Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Royal Spanish Etiquette Traditions

From the birth of a Spanish King until his death, the Spanish Monarch is never free from the bonds of an etiquette which has survived from time immemorial, and, up to date as he is, young Alfonso XIII cannot wholly shake himself free.

The Court of Spain

In almost every court in Europe the strictness of old-fashioned etiquette has of late, been greatly relaxed. The Hapsburgs, however, cling to their ancient customs, and at the Courts of Austria and Spain much of the quaint old ceremonial survives. From the birth of a Spanish King until his death, the Spanish Monarch is never free from the bonds of an etiquette which has survived from time immemorial, and, up to date as he is, young Alfonso XIII cannot wholly shake himself free. 

When a baby Prince is born at the Court of Spain, the Prime Minister must be present, or is hastily sent for; also the Presidents of the Congress and the Senate; the Commander of the Royal Halberdiers, to whom is entrusted the guarding of the Royal family within the Palace. The chief doctor then dresses the baby, and, placing the poor little atom upon an enormous silver salver, bears him in state to the father, who is waiting in the ante-chamber. “Sir, it is an infante (Prince),” he says gravely. The father, with equal gravity, takes the salver, raises it, and shows it to all present, then kisses the baby, and the odd little ceremony is over.

“DON'T TOUCH THE KING!”

No one beneath the rank of a Noble may personally attend the King of Spain, nor by any means, touch his sacred person. About twelve years ago, little Alfonso, running carelessly downstairs, stumbled, and took a regular dive towards the bottom. A footman, with great presence of mind, opened wide his arms and caught the child unhurt. He had saved the little Prince's bones, but had broken the rules of Court etiquette. Therefore, he lost his place. But it is satisfactory to learn that the Queen-Mother saw that the poor fellow did not suffer. She thanked him, and pensioned him handsomely.

All his life through the King is guarded by a special body of picked men. Tradition requires that these shall be drawn from the town of Espinosa. All night, they patrol the corridor outside his room, and at certain intervals the officer in charge glances through a secret panel to see that his youthful Majesty is well and safe. The men wear full armor, and— curious contrast! —felt slippers.

By right of birth, the King of Spain is a canon of Leon Cathedral, and, by a curious old unwritten law originating no one knows how, each member of the chapter must, on his first visit to the cathedral, jump over a small gate in one of the cloisters. As may be imagined, this was one of the few points of custom which thoroughly appealed to young Alfonso. He carried out the very letter of the law by a really splendid jump, for slight and delicate as he looks, the King is very athletic.

GOOD FOR THE SERVANTS

In old days nothing that had appeared on the Royal table was ever seen a second time. From the wax candles to the unopened bottles of wine, all was the perquisite of the underlings. The Queen-Mother has changed all this, and waste is at an end. To such an extreme has economy been carried that during his minority, the young King's allowance was but five pounds a month. A Spanish Coronation is a more simple ceremony than might be imagined. An odd point about it is that just behind the head of the procession, are led twelve riderless horses in full Royal trappings. There is no crown used in Spanish Coronations. The ceremonial attending the funeral of a Spanish King is the strangest of its kind, in existence. 

The Royal tomb is situated in the Escurial— that strange old place which lies some distance, away from Madrid, and fully 8000 feet above sea level. The procession movea on foot out of Madrid, and rests one night upon the way. In the morning, the Lord Chamberlain stands by the coffin and cries, “Is your Majesty pleased to proceed upon your journey?” A short silence, and then they move on. When the casket is at last placed in the vault, its final destination, the same official unlocks it, kneels down, and calls loudly: “Señor! Señor! Señor! ” Again a solemn pause. “His Majesty does not reply,” says the Chamberlain. “Then it is true. The King is dead!” He locks the coffin, breaks his staff of office in pieces, and all is over. – Los Angeles Herald, 1906 


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hat Etiquette of Spain’s Nobility

The young Spanish King presenting the heir to the throne, to the Grandees and other dignitaries assembled.

Grandees of Spain...
Curious Hat Etiquette That Mark Their Three Classes 

A Grandee of Spain enjoys the privilege, granted him many hundreds of years ago, of remaining “covered” in the presence of his Sovereign. This custom dates from the period when, according to the theory then held, the King was “the first among equals.” The ancient formula, always at the Coronation of the Kings of old Spain was, “We, your equals, choose you to reign over us.” And the King assented in this declaration of his Nobles. 

