Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Presentation at Court

Here is an article about presentation at the British court. Being presented at the French court was not too dramatically different. (I'll do a post on it sometime.)
There were only three qualifications for admittance to the throne room:
  • First, that the lady wishing to be presented should be of good moral and social character.
  • Secondly, presentation had to be made by someone who had already been presented.
  • Lastly, the status of the actual presentée. The most obvious candidates, the wives and daughters of the aristocracy, had the privilege of being kissed by Queen Victoria (though no kisses were received if the Princess of Wales were acting as stand-in, and the practice was dropped entirely in the Edwardian era), then came the ranks of those candidates whose presentation would be sealed by the action of kissing the Queen’s hand. These included the daughters and wives of the country gentry and Town gentry, of the clergy, of naval and military officers, of professional men such as physicians and barristers, of merchants, bankers and members of the Stock Exchange, and “persons engaged in commerce on a large scale.”


Anonymous said...

Fascinating--thank you! I didn't realize how attention was given to attire and presentation at court.
It made me think of Scarlett O'Hara's presentation to the Irish Viceroy at a state ball in the novel "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley. The prescribed etiquette and decorum sounded exactly to what is being described for the British court.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Elisa!