With the Queen's 90th Birthday this weekend it got us thinking about what to do if you ever get invited to hang out at le palace. SO should you be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, or the Royal Family pops by for a cup of tea (well, they are terribly keen on 'meeting he public' these days) you should know what to do.
Buckingham Palace do not issue a strict dress code as Her Majesty does not want guests to stress, or feel obliged to go out and buy a new outfit for the occasion. Which is very kind of her, but lets face it, you get an invite to the palace, you go and buy a new outfit. And some gloves. And a hat, but don't buy one with too large a brim, as you'll spoil the view for others.
If there is a specific dress code it will appear on the invitation. If you are invited to an event by a member of the royal family to an event you have to go. Treat it as a command. They have stopped chopping heads off, but it would be extraordinarily bad manners to decline the monarchy. You can wear black to meet the monarchy but ladies seldom do, as royalty tend to only wear this to state funerals, and when in official mourning.
For state banquets wear white tie. For a garden party it's normally morning dress, national costume if applicable.
Take a small bag, you will be security checked and mobile phones, tablets and cameras are not allowed.
Be punctual. You must arrive before members of the royal family. If an act of god stops you, slip in discreetly.
DO NOT charge up to the Queen (the security will likely stop you before - quelle embarrassment) Wait and let her come to you.
If you're addressed by the Queen then your reply should be 'Your Majesty...' and continue with 'Ma'am' For other members of the royal house hold begin with, Your Royal Highness...moving to Sir/Ma'am as appropriate.
You may not sit down to dinner, tuck in or make any dramatic executive decisions until after the member of the royal family as entered, sat down, and got themselves settled. The same applies to leaving - you do nothing until they have made their move.
Try to relax, the royals are the most socially skilled family going. They are trained to put mere mortals at ease. But don't go there looking for love, that only worked for Cinderella.