There was a time when all Grandees of Spain wore their hats in the presence of the King, but in time, the idea of caste began to prevail even among the Grandees, with the result that they were eventually divided into three classes, and these classes were distinguished by the hat etiquette. The first class entered the Royal presence covered; the second class entered uncovered, and, after an advance of a few steps, put on their hats, unbidden by the King, and the third class also entered uncovered, but did not “cover” until requested to do so by the King. Then, according to the etiquette, “all were equal.”

There have been Grandees who were not Spaniards, notably the Duke of Wellington, upon whom the Cortes conferred the honor in recognition of his services to the State. – Mariposa Gazette, 1918

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tennis Watching Etiquette Tips

“Clothes and manners do not make the man; But when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” The late, great Arthur Ashe... A graceful, a strong competitor and a gentleman. – Ashe was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win not only the singles title at Wimbledon, but both the US Open, and the Australian Open. He retired in 1980. The Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award is named for the tennis player Arthur Ashe. Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports.” According to ESPN, the organisation that gives out the award, “recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”

The pomp and circumstance that surrounds a tennis match is as important to the game as the etiquette that applies to a Coronation or an Inauguration of a President of the United States. These formal occasions draw crowds in the thousands and yet no one cries out “youse was a lucky bum, Queeny” or “Mr. President, we was robbed.” Baseball, football and prizefighting are popular spectator sports and there is a promient place for Leo Durocher, the Sunday morning quarterback and an easy shave with Gillette Blades. Tennis is a participation sport and the gallery is expected to conduct themselves as if they were one of the competitors. 

One tennis impresario suggested that tennis fans should boo the players, heckle the referee or throw chewing gum wrappers and tea bags. Not so long ago, he was a great champion who realized tennis fans like to watch him play because they were concentrating on every point as if they were in the match with him. Tennis, golf and bowling are all good participation sports and the spectators thereof should be aware of the courtesy they owe the participants. “Nice shot,” “sorry” and “good try” are as much a part of tennis as “take it off” at a burlesque show. –By David Gillam for Desert Sun, 1962

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Cockades

Prince Charles Edward Stuart wearing a cockade – A cockade was pinned on both the side of a man's tricorne or ‘cocked hat,’ or on his lapel. Women could also wear it on their hat or in their hair. In pre-revolutionary France, the cockade of the Bourbon Dynasty was all white. In Great Britain, supporters of a Jacobite restoration wore white cockades, while the recently established Hanoverian Monarchy used a black cockade. In the 18th and 19th centuries, coloured cockades were worn throughout Europe, to show the allegiance of their wearers to some political faction, their rank, or as part of a servant's livery. Military uniforms used cockades as well.



Origins and Etiquette of “Cockade” Under Inquiry 

The origin of the cockade is still under investigation in the columns of the Justice of the Peace


A correspondent cites the Clarendon Press Dictionary, which gives “Cockade” : A corruption of cockard, a. F. cockarde, derivation of Coc-Cock according to Littre, so called from the cock's comb. But the first appearance of the word is in Rabelais, in the phrase ‘bonnet a la coquarde,’ explained by Cotgrave (1611) as a ‘Spanish cap, or fashion of bonnet, used by the most substantial men of yore; also any bonnet or cap worn proudly, or peartly on the one side.’ 

Here, coquarde appears to be the feminine of coquard: adj. ‘foolishly proud, saucy... malapert, as such a malapert cockscomb’ as a ribbon, knot of ribbons, rosette, or the like, worn in the hat as a badge of office or party, or as part of a livery dress. The cockade worn in the hat by coachmen and livery servants of persons serving under the Crown, is a rosette of black leather, originally a distinctive badge of the House of Hanover, as the white cockade was of the House of  Stuart and its adherents.” 

Then follows a reference to the use of the word at various dates from 1160 to 1846. It is worn, as all know, by livery servants of persons serving under the Crown, but not necessarily all such persons, and the particular persons so serving must be ascertained by long established custom. No doubt many persons, for some obscure reason not easily understood, unless they be “foolishly proud, saucy, or malapert,” now and again assume the badge whom “etiquette” does not acknowledge as entitled to the privilege. – San Francisco Call, 1909

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Victorian Etiquette of Hair

“Hair is to the human aspect, what foliage is to the landscape.” 
Gentleman from New York City, in 1889, with fashionable beard and moustache. – “There is no worthier accomplishment for a man with a moustache than to take soup in an inoffensive manner… and by no means should the moustache be used to strain the soup.” ~ Cornelia Dobbs


The hair and beard, in one of their aspects, belong to the dress. In reference to the style of wearing them, consult the general principles of taste. A man to whom nature has given a handsome beard, deforms himself sadly by shaving—at least, that is our opinion; and on this point fashion and good taste agree. The full beard is now more common than the shaven face in all our large cities.

