The Queen’s order is that the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton), with or without the Duke (Prince William), should curtsy to the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker-Bowles) and to royals who have direct lineage to the throne including the daughters of Sarah and Prince Andrew. The royals take this protocol very seriously and exercise both in public and private though the news is quick to add, but not without hurting people from certain quarters like the Countess of Wessex (Sophia Rhys) who felt indignation at having to curtsy to the Duchess of Cornwall regardless of Prince Edward being with her. Allegedly, the protocol which is based on “blood principles” was drawn up by the Queen so that her daughter Princess Anne won’t have to ever curtsy to the Duchess of Cornwall, effectively putting Camilla despite her stature as future Princess (or, is it Queen?) Consort in her “rightful” place. See, the stuff that distinguishes royals from lesser mortals!
This talk of royals reminds me of the time our office hosted a visiting young researcher from the UK. Being her counterpart, I was assigned to meet with her and assist her. She and I had just concluded our meeting and were just waiting for the IT personnel to finish repairing her laptop’s external drive. So what to talk about? We couldn’t just stare at each other and at the personnel working on the laptop could we? I decided since she’s from the UK and I’m a fan of the late Princess Diana, I thought we could start there. I asked her what the general sentiment in her country was toward Royalty, do they still find it relevant today? To sum up her reply, she said that in general the English take pride in their heritage, in the Queen and her Family despite having only now a symbolic role in the governance of modern Britain, and yes the Royal Family has not lost its relevance. When she finished speaking, a solemn and profound quiet reigned in the room briefly and I imagined the Queen’s ancestors King Arthur with his Knights in the room saluting her. Well said! I suppose was the salutation. I couldn’t agree more.