttered wholemeal toast and removed the nose-bag.

None other than my good friend David Anderson MVO MBE has been interviewed about Her Majesty The Queen's imminent visit to the Province.

David is, incidentally, a Member of both the Royal Victorian Order and the British Empire.

For 25 years he was the household manager at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, the official residence of the Royal Family when they stay in Northern Ireland.

He now works at the Montalto Estate, in the same county, not far from Hillsborough - but still remembers what it was like to look after Her Majesty. According to him, she was not a difficult guest:
"All she insisted on was somewhere quiet, somewhere private, somewhere comfortable to sit in between engagements. A blanket, a footstool, things that made it comfortable and more cosy. A table to set her glasses on or if she wanted a drink.... and of course, very importantly, a selection of local books."
When it came to food, he said The Queen liked it to be sourced locally.

It was the same for the flowers placed in her room which, incidentally, had to be removed before she slept at night.

Although David said there were no hard and fast rules about how you should behave if you met Her Majesty, he thinks it is well-mannered to use the traditional forms of greeting.
"For the gentlemen it was always very easy because it was always just a simple neck bow; but for the ladies it was deemed appropriate that they should curtsey at the point of introduction and it's always a very elegant thing to do."

Of course, it is only elegant if you know what you are doing. Basically, David said a real curtsey is putting one leg behind the other, bending your knee and bowing your head at the same time.

He thinks it is something that should be done as she walks past or if you are introduced to her formally.

And if you are one of those who get to speak to the Queen and if you do want to follow the rules - remember it is "Your Majesty" the first time you address her and "Ma'am " subsequently.

Here is fifteen minute documentary of David Anderson at the Castle.

No comments :