In the dressing of the hair there is room for the display of a great deal of taste and judgment. The style should vary with the different forms of face.

Victorian hairstyles and bonnets for women.
Lardner's “Young Ladies' Manual” has the following hints to the gentler sex. Gentlemen can modify them to suit their case:

“After a few experiments, a lady may very easily decide what mode of dressing her hair, and what head-dress renders her face most attractive.”

“Ringlets hanging about the forehead suit almost every one. On the other hand, the fashion of putting the hair smoothly, and drawing it back on either side, is becoming to few; it has a look of vanity instead of simplicity: the face must do every thing for it, which is asking too much, especially as hair, in its pure state, is the ornament intended for it by nature. Hair is to the human aspect what foliage is to the landscape.”

“Light hair is generally most becoming when curled. For a round face, the curls should be made in short, half ringlets, reaching a little below the ears. For an oval face, long and thick ringlets are suitable; but if the face be thin and sharp, the ringlets should be light, and not too long, nor too many in number.”

“When dark hair is curled, the ringlets should never fall in heavy masses upon the shoulders. Open braids are very beautiful when made of dark hair; they are also becoming to light-haired persons. A simple and graceful mode of arranging the hair is to fold the front locks behind the ears, permitting the ends to fall in a couple of ringlets on either side behind.”

“Another beautiful mode of dressing the hair, and one very appropriate in damp weather, when it will keep in curl, is to loop up the ringlets with small hair-pins on either side of the face and behind the ears, and pass a light band of braided hair over them.”

“Persons with very long, narrow heads may wear the hair knotted very low at the back of the neck. If the head be long, but not very narrow, the back hair may be drawn to one side, braided in a thick braid, and wound around the head. When the head is round, the hair should be formed in a braid in the middle of the back of the head. If the braid be made to resemble a basket, and a few curls permitted to fall from within it, the shape of the head is much improved.”–
From “How To Behave: A Pocket Manual Of Republican Etiquette, And Guide To Correct Personal Habits” by Samuel R Wells, 1887

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Etiquette and Pushy Tourists

Seriously?!? – Among the many applicants for admission to Marlborough House, none showed greater disappointment than 3 women from Washington. They had a fully authenticated permit, but they arrived at 8:30 in the morning. Their pass distinctly stated that the Palace was open to visitors only between 3 and 6 in the afternoon, but they implored the official in charge to let them see the children of the Prince and Princess, declaring they had come all the way from the United States with that special object. They were told it was “contrary to etiquette to allow strangers to see the children in the absence of the Prince and Princess, or without their authority.”

Poorly Mannered, but Well-Moneyed Americans, are Interested in Palaces – American Visitors Have New Fad – “Yankee” Tourists Invade Royal Residences in Droves – Admitted Freely by King's Sanction, but Detectives Watch Them

Special Cable to The Call

LONDON. Sept 2.— Never within the memory of some of the royal servants have Americans shown such an interest in the Royal Palaces of England as they have this summer. The average of nine to ten parties which used to go through Buckingham Palace and Marlborough House a few seasons ago, has increased this year to forty or thereabouts, with the result that an extra staff of attendants and guides had to be employed. Marlborough House appears to have had greater attraction for visitors than even Buckingham Palace, especially with women, who all want to see the children of the Prince and Princess of Wales. What surprised the household servants most, was that nearly every party came around with an official document authorizing admission. In every instance these were signed by the Lord Chamberlain or by Sir Dighton Probyn; the keeper of the Prince of Wales’ privy purse. 

There were so many Americans, disappointed last year, that at the beginning of the present season both the King and the Prince of Wales gave instructions that no unnecessary obstacles should be placed in the way of Americans desiring to see the Palaces, but it may be of interest to those who succeeded in obtaining ready permission to know that an extra staff of special detectives kept them under observation the whole of the time. This precaution was taken in consequence of the presence of three or four men from Chicago, who were doing London, and who were suspected of revolutionary leanings. These men could not be allowed inside the gates of the Palaces under any circumstances, even if they had succeeded in obtaining permits signed by King Edward himself. 

