Today is the first installment of our six-week “Manners from the Manor” series with Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, and what better way to begin than with her signature course The Duchess Effect? The Duchess Effect follows a similar training that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle went through when they joined the British Royal Family. Myka gained this knowledge through her training in London under a former member of The Royal Household of Her Majesty the Queen, and by working with members of the British Royal family.
The Duchess Effect is held at The Plaza Hotel in New York City and is consistently sold out. (Keep reading for an exciting new course update!) Below, Myka demonstrates 10 examples of proper Duchess etiquette so we can all channel our inner royalty.
1. Walking: When walking in heels, place one foot directly in front of the other. In flats, walk with your feet hip-width apart. The most common mistakes made when walking in heels is to swing arms too heavily, bouncing when walking and choosing too high a platform and or heel height. And don’t forget, shoulders back and chin parallel to the floor! Myka demonstrates below… Isn’t she adorable?! 🙂
2. The Staircase Glide: When walking down stairs, avoid gripping the handrail and let your palm lightly touch the top. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and look ahead of you. Turn toes slightly in so they are facing the banister as you walk down. Walk very slowly with shoulders back, looking down only at the very end of the staircase to determine the last steps. No bouncing or ‘clunking’ of feet down steps and instead, walk as if you were to glide down the steps. If a gentleman is walking with you down the staircase, he typically walks one to two steps ahead in case while walking down in heels you trip, so he can break your fall.
3. Curtsy: To curtsy you place one foot behind the other (right or left) keep your hands at your side and bend at the knee. You should nod your head as you bend your knees. You can dip as low as you want to.
4. The Duchess Slant: A lady should sit with her knees and ankles together. Angle your legs at a 45-degree angle, right or left, and keep your heels on the floor.
5. The Cambridge Cross: Another option is the Cambridge Cross. Keeping your knees together, cross your legs at the ankle. Heels remain on the ground.
6. The Sussex Slant: When crossing your legs at the knee make sure your ankles are touching as well. Your legs should remain together. This slant was also favored by Princess Diana.
7. Tea: To hold a tea cup, pinch beneath the top of the handle with your thumb and index finger and support the handle with your middle finger. Tuck your ring and pinky fingers in. Pinkies are never out. If you are seated at a table leave the saucer on it. If you are standing and there is no table, hold the bottom of the saucer in the palm of your hand.
8. Greetings: In business situations, a handshake is the correct form of greeting. Using your right hand, the webs (between the thumb and index finger) should touch, and pump twice with a firm grip. For social situations, a handshake may also be appropriate, but it’s three pumps of the hand. In some social circles, an air kiss may be practiced. In the United States it is one air kiss, leading with your right cheek first. Lightly touch your right cheek to the other person’s right cheek and make a slight noise, if at all any, when puckering up, without your lips actually touching their skin. In the UK, it’s two air kisses. If it’s two, then after the right side do the same on the left with left cheek touching left cheek. You may place your right arm lightly on the upper right arm of the person you are greeting.
9. Handbag Etiquette: First, we call it a handbag or a clutch and not a purse, as a purse is used to hold change. When holding a clutch, hold it in one of two ways:
- In front of you with both hands, with your fingers together and pointing downward.
- In your left hand so that your right hand stays open to shake with others. Never hold a clutch underneath the pit of your arm.
10. Exiting Cars and SUVs: Gracefully exiting a car can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are wearing a dress or skirt and particularly when photographers are waiting outside the car door.
Inspired by the “bend and snap” from Legally Blonde, try the “swivel and pop” method, which was created and named by Myka. The first step is to position yourself at the end of your seat and as close to the door as possible. Then place both hands behind yourself and use them to support your body as you turn, or “swivel” (keeping ankles and knees together!) to place your feet outside the car. The final move, the “pop”, is when you stand and exit the car, always protecting modesty! Elle Woods would be proud!
If you have a handbag, simply place it on the seat next to you before doing the “swivel and pop.” After you stand, gracefully reach back into the car to get your bag.
Beaumont Etiquette is announcing its 2019 Duchess Effect Intensive Course at the Plaza Hotel exclusively at The Glam Pad! A discounted rate at The Plaza for the weekend of the course is available… Girl’s trip anyone?! You can register for it here.
Additional tips from The Duchess Effect will be covered in the following weeks including, “British and American Dining Etiquette” (Week 3), “Afternoon Tea Etiquette” (Week 4), and “Get the Look: Style, fashion and beauty” (Week 2). Below is a timeline for The Glam Pad’s six-week “Manners from the Manor” series… Stay tuned!
- Introduction: Meet Myka (09.26.18)
- Week 1: The Duchess Effect (10.03.18)
- Week 2: Dressing Etiquette (10.10.18)
- Week 3: Dining Etiquette (10.17.18)
- Week 4: Afternoon Tea (10.24.18)
- Week 5: Etiquette for Children (10.31.18)
- Week 6: Holiday Etiquette (11.07.18)
To learn more about Myka Meier and her upcoming courses, please visit Beaumont Etiquette and follow @mykameier on Instagram. Courses are also available online for those who cannot attend in person or wish to learn from the privacy of home.