Smart Living I took a $34 royal etiquette class with the Queen's cousin, Princess Katarina, who taught me how to shake hands and curtsy to the royals
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- I took a Zoom royal etiquette class co-hosted by Princess Katarina, the Queen's cousin.
- The princess advised the class on how to greet members of the royal family.
- The $34 class felt more informal than I expected.
It's not every day you get to take a royal etiquette class taught by a real-life princess.
So when I heard that, was teaming up with Her Royal Highness to host a Zoom workshop earlier this month, I didn't think twice before buying a ticket, which cost £25, or around $34.
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Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, who is a member of both the British and the Serbian royal family, introduced herself as a cousin to the Queen and a great-niece to the late Duke of Edinburgh. She has been co-teaching at Harrold's royal etiquette school since 2013.
Harrold worked for the royal household from 2004 until 2009 and now runs both the etiquette school and his butler school. He was thewhen I joined Insider in 2019 and I have
The class took place at 9 p.m. BST on a Wednesday evening, late enough that participants from the US and other countries around the world were able to join. There were 31 of us in total - many of whom wore fascinators and hats for the occasion.
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Princess Katarina and Harrold taught us how to shake hands and curtsy to the royals
The class was kicked off by Harrold, who went through a PowerPoint presentation that outlined the differences between etiquette and manners. Etiquette, he explained, is rule-based, such as "the way you fold your napkin" whereas manners are about politeness, like holding a door open for someone.
The presentation lasted approximately 20 minutes before they spent the next hour answering participants' questions. It became less structured than I had expected, running more like a Q&A session with Harrold and the princess taking turns speaking.
When one person asked about the correct way to address a royal, she responded: "As we're casual tonight, you can call me Princess Katarina."
Harrold said that he has never addressed Princess Katarina by her first name and would usually call her "Your Royal Highness." He added that only royals he would ever address by their first names were Princes Harry and William, because they are of a similar age.
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The pair also advised how to shake hands with a royal, with Harrold suggesting that it should be "between two and three pumps" and that your grasp shouldn't be too firm or too limp.
Princess Katarina said it's the royal who should put their hand out first. She added she didn't know whether the Queen will go back to handshakes after the pandemic, but she suspects that "more and more people will be wearing gloves."
Despite the formalities, Princess Katarina had an informal air about her
I have to admit, when Princess Katarina told the class to use her "princess" title at the beginning of the class, I had expected to feel intimidated. But she was more down-to-earth than I had first realized.
Even when advising on how to curtsy (do a "little bob" and don't lean too close to the ground) the royal spoke as if she was on a Zoom call with old friends.
She suggested that Harrold demonstrate the curtsy to the class, because "beneath my waist-side I do not wish people to see how I am dressed."
Both the princess and Harrold made time for each participant, not only by answering their questions but by finding out more about the person, asking where they were from, or simply by complimenting their fascinator.
Visit thefor information about forthcoming classes.
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