Among the many applicants for admission to Marlborough House, none showed greater disappointment than the three women from Washington who gave their names as Miss Ida Ingersoll, Mrs. Dereham Holtsinger and Mrs. Madeline Kurtz. They were provided with a fully authenticated permit, but they reached Marlborough House at 8:30 in the morning. On being told that their pass distinctly stated that the Palace was open to visitors only between 3 and 6 in the afternoon, they implored the official in charge to let them see the children of the Prince and Princess, declaring they had come all the way from the United States with that special object. They were told it was contrary to etiquette to allow strangers to see the children in the absence of the Prince and Princess, or without their authority. They could not wait for that as they had to leave for Southampton to catch their steamer in a few hours. – San Francisco Call, 1905

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Beau Brummell’s “Cut”

The “cut” employed by both the Prince Regent and Beau Brummell, was the ultimate social weapon of the Regency Era. It equates today, to a major “dis” of someone who is no longer a friend, but a frenemy. It’s the final social solution. It was not something to be used lightly, for using the cut, (sometimes called the “cut direct”) signaled your terminating a relationship. That “cut” was literally cutting your bonds of friendship. Rules about when and how a “cut” should be used, were as important as those rules on who could use the “cut” – Unmarried ladies were never to cut married ladies; gentlemen were never to cut a lady regardless of what she’d done; a gentleman cutting another gentleman had to be careful not to let the cut lead to a duel; a host could not cut a guest; etc... While it would seem to be a breach of etiquette to publicly cut someone, failure to follow the rules of cutting would be a serious breach of etiquette.

Shortly after Beau Brummell had joined his Hussars regiment, he inherited a large fortune from his father. He soon found military life uncongenial, and sold his commission. He then set up a bachelor establishment in the most fashionable quarter of London. Here, he entertained lavishly, and always had about him a coterie of the best dressed men of the city, who aped him in everything he did. The father of the Prince of Wales was the mainstay of Brummell's position at this time. Aside from his accomplishment that has made him famous, he was also exceedingly clever at repartee. The Prince was particularly fond of him for his witty conversation. The dandy had unlimited assurance, and even the Royal favor he was able to turn to the very best advantage. He was admitted to what was then termed the very best society, for he was extremely popular with the officers of his regiment. All that he could claim of social distinction for his own family was that his father had been secretary to Lord North. 

When Brummell reached the ago of 25 he found the proudest Dukes of England turned to him for advice in matters of dress, and with the proper spirit of the despot, he ruled on all such matters with brusque finality, “I want your opinion on this coat, Brummell.” said the Duke of Bedford. “Do you call that thing a coat, Bedford?” replied Beau. Finally his manner assumed such an arbitrary turn that he undertook to snub the Prince of Wales, who aspired to be the finest gentleman in Europe. Coolness sprang up between the two and the Prince cut the Beau. 

One story has it that when the Prince and Brummell were dining together, the latter asked him to ring the bell. It is said the Prince did ring the bell, and when the servant came, ordered Mr. Brummell’s carriage. The Beau denied the story, and gave the cause of the quarrel his own sarcasm on the Prince's increasing corpulency and his resemblance to Mrs. Fitzherbert's porter, “Big Ben.” Following his break in friendship, Brummell lounged about, made amusing remarks on his late friend and patron, swore he would “cut” him, and, in short, behaved with his usual aplomb. 

Soon after the bell affair, the “Beau” met his former friend in St. James street and resolved to cut him. Each antagonist was leaning on the arm of a friend. Jack Lee, who was thus supporting the “Beau” was intimate with the Prince, who, to make the cut more marked, stopped to talk to him without taking the slightest notice of Brummell. After a time both parties moved on, and then came the moment of triumph and revenge. It was sublime. Turning ‘round half way, so that his words could not fail to be heard by the retreating Regent, the Beau asked of his companion in his usual drawl, “Well, Jack, who's your fat friend?” The coolness, presumption and impertiness of the question perhaps made it the best thing the Beau ever said and from that time, the Prince took care not to risk another encounter with him. 

There are a great many stories told of the wit of Beau Brummell, always exercised at the expense of the defenseless or less brilliant and fashionable. On one occasion at least its unmitigated insolence brought its fair rebuke and that was when he sneeringly assured a wealthy brewer, Alderman Combe, from whom he had won a large sum at cards, that in future he would drink no one elses porter. “I wish, sir,” said Combe, “that every other blackguard in London would tell me the same.” – Sacramento Union, 1912


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia