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Princess Training: How to get the regal touch

07 MAY 2012

The Duchess of Cambridge, Mary of Denmark and Maxima of the Netherlands are some of the most admired women on the royal scene.

The ease and grace with which they glide through their public engagements is envious. But it doesn't come naturally – this is the result of an education.

 

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Now you too can undergo Princess training, with advice from the UK's leading protocol and etiquette expert, William Hanson.

"Royal women understand that they must strike a balance" he says. "They should have a dazzling personality, but one that is teased out with decorum."

Follow William's tips to grace your interpersonal skills with a regal touch:


First Impressions Last

It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression, one that will last for a long time. For successful introductions, our expert suggests adopting restraint and professionalism.

 

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"Avoid air kissing, which is pandemic and creates a false atmosphere" William says. "Instead, offer up your perfect handshaketwo firm jolts with the right hand facing inwards, never down, which is dominating."


Princess Posturing

Good posture is key to project confidence in yourself and your abilities.

To emulate this, peel your shoulders back and hold your head high, as if you were trying to balance a book on top of it.

A common dilemma is what to do with your hands. Keep them occupied with a glass, or clutch bag. Folding them across the chest or crotch draws negative attention to that part of the body.


 • Car manoeuvre 

Getting in and out of a car like a lady is a lesson in itself. Luckily, it's a simple one: "Legs together, swing them out over the seat and lift, or lower, at an angle."

 

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Voicing opinions 

Public speaking of any kind is nerve wracking. When Kate gave her first speech at the Treehouse Hospice, she relied heavily on her notes and this showed.

William reveals that a strong, authoritative voice comes from knowledge and familiarity.

When you speak in any situation, use anecdotes, draw on your own life and experiences to sound natural and vibrant.


Pegging order

Royal protocol is hierarchical. When senior royals such as the Queen are present, others defer to them, walking a few paces behind and reflecting their posture and body language.

 

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In professional life, gain respect by recognising similar boundaries. If you are the boss, don't divulge more about yourself than you should.

As an employee, don't allow yourself to be drawn into personal conversation.


Finishing touch  

Finally, remember that being a lady and having a vibrant personality aren't mutually exclusive concepts.

"The idea isn't to be some animatronic machine" William concludes.

Take inspiration from Maxima of the Netherlands – she is vivacious, elegant and true to herself – all the while remaining every inch the princess.

 

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