Meeting Her Majesty is a prospect that would make anyone nervous – even celebrities. In keeping with traditional etiquette, men greet the monarch with a neck bow as a sign of respect, while ladies will bob down into a low curtsy and bow their head. But performing a curtsy is often easier said than done, with balance, grace and foot-placing being key factors to conquer. From the awkward to the cute, let's take a look at these famous faces and their curtsies when meeting the royals…
What happened when the Queen of Pop met the Queen of England? Music icon Madonna greeted Her Majesty with a curtsy at the premiere of Bond movie Die Another Day at London's Royal Albert Hall in November 2002. The Material Girl singer looked visibly chuffed to be addressing Queen Elizabeth II at the film premiere, pulling off the perfect curtsy in her black sequinned dress and diamond encrusted shoes.
Attending a performing arts reception at Buckingham Palace in May 2011, pop star Ellie Goulding was photographed curtseying very casually for the Queen. The How Long Will I Love You singer has a few royal connections including Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, whose weddings she both attended in 2018.
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Australian singing royalty Kylie Minogue appeared calm and collected when greeting the Queen following her Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2012. The petite pop-star expertly avoided a wardrobe mishap when curtseying in front of Her Majesty in a gold-sequinned, thigh baring dress.
Actress Carey Mulligan had clearly practised her curtsy before meeting the Queen in 2013. The Great Gatsby star was introduced to the monarch and Prince Phillip at a reception for the British Film Industry at Windsor Castle. The Queen was all smiles as she greeted Carey and her subtle, yet classy curtsy.
Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen takes the crown for the cutest curtsy on record, meeting the monarch in her younger years at a film premiere in London's Leicester Square. The Queen attended the Royal Film Performance of How the Grinch stole Christmas in 2000 and met a very young Taylor alongside her co-star Jim Carrey. It seems Her Majesty took quite a shine to the young actress at the time.
Britain's first female Prime Minister relied on her previous curtseying practice when in office to greet the Queen again at a Falkland Islands chapel memorial in 2007. Baroness Thatcher greeted the monarch in a similar lavender hat and coat ensemble at the 25th anniversary of Liberation Day.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May met Her Majesty on a number of occasions whilst serving Number 10, having plenty of opportunities to refine her curtseying technique. Seen here at Buckingham Palace at a reception to celebrate the Commonwealth Diaspora community in April, Ms May was captured enacting a very low curtsy for the sovereign.
In another official visit with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Theresa May was snapped curtseying rather awkwardly at an event to commemorate the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres. The photo of the previous Prime Minister greeting Prince William was a hit with Twitter users, with several memes of Theresa popping up all over the internet. One featured her on a skateboard, whilst one Twitter user posted: "Theresa May's impressively low/awkward curtsy strikes again."
Veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave curtsied to the Duke of Cambridge on stage at the British Academy Film and Television Awards in 2010. The actress was accepting her BAFTA Fellowship award presented by Uma Thurman and Prince William. Ever the gentleman, William assisted Vanessa back up again after her respective bow.
The former first lady of France bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II following a visit to Windsor Castle for the Entente Cordiale Celebrations in 2004. Bernadette, the wife of the French President at the time Jacques Chirac, had her royal etiquette down, with the politician's wife presumably used to greeting officials gracefully.