• Queen Elizabeth II sent out save-the-dates via ye olde fax machine.
• Gold-embossed handwritten invites were mailed to all guests. Official invitations from the Queen are always penned by members of the Royal Household.
• Royal wedding invitations are mailed from Buckingham Palace's own post office.
• RSVP right away. You don't want to irk any royal tempers!
Meet 'n Greet
• When greeting Queen Elizabeth II, you should first address her as Your Majesty. After that, you're good to call her ma'am.
• When addressing father-of-the-groom Prince Charles, start with Your Royal Highness and then sir.
• Lips sealed! Let the monarch speak to you first before breaking the ice.
• Likewise, hands off! Wait until the Queen extends her hand to you. Your handshake should be light. No bear grip or excessive pumping. You're meeting the head of the monarchy, not interviewing for a job.
• Only British women have to curtsy before the Queen, while British men must bow. But you can still do a small gesture to show respect.
• Give Her Majesty some breathing room: Even the Obamas stood a respectable distance from her while posing for photogs at Buckingham Palace. Do not pull a Jimmy Carter. In 1977, he delivered a pucker right on the late Queen Mum's lips. Scandal!
• If the Queen sparks up a chat with you, don't ask about Prince Harry's partying days or her sons' divorces. Personal family matters are strictly taboo.
• Never turn your back on the Queen. Ever. Period. It's a big faux-pas.
• Prince William and Kate will be packing in some 2,000 guests into the pews of Westminster Abbey.
• The Beckhams are in; the Obamas are out! Because Prince William is not yet heir to the throne, the nuptials are not a state affair, thus the couple aren't compelled to invite heads of state. Though select world leaders did make the cut, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
• Gasp, commoners! Historically, non-nobles are not invited, save very close non-titled pals. But Will has vowed to make this the first-ever “people's wedding” by inviting members of the public from his various charities.
• The more senior you are on the guest list, the later you can arrive. Expect the Queen to show up just before Kate.
Royal Wedding Attire
• Here comes the bride, all dressed in white: Queen Victoria started the white-dress trend in 1840 when she wed Prince Albert. Before that, brides usually wore a colored frock. As a guest, avoid white at all costs!
• The dress code for Prince William and Kate's big day will likely be morning dress or lounge suit (a.k.a. business suit) for men, and smart day dress for women (i.e. dress or suit with a hat).
• Conservative is key! Avoid cleavage-baring necklines and over-the-top bling.
Going to the Chapel...
• Royal couples may choose the cathedral in which they marry--so long as it's Church of England.
• All royal weddings take place at 11 a.m.
• It's traditional in Anglican (a.k.a. Church of England) weddings for the groom to face the altar so that he doesn't see his bride until she is standing beside him. But Prince Andrew famously snuck a peek--and broke out into a huge grin!--when Sarah Ferguson was walking down the aisle.
• After the ceremony, Kate will drop a deep curtsy to the Queen, as is tradition, before exiting Westminster Abbey with her new husband.
• After the ceremony, the Queen departs the church first, most likely with Kate's dad, followed by Prince Phillip and the bride's mum. And then the royal bride and groom.
H.M.S. Party Time
• Whilst receiving lines are passé at normal weddings, they are alive and well in the palace! Newly married Prince William and Kate, along with her parents and his dad, will greet each and every guest entering the reception at Buckingham Palace.
• Leave your camera and iPhone at home. Every photo will need to be scrutinized by officials before it's released to the public (i.e. your Facebook page).
• The Windsors take their tea time seriously! Raise only your teacup to drink, not the saucer. Return the cup to the saucer after each sip.
• All guests should stop eating after the Queen takes her last bite.
• A post-ceremony reception is royal tradition. But Prince Charles will also throw the newlyweds a dinner and dance, for very close friends and family only.
• After the wedding, Kate moves dramatically up the royal pecking order. When she's accompanied by her heir husband, Prince William, her stepmum-in-law, Camilla--along with all the other royal princesses--will have to curtsy to her.
• If your invite was lost in the mail, you can still celebrate the royal wedding. The British government has decreed that pubs across the land, which normally turn off the taps at 11 p.m., can keep serving celebratory cocktails till 1 a.m.
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