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For Royal Wedding Guests Of Prince William And His Kate April 29 2011

By dr.Jeffrey lant by now i am sure you are aware that april 29, 2011 is a very special day in the prodigious annals of the british monarchy.H.R.H.Prince william, white hope of the dynasty, marries his kate.And his grandmama the sovereign is adamant that all be done just so -- or else.Sadly, you have not been invited.Admittedly it is abashing, even humiliating.But you will be glad to know that the lot of the those precious few invited is not a bed of roses.The empire on which the sun never set is history, but protocol, the right thing done in the right way, is very much alive chez windsor.Let's take a look.The windsors are nothing if not keen on pageants that are meticulously planned and flawlessly carried out.They know that it was not always thus in royal ceremonial.One way they know this was by careful scrutiny of my first book "insubstantial pageant: ceremony and confusion at queen victoria's court".(1979).I was the first american ever granted access to the royal archives at windsor castle.And it was part of the deal that the queen and prince charles get advance copies to increase their knowledge of the hopeless mismanagement of ceremonies by their regal ancestors.Confusions, muddles, and disorganizations were the order of the day.It was supremely frustrating, irritating, and inexcusable that the english made so many mistakes, even lethal, in presenting the monarchy to the nation.Ceremonies of the highest significance and importance -- coronations even -- were so lamentably organized and delivered that the english monarchy became a byword for ineptitude.We owe improvement to prince albert.Queen victoria, only 18 when she ascended the throne in 1837 had far better things to do than worry about ceremonial derelictions.For openers she was free of the heavy thrall of the duchess of kent, her mother; perhaps the ultimate controlling stage mother of all time.The first thing the new queen did was order her bed to be taken out of the bedroom she had shared all her life with her mother.Then order dinner to be served to her alone, the first time that had ever happened.She was free, free at last! she was queen, her every wish a command instantly carried out.A few glaring mistakes in court ceremonial counted for nothing.But the german princeling she married, prince albert of saxe-coburg-gotha was very, very different.The insidious culture of royal errors and tolerance for same made him nervous, dyspeptic, and determined to apply teutonic efficiency to the problem.He fumed, he fretted, he even wept at the minuscule progress.But there was progress.Just not enough of it.As the grasping english built the largest empire ever assembled on this planet, their royal pageants continued to be notable for all the wrong reasons: they were lackadaisical about the protocol that consumed other royal houses; thereby causing endless hurt feelings.Their planning was always of the too little, too late variety.And like clockwork, security arrangements were so lax that every ceremony produced a bumper crop of dead, the victims of english inability to get it right.And without fatalities.All this is no doubt known to elizabeth ii and the princes of her house and their constant motto is "never again!" thus, they are fastidious in the business of getting it right.When the english were a great nation, the sovereigns themselves were scarcely punctilious about such matters; but with only the shadow of empire remaining, they are all adamant that the royal ceremonies, in which they so prominently feature, be the very essence of polished perfection.Hence the list of do's and don'ts now circulating amongst the honored guests, be they princes of the blood royal or (that democratic touch the royals are close to perfecting) personnel from the various charities patronized by the bride and groom.In windsor eyes there is really no difference between them.For them there are, after all, only two ranks: sovereign.And the rest.Now to the various admonitions, politely phrased of course as suggestions, recommendations.But they are in fact royal commands and must be treated as such.1) don't give the queen a friendly hug.Michelle obama, first lady of these united states did something akin to that and the royal reaction was a tad below frosty.2) don't tweet.You are attending an historic event.Curtail all distractions.3) be on time.On this of all days, there is no such thing as fashionably late, even by a minute.The queen is the last person to take her place; to upstage her is lese majeste, intolerable.4) ladies, select an outfit that blends in.You should wear a dress -- not too short, not too skimpy, and certainly not white.Most british women will complete the unmistakable (rather frumpy) look that screams "we're english!" with a hat or a fascinator -- a small feathered or jewelled hairpiece attached to a clip or a comb.More politely disguised commands.5) leave your cellphone in the car.No one wants your ring tone to the tune of "the stripper" to be part of the record.6) make sure you have all necessary medications with you.You need to know that no one, absolutely no one, will facilitate your egress to get them.And you will not be allowed to return either.7) visit the facilities as often as necessary to ensure bladder control.This means limiting liquids, just as you'd do for a colonoscopy, a not inapt comparison.(avoid the solution adopted by one ceremony attending gent.He brought a soft drink bottle and used it like a chamber pot.The name of the perpetrator and the incident itself was immediately classified.) "i didn't really want to go anyway." upon reading these guidelines and rules, you may say, and actually believe, that you didn't really want to go to this critical event of "rule britannia." but we're kidding ourselves, aren't we? for the chance to see prince william and be able to tell your non-invited neighbor that he's taller than he looks on telly is just too good to pass up.Not to mention the bride, and wasn't she lovely? indeed, to secure lifetime bragging rights because we were well and truly invited, we'd all, if ordered, go naked with a full body search to boot.Honi soit qui mal y pense.

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