Ingrid Seward: Meghan Markle will need to ‘correct’ her American table manners

2013 NYFF Tribute to Cate Blanchett

Hopefully, it’s just a matter of weeks before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement. I’m looking forward to it! Please let it happen soon, we need some fun royal gossip. I’ve been trying to cut down on the boring, obvious stories about Meg and Harry ahead of the engagement announcement, partly because there’s no real news there and partly because I don’t want people to be too jaded and “over it” when the engagement actually happens. But there is something we can and should discuss: princess lessons, how well Meghan will do in a royal role, and what the reaction will be to Meghan within those cloistered, tightass royal households and royal-adjacent media figures. Also: what will be the long-term reaction of the British press? Thankfully, the New York Post spoke to some “royal experts” like Ingrid Seward and Katie Nicholl and they have some ideas. Some highlights:

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Mag: Seward says Meghan’s next steps will need to be very careful: “It’s going to be a minefield.” There’s no special “school” where Markle will learn how to curtsy, hob-knob with foreign dignitaries or emerge from a car without flashing her underwear. “She will always have to remember, in public at least, that she is royalty and certain behaviors are expected. It’s going to be difficult for her because she is an independent career woman who [won’t] really like being told what to do.”

Katie Nicholl says Prince Harry is the one mentoring Meghan: “He knows how daunting this will be for Meghan and he’s keen for her to be relaxed in the company of senior royals,” she said. Before the auspicious meeting at so-called “BP,” he would have told his girlfriend how to address the 91-year-old queen, strongly suggesting that she curtsy, even though that’s an optional move these days. “Harry will have made sure Meghan knew how to address the queen and how to behave in her presence,” says Nicholl, who has written a forthcoming biography of Harry. “He calls her ‘Granny,’ but after Meghan had curtsied and called her ‘Your Majesty,’ she would have reverted to ‘ma’am.’ It seems strange to mere mortals, but it is how [Princess] Kate addresses her.”

Seward on the historic nature of this marriage: “We’ve never had an American divorcée marry someone who is in line to the throne,” said Seward.

American manners: “American manners are different than British manners,” Seward added. “[She] can’t walk down the street eating or chewing gum.” Markle will even have to correct her table manners. “We hold our cutlery differently. It’s a whole different culture.” It will likely only be after an engagement is announced that Markle will receive formal briefings on her public appearances. A personal assistant will also be hired. As Seward points out, advance information on how to dress correctly could have helped Markle ahead of the Invictus Games, where she famously wore ripped jeans.

Robert Lacey on how Meghan will do: “Times have changed and the heat is off Meghan. She is a new recruit but, apart from being assigned a lady-in-waiting, it would be demeaning for her to get too much advice from courtiers. The best person to give Meghan advice would be her fellow divorcée, Camilla [the Duchess of Cornwall and Harry’s stepmother]. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had taken Meghan aside for a strong gin and tonic and some helpful tips on joining the royal family. She’s a very funny woman who’s had it all thrown at her but survived.”

[From The New York Post]

I LOVE how irritated Ingrid Seward is about Meghan Markle. I can feel the prissiness wafting off of her. Seward can’t believe that someone in line to the BRITISH THRONE is going to marry an American divorcee who wears ripped jeans, someone who actually speaks with an American accent! My god. All of this just reminds me of something I’ve always known, ever since Princess Diana: British princesses/duchesses have to walk such a fine line between “playing to the world” and “playing to the British people.” Diana could pull it off – she was a star wherever she went, and beloved wherever she went, a thoroughly British girl who was also a citizen of the world. The Duchess of Cambridge is not that – Kate is parochial, partly out of design, partly because she doesn’t have the charisma or the desire to appeal to anyone outside of Daily Mail readers. Meghan will be different simply because she’s not a part of that narrow, aristo/royal British ecosystem. And it’s driving some of those people crazy.

Invictus Games Opening Ceremony

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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265 Responses to “Ingrid Seward: Meghan Markle will need to ‘correct’ her American table manners”

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  1. minx says:

    Here we go.

    • Sunglasses Aready says:

      Buckingham Palace Mafia at work

    • Pandy says:

      Right? I think Meghan will do just fine. The British public will love her as a breath of fresh air and there are modern day etiquette lessons so she doesn’t mistake the fish fork for the salad fork. (rolling eyes here). IF she hasn’t done this already! And for her clothing – well, he’s 6th in line and she will be able to be more daring because of it. Bring on the engagement already!

      PS: Of course you follow protocol when meeting the Queen. Google it. It’s not the difficult. Same protocol as meeting Harry. Curtsey, your RH address, then Sir. Duh.

      • Saucy says:

        I don’t think the British public will see her as a breath of fresh air. The loathing of Charles and Camilla is sign for a republic which as I’ve expressed previously here, hope happens in my lifetime. I don’t understand how any of you can support an institution which by definition is anti-meritocratic and literally establishes your place in the social pecking order by which sperm made it. The fact that Meghan is mixed race is neither here nor there (I speak as a WoC myself). I’m a Brit and I would like a republic ASAP. The whole institution is bonkers in a first world democracy in the 21st century!

      • SpareRib says:

        With you on this one Saucy. The Royals are an outdated and costly burden on the UK. Time to get rid and stop wasting time on them.

      • Crystalia says:

        I agree with Pandy and Saucy. Monarchies are too ludicrous for words. However, since one exists, the idea that Meghan Markle, the polished, sophisticated, intelligent humanitarian and *actress* might struggle to fulfill her role is equally ludicrous. She’ll be just fine with those inbred, money-grabbing cultists.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The system is far more complicated than that. The expenses are completely over the top and need to be reeled in. Otherwise? There are many things to be said for a system in which the top elected official and his gang of miscreants (family included) can’t defraud the public, lie, cheat, steal, and essentially commit treason without being held accountable – because, politics.

        As silly as some aspects of monarchy can be, there are intrinsic safeguards to having a system with an apolitical referee as head of state.

      • Brian says:

        Saucy: COMPLETELY!!!! If you really took a hard look at how monarchies and peerage systems related to equality there’s no way a modern, forward-thinking person could settle the two.

        Also, the monarch is, in the UK at least, almost free to do as she/he wishes. Meaning because the judicial system are in their name they cannot prosecute themselves. There is something inherently wrong when all citizens of a state are not treated fairly and justly under the law. I don’t see how the quaintness or nostalgia of such a system outweighs its implications of inequality and injustice.

        Also, these people got rich off of the backs of enslaved and conquered people. Never forget that. .

      • notasugarhere says:

        Seen recently on other royal site. There is an annual survey of the happiest countries in the world, where people self-report their happiness level. 7 of the top 10 are monarchies.

        Plenty of abuses and ridiculous things related to monarchy, and things that can be valuable as well. If Sixer happens by, she (as an ardent anti-monarchist) can give a list of the reasons why monarchy still works as the form of government for the UK.

      • Alix says:

        Technically, until she marries into the family and becomes the queen’s subject, she is under no obligation whatsoever to curtsy.

      • TyrantDestroyed says:

        I am with you Saucy. Free the Commonwealth!

      • kimbers says:

        old people will be in a tissy, young people (that is already used to globalization) will not be effected.

  2. Jillian says:

    Can someone explain why Dailymail hates her so much? They tear her apart

    • Des says:

      Look at her skin color, friend.

    • ELX says:

      They don’t like foreigners in ‘Little England’ and there’s an African in front of that American—toss up as to which they loathe more.

      • RoyalSparkle says:

        Seward ‘foreigners’ need respect. Princess in waiting Sparkle is not – according to recent search of her ancestors, MM may very well belong to the Titled aristocracy of England GB.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        @RoyalSparkle-
        Care to elaborate? To what ancestry search do you refer?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Daily Fail researched her genealogy and found a common ancestor with the BRF (Queen Mum’s side) back in the 15th century.

    • LAK says:

      The DM hates everyone who isn’t a little Englander. That’s their raison d’etre.

      You are probably noticing it more this time because it’s about MM, but all royal girlfriends get this treatment. If they graduate to wife, the DM does a 180 and starts pumping out articles that are OTT sugary. -see every girlfriend bar Diana and *Fergie.

      *they started ripping into Fergie AFTER she wed, but she was a girlfriend for little over 6mths before the engagement as was Diana. No time to dig up dirty or forment unpopular opinion before they graduated to wife.

      The reason these royal men have a hard time finding women who will be their official girlfriend or wife? Papers like the DM ripping them to shreds

    • Merritt says:

      She is a woman and she is a POC.

    • Sarah L says:

      As a British person I feel a lot of the hate Meghan gets is due to her not being who Prince Harry was “expected to marry”. People need to remember that Britain has watched William and Harry since the day they were born, they are (whether you like it or not) part of British culture. It was expected that Harry would play the field for a few years with “unsuitable” women but then settle down with someone who would have been considered appropriate Royal bride material. The fact that Harry is getting serious with an American divorcee who is an actress is, in the eyes of many British people not the way thing were suppose to work out. I honestly believe that Meghan will never be accepted by the British people for the simple fact that she is too different. There wont be a million people lining the streets to watch her drive to her wedding like there was with Kate, the reason being that Kate is “one of us” and was accepted by the majority of British people. As sad as it is to write, Meghan won’t have the fairy tale happy ending as a member of the British Royal Family

      • Tina says:

        I really disagree. Now, the audience for the wedding may be smaller than William & Kate’s was, but that’s a function of the fact that they’re going to be King and Queen and Harry and Meghan will not. I think Meghan has the same chance of being accepted as a part of the royal family as Fergie and Sophie did (and to a lesser extent Autumn Phillips). If she plays her part, does her duties and doesn’t put a foot wrong, she’ll be fine, like Sophie. That’s hard to do, but it is absolutely possible.

      • Connell says:

        Fergie may have been accepted initially, but she has been criticized relentlessly for years. She is her own person, and has her own opinions. Sophie has a happy marriage, and never says anything, works quietly, totally unpolitical. Kate needs to become Sophie, but has not been able to do it; maybe some day. In Meghan’s case, I think she needs to be herself.

      • BorderMollie says:

        I really wouldn’t take a few commentators on the DM website as representing an entire country’s mood. Even in a country with plenty of flaws, that’s incredibly unfair. I’d hate to think of people judging Canada by comments left by troll bots on CBC’s social media pages. The royal family is lucky to get someone as hardworking and classy as Megan in their ranks, and most of the public no doubt see that.

      • Sunfuntravel says:

        Well all the polls taken by express; DM and the sun says that you are dead wrong! In fact the polls have consistently show that the overwhelming percentage of UK thinks it’s great that Harry is possibly going to marry an American divorcée… and the rest is indifferent and only a small amount have expressed negative thoughts… you are projecting your own opinion Sarah L..:

      • RoyalSparkle says:

        -10000
        Disagree. Potential King Henry Sparkle Couple will eclipse Willnot Kannot middleton…and then some. We have two (superpowers) countries coming together – the wedding will be huge!! No small Church hidden away will do.

      • Radley says:

        Have any of them had a fairytale ending? Serious question.

        I loathe the very concept of royalty. Down with every type of caste system! It’s anti-egalitarian. That said, I wish them both well. But this whole royalty thing? Pfft.

      • Meggles says:

        Meghan is far more popular here that Kate. I have nothing against Kate but the perception of her as being waity and do-little has hung around. She’s not hated the way she is online, and she’s popular in some quarters, but not like Meghan who is liked/neutral by basically everyone apart from the hardcore racist trolls.

        But really most Brits take zero interest in the Royals apart from as a bit of celeb gossip.

      • Maren says:

        I have been saying this also, that she isn’t English and the British will not love her and find her a “breath of fresh air.”
        She will be an intruder who “stole” their favorite son.
        Add to that her divorce and career, and I think it is not going to be easy for her.
        And I pray a modern american woman never curtsies to anyone. How does that fit with all her talk of being an independent modern woman???

      • Carrie1 says:

        That is sad to hear. I hope she is received and treated better than that. Not faulting you here, I just didn’t know about this intense dislike of her.

        I am so happy for Harry and believe she will be good for him and the family all around. At least that’s where I’m at so far and really hope it works out well for them.

      • Tina says:

        There isn’t “intense dislike of her.” Some nutters comment online. It’s the same trolls, over and over. The vast, vast majority of Brits are utterly indifferent to the royals and certainly to Meghan. Most people, if they think about it at all, would be happy for Harry if they cared about it (which most don’t).

      • notasugarhere says:

        She wouldn’t be the only “foreigner” to marry in and become a working royal. Philip and Birgitte (Duchess of Gloucester) are other examples. We also have Princess Michael of Kent, not an official working royal and often disliked. As long as MM took the Sophie or Birgitte approach (put your head down and get to work) and not the Princess Michael one, she’d be much more likely to be accepted.

      • Princessk says:

        You are totally wrong, if the weather is good thousands WILL line the streets. Have you visited London recently? There is a lot of diversity these days and even most white people will not have any problem with Meghan, only the racist bigots who are basically jealous.

      • Meggles says:

        “She isn’t English and the British will not love her.”

        Please don’t speak for us, especially when you’re talking bollocks.

        -Actual Brit.

    • Combat Vet's Girl says:

      I disagree that it’s because she’s half black. It’s more that she is American AND they do this with all the “royal” girlfriends. They pick them apart and post terrible articles about them. They did it to Cressida and Chelsea and Kate so really the whole thing about her being black is a non-issue because all the women before her got the same treatment.

      • bluhare says:

        They may have got the same treatment, but have you ever seen any other royal girlfriend being criticised for eating the way she grew up? Or even assuming she’d walk down the street chewing gum? Even Kate didn’t get that. Just the “common” stuff.

        I think there has been a lot of disguised racism in talking about Meghan, as well as concern trolling. OHMGGAWD! Poor Meghan! She’ll have to learn British manners!! How difficult is it. I was raised British, live in the US and I can tell you it’s easy. It also assumes Meghan’s an idiot who can’t learn new things. I also think most people don’t run around chewing gum when they’re on camera or meeting people professionally either. The assumptions about this woman just make my blood boil.

        Frankly I hope she keeps her own manners, and waves her fork around during dinner, speaks with her mouth full, and points at people with her knife!

      • frisbee says:

        Bluhare, I’m hoping she burps the National Anthem!

      • notasugarhere says:

        As long as she doesn’t talk though the national anthem (Kate Middleton) or chew on her hair (also Kate Middleton, albeit while attending a private show), she’d be fine. And yes, there is plenty of racism involved in *some* of the negativity about this relationship.

      • bluhare says:

        Ha, frisbee!! My sister can burp supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was her big trick when we were kids.

      • notasugarhere says:

        But can she do it backwards? Or is that going a bit too far?

      • magnoliarose says:

        The concern trolling is the same as people used to do about mixed-race children. Oh, how will they survive the poor dears? Even my grandmother took that tone until she was schooled about it only now she feels like a special grandmother because of them. You would think she is channeling Angela Davis with her outspoken devotion to black causes. lol
        I have to believe the people are doing that because they feel Megan is unfortunate because of her skin color. Ridiculous.

      • Princessk says:

        Trust me the main problem IS because she is half black. It is also unfortunate that it is coinciding with all the Brexit nonsense and anti immigrant feelings in the UK. But I am confident that the majority of people will love Meghan. A lot of people are just plain jealous of her.

    • Princessk says:

      The idiots on DM repeatedly accuse me of being part of Meghan’s PR…lol!

  3. perplexed says:

    “American manners are different than British manners,” Seward added. “[She] can’t walk down the street eating or chewing gum.” Markle will even have to correct her table manners.”

    I’m confused by this statement. I can understand royals wouldn’t walk down the street eating or chewing gum, because they’re, well, royal. But if you walk around Oxford Circus where the peasants are and such, does no regular British person ever chew gum in public?

    • LAK says:

      It’s not royal or unroyal to chew gum. As Ingrid says, it’s a cultural thing, and it’s not always viewed positively.

      Just as people stereotype British habits / culture, chewing gum is an American stereotype.

      • perplexed says:

        When I said that I wouldn’t expect William and company to chew gum in public, I just meant that they are obviously expected to carry themselves with a certain degree of dignity. They’re also constantly photographed. Thus, I clearly wouldn’t expect to ever see them chewing gum in public. Prince Charles chewing gum in his expensively tailored suits? — yeah, sure, that’s never going to happen.

        I pretty much wouldn’t expect Meghan Markle to chew gum in public either simply because she’s an actress. Okay, I’ll admit I wouldn’t be surprised if Jennifer Lawrence did though.

        But I have been to London to visit British relatives. And, yes, I did come away with the impression that they are better dressed on the Tube (how many of them were from other European countries, I wasn’t sure though). People were a bit on the quieter side, except when you went into a pub. No one wore dirty clothing on the streets. Even the construction workers looked “cleaner.” But when I went to Oxford Circus, I did suddenly realize that there was a certain subset of British people who were a bit similar to Kardashian-style Americans (or American-style Kardashians?) in terms of terrible dress sense and fake eyebrows. I’m not sure if they’d be referred to with the unkind term of “chav.” Though, of course, those people would be made fun of in America too. The Kardashians are made fun of by Americans themselves.

        No one seemed to hold their cutlery in a special way in the pub, though, from what I could tell. If there was something really distinctive about the way they were doing it, I really couldn’t tell. You’re so limited in what you can do with a fork and wheel, I really don’t think it’s possible to reinvent the wheel on that one.

        Everyone in London seemed to like McDonalds as much as they do in America, which amused me. There are a lot of foreigners working in London, so the idea that MM would have more difficulty adapting to the culture than any other foreigner over there is a bit baffling to me.

      • LAK says:

        Carole Middleton is still pilloried for chewing gum during William’s passing out parade over a decade ago.

        It’s one off those things that will invite judgement in certain circles whilst others don’t notice.

        Also, Oxford circus / street isn’t representative of Londoners at all. It’s a huge tourist spot that attracts people from all over the world.

      • perplexed says:

        Yeah, but I could tell which ones were British by their accents. When you hear them speaking it’s pretty easy to tell. They clearly didn’t sound American or Italian or Spanish ( a lot of the Italians and Spanish and Germans seemed to be working in the coffee shops and McDonalds). The chavv-y ones who seemed similar to Victoria Beckham back in the day were young people hanging out with each other and copying the styles you’d see on that Essex tv show. You could clearly tell they weren’t Americans in terms of how they spoke. I’ve also been to the different villages because of where my relatives live. Whenever I saw an extremely well-dressed tall man on the Tube, they usually turned out to be…German.

        When I walked to a restaurant with my relatives, a British man did yell out something (in a sort of friendly) to me when I was walking by. That seemed kind of New York-ish. It took me by surprise.

        I’m a more reserved person, so in that sense I’ve never found England an odd place to be for me personally. Over there, I felt all my socially awkward mannerisms weren’t considered socially awkward over there. I found it easier to fit in with British people than outgoing people from other cultures. I wasn’t expected to make myself noticed, which I liked. And I liked that my sweater/jumpers were not considered unfashionable over there. I did feel like British people are really well-mannered (young boys would hold the door for me and young men often said “thank you”), but there are certain parts of the US (like the Midwest and the South) where manners are also considered to be a big deal too, and you’ll find the same level of politeness.

      • LAK says:

        ” I wasn’t expected to make myself noticed, which I liked.” And that’s British culture in a nutshell. Reserved.

        Of course you will have outliers, and no two counties are the same, but overall, compared to USA, reserved is a good description.

      • RoyalSparkle says:

        I disagree its cultural. A great many Americans find chewing a private informal – (some awful habit), and should be kept as such.

        It’s grossly Unroyal for anyone near the RF to be …. Even worse if cultural reasoning is associated.

      • bettyrose says:

        Outside of posh and royal circles, which I have no personal knowledge of, London is perhaps the most culturally diverse city on earth. There may be rigid norms in some circles, but as a crass American I never feel out of place in London (which I visit semi-regularly) because one can interact with a dozen people and not meet two from the same linguistic background. I realize that MM won’t have the luxury of wandering anonymously through London’s many diverse and fascinating neighborhoods, but surely chewing gum isn’t the strangest thing to ever happen in London.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I have found that Brits love certain American traits and dislike the obnoxious American characteristics depending on who they are. Americans assume Brits are cold snobs with superiority complexes. Italians and French see Brits as lacking passion and flair. Others see the Italians as undisciplined and shady and the French as haughty. These are all stereotypes and generalizations with small grains of truth.

        Chewing gum is a strange one though since it is considered rude and a sign of poor manners in America. I can only think IS means it as a dig.
        She ignores that Brits have their version of rednecks and obnoxious tourists, but they aren’t people she probably acknowledges. Every country has them. 🤷

        There are a lot of things I love about the UK. I love their humor and sense of friendship. When I am there visiting, we are always socializing, and they regularly make fun of themselves. I like messing with their aversion to making a fuss, but they know I am joking though there is always their urge to revert to extreme politeness. British sarcasm and sincere appreciation of schadenfreude is hilarious. We enjoy each other because we are different and I think that is what draws Meghan and Harry to each other.

      • Princessk says:

        @Perplexed…Interesting point you make about observing how well dressed people were on the tube. A couple of years ago I was on the New York subway and travelled from the Central Park area down to the Ground Zero area and I could not believe how badly dressed people were, and I am talking about people who were obviously dressed for office work, especially the women. I could not get over the horrible items they had thrown together, very dowdy looking. I am far from being a fashionista but overall people on the London tube are far far better dressed than people on the New York subway.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Also, it’s a class thing. “Posh” people wouldn’t WANT to chew gum in public, it might be considered tacky and classless (paraphrasing what one of my old uni friends told me, back in the day…she came from a relatively well-off family and would sometimes tell me stories about how ridiculous some unspoken rules could be.)

      As for the table manners, I know it can vary widely too. Heck, even in my own family some of us hold our cutlery differently than the others, and we’re far from upper-crust Canadians, hahaha.

      • Lexie says:

        “we even hold cutlery differently”

        Honestly, I far prefer to English/Continental table manners. American “hold my non-fork-holding-hand in my lap” has always looked so juvenile to me. It’s far more elegant to rest both hands on the table at the wrists.

      • bettyrose says:

        How many hours of princess training does it take, I wonder, to teach an American how to hold cutlery in the proper English fashion?

      • magnoliarose says:

        @Lexie

        That isn’t a rule for American table etiquette. The rule is that no elbows are allowed on the table. I have never seen anyone do that except in old movies to make the person look overly prim.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I’m hoping she can bring American table manners to the royal family. One thing that bugs me about european table manners is the way they never put down the knife. How much of a hurry can you possibly be in to not have time to put the knife down? Is it a contest to see how fast you can wolf down the food? And as a result, people end up eating with their non-dominant hand, and the fork up-side-down. To compensate, I’ve seen people mash the food onto the fork so it won’t fall off, or bend their heads close to the plate to quickly shove the food in before it falls off the fork. That wouldn’t be necessary if you just used the fork right-side up. [Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine? ;-) ]

    • Meggles says:

      If Meghan wants to be British she needs to eat a Greggs steak bake in public.

      We have no truck with that fancy breath-freshening, tooth-whitening, only-two-calories nonsense here!

    • Princessk says:

      I think it was disgraceful for Seward to pick on American manners. I am British and the majority of British people eat in the street and don’t have perfect table manners. Meghan has moved in select circles for a long time. How dare Seward insinuate that she doesn’t have the right manners.

  4. detritus says:

    She’s an actress and business woman, i’m sure she can handle holding her cutlery ‘The British’ way.

    I’m surprised this woman can breath, what with her head shoved so far up her fanny. Oh wait, does that mean something different in the UK? I wouldn’t know, being an uncouth North American. There’s a certain amount of out of touch that comes with this proclamations.

    • Skylark says:

      A poker up her arse, more like.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      Yes-and a college graduate who had a brief internship at the American embassy in Argentina. However will she manage to hold her cutlery, get into a car without flashing or talk to lofty individuals?

      • LAK says:

        Re: exiting car without flashing…..you’d be surprised at how many women can’t do this or think it’s unimportant. It’s on a par with not knowing about hem weights or having the commonsense not to wear an unsecured flyaway skirt on a windy day.

        Kate is a frequent offender on these 2 points. Post marriage, photogs have stopped posting those flashing pictures, but you can see by her limbs arrangements as she exits that she is still flashing.

        Charlene is the MVP of exiting a car without flashing.

      • perplexed says:

        Sarah Ferguson had trouble getting out of a car properly and she was British. I think it comes down to the woman, not what culture you come from, which is what I find strange about Seward’s point. Some women are naturally graceful; others no so much. But in terms of grace, I don’t think one’s culture has much to do with it. You can find graceful and not-so graceful people from all cultures. Tackiness is everywhere.

      • LAK says:

        In ye old times, finishing school and or etiquette lessons from older relatives covered exiting car without flashing.

        These days, youtube is a good teacher.

      • perplexed says:

        I read that Diana went to finishing school. I did wonder if that’s where she got her grace from. That and ballet lessons.

        Since she was a bona-fide aristocrat, I do think her mannerisms were natural to her class and station. If she had chewed gum in public, that would have been hilarious, but given her class-status, I don’t see how anyone would have thought she would ever do so.

      • RoyalSparkle says:

        +10000
        @ LAK for Douchess waitie middleton.

      • LAK says:

        Diana went to finishing school.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Charlene is great at exiting cars, even low-slung sports cars. Simple really. Press your legs together from thigh to ankle, pivot both legs out of the car at the same time, place both feet on the ground simultaneously. Plenty of youtube videos on it.

  5. Skylark says:

    LOL at Seward! She’s such a ridiculously pretentious po-faced old bat.

  6. Dixiebells says:

    I still maintain this Ingrid Seward woman is insane and stuck in a time warp. I don’t know that much about Meghan Markle but dear god she’s clearly not an idiot. Give her some basic tips and she’ll be fine. When you think about it the RF isn’t all that different than Hollywood. At least as far as image projection goes. MM knows how this game is played.

    Logistical question though does marrying Harry make her a British subject? I feel like the curtsying thing bristles Americans but I guess she couldn’t get away with not doing it if marrying in makes her British citizenship-wise. And I guess the more I think about it the family etiquette would trump all that anyway.

    • Tina says:

      No, she’d have to go through the same naturalisation process as anyone else. Now, she may want to do that, and I’m sure it will be strongly encouraged. But the Queen can’t just make her a British citizen (and it’s citizen, not subject),

      • Princessk says:

        She will eventually take British citizenship but not immediately,after a few years of marriage I expect her to do so.

  7. D says:

    “We hold our cutlery differently” What? So how do they hold their cutlery that’s so different?

    • perplexed says:

      That’s what I’d like to know!

    • bread says:

      A lot of Americans hold the fork in their right hand (and use only the fork when eating if they’re not cutting meat) while most Europeans hold it in their left and use both the fork and the knife.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_utensil_etiquette#Fork_etiquette

      • Onerous says:

        I literally have never in my life seen someone switch their fork back and forth from hand to hand while eating… that seems very strange thing to do…

      • Yira says:

        I’m America and I switch my fork back and forth because I’m left handed and can’t with my right hand. I need my left hand for cutting (because it’s takes 3 times longer with my right hand) then need to switch back my fork to the left hand for picking up food (because I’ll drop everything with my right hand). It’s pretty weird now that I’ve thought about it.

        Do other lefties do this?

      • perplexed says:

        I’ve never seen anyone switch it back and forth either. I do it the European way (if the Wikipedia article is to believed), but I just always did it that way for convenience. And I’m right-handed so it’s easier for me to cut with my right hand.

      • jetlagged says:

        @Yira, I’m left handed, but it’s easier for me to handle my fork in my left hand, so I’m cool with keeping it in the same hand. What I have trouble with is the upside down fork maneuver. Often Americans use their fork as a scoop, and bring it their to their mouth with the tines pointed skyward. I’ve never seen Europeans do that. When I travel in Europe I try to follow local customs, so I probably look more like a rube since I occasionally miss my mouth and stab myself in the face because I’m not used to the way the fork feels in my hand when it’s upside down. I’m probably the source of many cultural stereotypes about Muricans and their table manners.

      • Janna says:

        Jup. Also a ( german) leftie. I always switch the knife to my left hand and back. You don’t want to see me with a can opener.

      • perplexed says:

        To be honest, I always thought whether you were right-handed or left-handed dictated how you held your fork and knife, not culture. Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable for a leftie to have to cut with their right?

      • Masina says:

        @Yira I’m a lefty and I do that as well. I cannot hold a knife with my right hand, it’s awkward and dangerous.

      • Adele Dazeem says:

        Leftie here in total agreement about the switching and the (lol) can opener! The struggle is real.

      • M4lificent says:

        @Yira — I’m left-handed, but I just cut with my right. So I hold my utensils the European way be default — as do my left-handed brother and nephew. But all of our right-handed family switch knife and fork in the regular right-handed American way.

        I’ve lived in other cultures, so I understand the value of “when in Rome” for a lot of differences, large and small. But there is absolutely no need for Meghan to switch how she holds her cutlery. The American way isn’t uncouth — it’s just a cultural difference and Ingrid Seward is a classist, ethnocentric old bat.

    • badrockandroll says:

      Canadians hold their cutlery like Brits and not like Americans. Meghan has lived and worked in Canada and was not run out of town because she zigzags her fork from left to right hand.

      • Angel says:

        no we don’t, most of us hold it the American way.

      • Serene Wolf says:

        Lol!

      • Tina says:

        It depends on where you are. I went to a conference in Newfoundland and a lot of the people there held their cutlery like British people. I do agree that Meghan will probably have to change how she does it, people here wouldn’t like it at formal dinners and such.

      • Nicole (the Cdn One) says:

        Agreed – displaced Maritimer and we always held it the British way – much more variation in the Prairies though I agree, this is pretty easy to master.

      • Tigerlily says:

        This Canadian doesn’t hold the Brit way. Prairie girl here. Possibly less British influence in the west than in Eastern Canada?

        And this Ingrid person….isn’t it better that Harry will be bringing “new blood” into the Royal Family? Generation after generation of marrying cousins can’t be good. Even the British aristocracy seems quite inbred which could account for how they look….ooops….inside voice!

      • Jaded says:

        Yup – I’m Canadian and hold my cutlery the British way – Mr. Jaded is half American and lived in the States for many years. He does the “scoop” with his fork and it drives me bonkers. I faithfully put knives on the table each night and he rarely uses his, as a matter of fact he uses his fork to back-and-forth scrape the bits off the plate and that drives me beyond bonkers.

    • QueenB says:

      Also waiting for the english commenters here to explain the secrets of the island dwellers.

    • DiamondGirl says:

      Oh well, you know we American peasants eat everything with our hands and drool at the table.

      • frisbee says:

        I’ll have you know as a Brit I excel at eating with my hands and am positively spiffing at drooling thank you so very much 😃

      • H says:

        Thank you. Grew up in Australia, but moved to the US in my late teenage years, and used to hold my cutlery like that…now I hold it anyway I please and go back and forth. It such a petty thing to worry over. How about what charitable causes will MM take up?

      • Maria says:

        Don’t forget slurping. And burping.

      • Olenna says:

        Amen.
        Ricky Bobby family dinner:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAUI_0knfk

      • Margaret says:

        It’s been great fun reading about these cultural differences with cutlery. I was brought up eating the British way, and remember being taught at a very young age to never, under any circumstances, use my fork as a scoop to eat peas, and I learned early how to use mashed potato as an intermediary to convey those peas to my mouth. However, back in the 1940s we Australians invented the splayd: a combination between spoon, knife, and fork. It serves all purposes and is an excellent device for anything with soft meat, like curries and stews, and peas are fair game with a splayd.

    • LAK says:

      Even though this is Ingrid and she’s sneering at MM, this one point is valid, and not an insult.

      American way of using table cutlery is actually the old school way because the European way evolved past the early use of Utensils whilst the American way stayed the same. Don’t forget that Utensils only became a thing during the Georgian era which was also the time many Europeans (mainly British and French) emigrated to America and round the world. Those Europeans stuck to old school ways whilst the Europeans who stayed behind evolved differently as far as some traditions.

      To wit, Europeans hold fork in the left hand, tines down at all times. Ditto knife is always held in the right hand. Cut food, slope it onto the tines (still facing down) before transfering to the mouth.

      Americans hold the knife and fork like a pen and or spoon, tines facing up. After cutting food, they usually put the knife down, and switch the fork from left to right hand to scoop food from plate as if fork were a spoon.

      Of course these styles aren’t rigid, and you’ll find lots of people from both sides using the different methods interchangebly, but if you attend etiquette school, the new way is the favoured method rather than the old school way. Ditto any posh dinners one might attend.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        My MIL is Polish, and she taught dh and his brother to eat the European way. Our oldest does too because my husband was a stickler. I’m sure Meghan can learn or it will be overlooked if she doesn’t.

      • H says:

        I don’t care which way she holds her fork and neither should the general public. Hopefully she’ll have more of a work ethic than Kate. I’d rather her stay true herself and her upbringing then put on false airs. Which is why I’d never marry royalty. 😃

      • LAK says:

        If only we lived in a utopian world where these things weren’t important.

        Outside of charitable endevours, she will attend important dinners full of important people who will judge her and belittle her if she doesn’t make these adjustments. And those belittlements will be death by 1000cuts to her self esteem.

      • Cee says:

        I’ve always eaten the “new european way” and my mother, daughter of european inmigrants, would give me HELL for it. I will redirect her to this thread LOL

      • Sunfuntravel says:

        My answer to that is who cares

      • Skylark says:

        @Sunfuntravel – Mine too. As for being judged and belittled by ‘important people’, well, anyone who would judge her on the basis of how she holds her knife and fork is really not worth worrying about.

        And that Seward woman, whether she’s aware of it or not, is playing right into the hands of the bigots and the begrudgers with her condescending ‘concern’ over Meghan’s suitability for royal life. All she’s ever focused on is (what she perceives as) negatives instead of looking at all the positives Meghan is likely to bring to the table. Horrible old bat.

      • Erica_V says:

        LOL @ evolved past.. like Americans are at a lesser level on the evolution chain because we hold our forks different.

      • deevia says:

        Obviously democracy has not offered people the rights to eat however they choose. Are we still living in the 21st century?

      • magnoliarose says:

        Megan should follow the protocol of her new family and their country. It may seem small, but proper etiquette is a sign of respect. This small gesture would delight her new family and most likely others who would view this as her taking an interest in the cultural habits of Britons.

        I grew up with European table manners since one parent was raised by immigrants and the other just found it more practical and universal.
        My husband does the same. It is only remarked upon when my children do it in public. It is much easier.

      • Lady D says:

        Nobody here into being ambidextrous in any way? I’m right handed and I use my left to cut with no problem. I actually don’t understand switching hands, it’s just not making sense to me to not use both.
        Approximately two decades ago I lost a tug of war with a dog and shattered the bones in my wrist. The orthopedic surgeon said I would probably have about 40% use of my hand after it healed. It’s at 96% mobility and I’m sure it’s because I practiced everything with both hands for as long as I can remember. I was always a little jealous of ambidextrous people.

  8. lautie says:

    I love that Meghan will be a royal! can’t wait for the engagement and the stories that will follow…..lets sit back, relax and enjoy!!!

  9. Donna says:

    Oh, give it a rest, Ingrid. I’m no fan of Markle, but this is ridiculous.

    • minx says:

      I don’t really care about MM one way or another but if people like Seward keep this up, they are going to turn me into a rabid Markle booster.

      • Tina says:

        That’s what happened to me! I honestly couldn’t give a toss who Harry marries, but the racism in the DM and elsewhere pushed me into being a Meghan fan girl for life.

  10. Island_girl says:

    I love that Meghan’s prensence makes the establishment cranky and uncomfortable.

  11. Avery says:

    Just wait until Meghan and Harry have a baby!

  12. KiddVicious says:

    Her table manners will have to be “changed” not “corrected”. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    And Americans don’t courtesy to the Queen, I hope Meghan didn’t. She’ll get enough of that once married.

    • Maren says:

      Amen!!!! Americans don’t curtsy to anyone, we gave up that nonsense 250
      Years ago. If Meghan does, she will show all her talk about feminism and independence was just nonsense.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Wait, following family protocol means she is no longer independent or feminist? Hmm, right.

        What she’d be showing is that she accepts/honors the rules of the family firm into which she’d be marrying. The family firm that would support her via the taxpayers the rest of her life. And respects the rules of the elderly matriarch who has run the firm for 65+ years. That’s it.

      • Maren says:

        Nota sugar here, sure, follow the courtesy: take off your shoes if they are dirty, be polite, don’t drool at the table, but if honoring the “rules” of a family or a country mean that you have to curtsy to another human being, then, yes – Meghan sells out her ideals she has written about if she does so.
        Neither Nancy Reagan nor Michelle Obama curtsied to the Queen. I remember when Reagan refused to do so, there was a big protest on your side of the pond, but Reagan, who I generally despised, said, “We are Americans. We don’t curtsy to anyone.”
        We got rid of that thinking others are better than us or have some special kind of “royal” or “blue” blood hundreds of years ago. Meghan can do her job there and not curtsy to the Queen or, God forbid, Kate Middleton! I would lose total respect for her if she did so.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Making a mountain out of a molehill. She wouldn’t be betraying herself, her ideals, or her birth nation to follow the rules of her boyfriend’s 91-year-old grandmother. It is one of the rules of the job she’d be accepting, if in fact these two end up married. Follow those rules or don’t accept the gig.

        Princess Grace, Maria-Teresa of Luxembourg, Maxima, Charlene. Just a few I can think of who came from countries without monarchies, married in to them, and follow the rules without people going on and on about them betraying their ideals.

        We all make choices in this world. Letizia the anti-monarchist chose to marry the future King of Spain. Meghan Markle could choose to honor the family traditions of her boyfriend’s family without betraying her sense of self or causing some kind of international uproar.

      • Mel says:

        Well, nobody who isn’t any given monarch’s subject is expected or supposed to curtsy. It looks ridiculous.

      • Bellagio DuPont says:

        I agree with Notasugar here…..

        If Meghan never committed a single etiquette faux pas, she would still find it fairly challenging to fit in seamlessly with the Royals. The endless scrutiny and judgement within the royal circle alone on all manner of things from how she speaks to how she carries herself, how she brings up her kids, her money management skills, how she deals with the staff, any changes in her accent, her general levels of respect when dealing with EVERYONE (the Queen, courtiers, staff, the press, other royals, etc) will be scrutinized to death.

        In my opinion, her perceived all round etiquette (or lack thereof) is the easiest and quickest area she can adjust/repurpose to make her life easier. She could quite easily take this potential source of embarrassment away by quietly taking private etiquette lessons. It shouldn’t be too difficult, she’s not a savage raised by wolves, she’s a competent, self assured, worldly woman, experienced at dealing with dignitaries the world over. Mainly for completeness sake.
        Display flawless table manners, curtesy when you’re supposed to, don’t speak out of turn, etc. Just fit in.

        Give them one less attack front Meghan, and save yourself for the more consequential battles ahead because there will be very many.

      • Maren says:

        Nota sugar, perhaps Americans are especially prickly about this. Curtsying to another person is degrading and demeaning in our view. We get that you do it, but I would never, ever do it. OK, to save someone’s life I would do it, but that would be the only reason. It is NOT a molehill to us. It IS a mountain to bow down to another human being. Any American with any self-respect, and even those who don’t have any, do not bow down to any other human being.
        So yes, it is a mountain to watch an independent, supposed feminist bow down to an elderly woman who was born to the position that supposedly makes her better than others, and bow to the likes of Kate and Will. It makes a mockery of her supposed feminism and independence and makes me wonder what her price is to give these things up?

      • Annetommy says:

        American women players curtsey when getting their trophy at Wimbledon. And I really wish they wouldn’t.

      • Tina says:

        Oh for heaven’s sake, it is not a big deal. No one is obliged to bow or curtsy to the Queen (Dickie Arbiter has said so) and she is apparently relaxed about it. Cherie Blair didn’t, and I’m sure Jeremy Corbyn never would. I’m sure Meghan will choose to do so, as a courtesy to her new husband’s family, but it’s really not a sign of subjugation. I am a feminist with my own career and I would choose to curtsy to the Queen as a sign of respect. Others would not. It certainly doesn’t mean one isn’t a feminist or independent to do so.

      • Annetommy says:

        The monarchy is all about ritual and symbols. A curtsey is a sign of subservience. I respect lots of people but I don’t curtsey to them. Outdated anti-democratic flummery like the monarchy itself.

    • Margaret says:

      Yes, I noticed that and had the same thought. “Changed” is one thing, “corrected” quite another. But I hope she doesn’t change too much about herself. I’m sure she has perfectly adequate table manners.

    • whatever says:

      @KiddVicious
      @Maren

      If she doesn’t want to courtesy to the Queen that would be her choice but she shouldn’t expect anyone to courtesy to her then. If that does happen I really hope I don’t start seeing “everyone curtsey’s to Kate but no one curtesy’s to Meghan, it’s probably because she is a bi-racial American. Ugh everyone is so racist and xenophobic!” type comments.

      • Princessk says:

        When you curtsey to members of the RF you are not doing it to them as people but to the institution. It is just a polite tradition, years ago children in Britain would curtsey and bow to their parents just as people still do in some cultures. Nothing to be so high handed about.

      • Princessk says:

        Yes all the racists on DM are saying that won’t curtsey to Meghan but these trolls stop short of saying its because she is biracial

    • Yup, Me says:

      I’m really curious about that part of it. I would be okay with curtsying to a Queen (even if she was my husband’s granny). But all of those other women would likely get a nod in place of the more formal curtsy. I wouldn’t be willing to curtsy to Kate or Beatrice or Eugenie (all women who are younger than MM and, with their varying accomplishments, not really doing enough, IMO, to merit regularly squatting in heels for them). There’s also an element of the fact that MM is a WOC (as am I) that adds an extra dose of Oh Hell No for me.

  13. EE says:

    I hope she changes NOTHING about her behavior, clothing or table manners. Take her as-is — she’s FINE and totally worthy of those royal slubs.

    • whatever says:

      Then she needs to hire a financial advisor stat! She’s going to find it very difficult to live the Royal lifestyle for the rest of her life purely on her saving’s as oppose to being taken care of by Royal money and tax payer money. She can’t have her cake and eat it, if she wants to be Royal and have the perks she is going to have to conform.

      • EE says:

        When Harry marries her, the Brit taxpayers will pay for her lifestyle whether they want to or not, whether she holds her utensils in the “right” hands or not. Deal with it. You don’t like it? Time to immigrate elsewhere.

  14. Emily says:

    If Meghan can get through her royal engagements without flashing everyone then she’s already cleared the very low bar.

  15. Kati says:

    Is there a more smug nation on earth??

    • Maria says:

      i wouldn’t take what Seward says as representing the opinions of the the whole country.

    • frisbee says:

      I always enjoy an outbreak of uneducated opinion, please don’t judge a nation of 65 million people on the outpouring of one bigoted individual, writing for a notoriously trashy tabloid aimed at a tiny subsection of the population and loathed by the rest.

      • Mel says:

        “writing for a notoriously trashy tabloid aimed at a tiny subsection of the population”

        The DM is actually THE most popular of all British papers, followed closely by “The Sun”. It may be “trashy” (no argument there), but it does appeal to a considerable proportion of the population. In fact, it has always been something of a vox populi.

      • frisbee says:

        Except that newspaper sales are plummeting and have been for years, hence the move online, the circulation for the DM is just over 1.5 million, that means in a population of just over 65 million and an adult population of 40.7 million an enormous 39.2 million people do not read the Daily Mail and my original point still stands. The DM is not a vox populi for any but DM readers and as demonstrated they are in a minority.

      • Mel says:

        Here are the most recent results:
        https://www.statista.com/statistics/246077/reach-of-selected-national-newspapers-in-the-uk/
        What arguably may (or may not) be plummeting is their physical (print) presence – not their online presence.

      • Tina says:

        The Daily Mail supported fascism in the 1930s. If it was truly a vox populi for the British people, the 20th century would have turned out very differently. There are plenty of people who read it online but are not proud of the fact and don’t agree with the commenters (there’s a reason they call it the “sidebar of shame.”) Trust the people who live here.

      • frisbee says:

        That online presence is read by people worldwide and populated by the same trolls who post over and over again, as Tina says ‘trust the people who live here’ but then you can’t do that because that would mean abandoning the ridiculous stereotype you are clearly determined to hang on to.

      • Princessk says:

        frisbee and Tina speak the truth. Yes, DM is probably the top online newspaper but it uses click bait tactics and seems to have abandoned any principles it had for the sake of money. DM also manipulates public opinion. Most often the headlines which attract readers bear very little relationship to the actual story, but dumb DM readers can’t be bothered to read the story and go straight to comments and start banging on about things based on very inaccurate headlines. DM stands for nothing at all except click bait and making money from product placement. It used to be respectable middle class but now it has gone down market big time IMO. But I read and comment so that the foreign readership to not get the opinion that DM represents British people.

      • Lady D says:

        “I always enjoy an outbreak of uneducated opinion,” LMAO

        “an adult population of 40.7 million ” The entire population of Canada is 36.2 million.

    • Meggles says:

      How can we be smug, when at least 10% of us are in Wetherspoons at any given moment?

      Eta – not the same ‘spoons, though that would be a party.

  16. Serene Wolf says:

    Humans should not curtsy other humans.

  17. Maria says:

    Ingrid Seward acts as if she knows Megan personally. “She will have to correct her table manners, she won’t like taking orders from the courtiers” how does she know what her table manners are, or how she will respond to the courtiers?
    She has a daughter who is a couple years younger than Harry. She is probably upset that he didn’t take up with her.

    • Carrie1 says:

      I’m getting the sense this Ingrid Seward is on par with Canada’s Margaret Wente. If that’s correct, even a bit, now I understand what we’re dealing with here.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        FYI Wente is a smug, patronizing, mainstream conservative plagiarist who writes columns she believes are influential for The Globe and Mail, as close as Canada has to a national paper.

        She is originally from the USA.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The royals don’t take “orders” from the courtiers. The smart ones seek the advice of the courtiers, partner with the “gray men”, and learn to use their extensive knowledge to do the job well.

  18. klc says:

    Seward on the historic nature of this marriage: “We’ve never had an American divorcée marry someone who is in line to the throne,” said Seward.

    Huh?? I get that he abdicated but what about Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson? Does that not count?

    • Onerous says:

      He abdicated before their marriage so was not, in fact, a successor to the throne.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Yup. Technically he had abdicated but obviously it precipitated a crisis of the kind that, thankfully, will not be seen again.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      But Camilla the English divorcee is okay?

      • heather says:

        THIS is exactly what I was thinking – what a load of rubbish that an American divorcee is a horrific thing and therefore, few in England will accept Meghan, when that woman Camilla, who is also a divorcee, was allowed to not only ruin Diana’s life but conduct herself in a most sneaky and unsavory manner for many years and marry the man who will be King (while clearly, Harry never will)? This woman is an awful snob. It reeks more of being a racist than anything else.

      • Princessk says:

        Most of the senior royals are divorcees, and Princess Anne was carrying on an affair with her present husband while she was still married to her first, just like her brother Charles in fact.

    • DiamondGirl says:

      You’ve never had a royal family with three out of four offspring divorced, including the one who’s next in line to be king.

    • Genevieve says:

      I’m so glad you said that, it’s exactly what I thought. And Wallis was still technically married when he proposed to her. I get that he abdicated before they tied the knot, but still… Odd to criticize someone’s table manners and then be so bad about your own history.

  19. Who ARE these people? says:

    American in Canada here, haven’t seen any difference…and Canadians would call it to my attention, they like pointing out the small differences….wrong place, this is about cutlery

  20. Dixiebells says:

    The more I think about this I Think the reason she will succeed is a good relationship with Harry. Didn’t Diana and Fergie come from families that should have known all these rules? They both either went down in scandal or had their life basically destroyed. And the issues there were bad marriages and lack of support. Despite their abilities (I would assume) to properly hold cutlery.

    • LAK says:

      If you look at Fergie and Diana’s families, i’m not sure either woman should have married into the royal family despite their proximity.

      I’m not sure that they should have married anyone without having intense therapy first because their family isdues left them with very strong emotional issues that collided with royal family rigidity that led to implosion.

      Look at Sophie. Completely stable family with few problems who has successfully blended into the royal family with no meltdowns or adjustment issues.

      Any problems Sophie has were external in the sense that the media entrapped her in a scandal, but she handled the fallout very well, and remains a firm favourite with many in the family.

      • Dixiebells says:

        Right I agree. But this Seward Woman seems to be setting up this “She not aristocratic enough, she’s not British enough” argument and it just strikes me that that’s not necessarily a recipe for success either.

      • Carrie1 says:

        @LAK I agree. It’s sad but true.

      • notasugarhere says:

        That’s how I see it, LAK. If you’re self-confident and aware of who you are as an adult, you can deal with the royal circus. Neither Diana nor Fergie had the self-awareness or self-confidence to see themselves as valuable as humans outside of the royal role.

      • Maren says:

        Isn’t Meghan from a divorced family, also? With some pretty dysfunctional family members? If what you say is true for Diana and Fergie, who came from dysfunctional homes, then Meghan had better get lots of therapy before marrying into the BRF, with all of its rules and nonsense on how to behave.
        And Meghan may seem to be pretty solid, but we really know nothing about her. Many actors are very sensitive to criticism and many are narcissists, and she may be both or she may be neither, but she certainly didn’t come from the “typical” happy family. So maybe she needs those years of therapy quick!!

      • notasugarhere says:

        It appears Meghan Markle and her half-siblings have never had close relationships from day one. Not surprising given the large age gap, and her half-sister constantly referring to MM’s mother as ‘the help’ from day one of her father’s new relationship. Those half-siblings were already late-teens and headed in to adulthood when MM was born.

        I see far more dysfunction in the “happy” Middleton family than I do in MM essentially being raised by a single mother.

        Maxima of the Netherlands. Marie of Denmark. Prince Philip and Duchess of Gloucester. All are children of divorced or separated parents, and doing fine in their roles. It all depends on the individual in question and their personal resilience.

      • LAK says:

        I don’t know much about MM’s family except for that sister who is forever talking nonsense about her.

        Divorce in the family isn’t really the problem. MM’s mother appears to be a strong support system to her daughter regardless of family dynamics.

        Diana and Fergie were abandoned by their mothers as very young children and left to raise themselves as their fathers left them to nannies and boarding school. Both were desperate for their absent fathers’ attention and love that was forever out of reach even when they spent time together. Their subsequent romantic relationships had a pattern of needing absolute attention to make up for the lack of it in their childhood.

        Marrying into the royal family seems to have been the achievement that made their parents finally appreciate them, but only due to the prestige their new status reflected on the parents rather than as individuals who needed support.

    • Princessk says:

      Well summarised Lak!

  21. Who ARE these people? says:

    It’s irresistible to note in my best crude, panty-flashing Americanese, “What a load of horseshit.”

  22. Angel says:

    Ingrid Seward is a snob but I think what she is saying very badly is that America and Britain are very different cultures and Megahan’s small americanisms will grate on the very people she will supposed to bolster and provide for ie charities. (It would absolutly be the same the other way if a British person was to become something similar in America). Each nation has unconscious ways of acting and doing things, some are neutral and marked as different and some mark the person is lesser in the eyes of the native dweller.

    • Mel says:

      “Each nation has unconscious ways of acting and doing things, some are neutral and marked as different and some mark the person is lesser in the eyes of the native dweller. ”

      Yes, but if you make it your business to discern those differences – not to mention professional help in doing so – it really isn’t that difficult to adjust your habits, if necessary. I say that as someone who has lived in very different countries throughout my life.

      • Angel says:

        That is exactly the point of this comment section: should Meghan change to be more British or should she be herself, and what would the fall-out be from either choice. No one like Madge’s English lady act, but will she be as effective with her ‘Americanisms’?

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      It really depends on the native dweller. Britain has its own population of immigrants and Americans are hardly an unknown quantity.

    • Princessk says:

      The only thing I would say Meghan has to learn is the British art of self deprecation. Meghan is an upbeat positive thinker…she may need to play that down a little.

  23. Zondie says:

    Some of these suggestions from the royals experts are common sense to anyone who has ever learned proper manners. And Meghan seems very intelligent and well traveled. I honestly think these “royal experts” just like to hear themselves talk.

  24. WakaDoo says:

    Seriously, girlfriend needs to be sat down and informed thorougly what she is in for. Jeez, table manners?

  25. Cee says:

    Seward must have forgotten when the Middleton ladies chewed gum (and were photographed doing so!) at William’s Sandhurst graduation.

    What a nasty woman.

    • RoyalSparkle says:

      +10000

      Princess in waiting Sparkle move and is close with classy/ better group of friends – travel extensively to the better locals – and has been visiting the UK /friends way before her Prince. Seward and others better check the facts with Meg Sparkler connection to HM Mum QEl family ancestors.

  26. perplexed says:

    Given the public nature of her role, I assume she’d be expected to be lady-like. Having seen her in interviews, she doesn’t strike me as unladylike. She’s kind of actress-y like Anne Hathaway, but not unladylike.

    The only thing I find unusual about MM are her sex scenes on Suits. I’ll admit that it’s weird (to me, not necessarily everyone else) thinking about a princess/duchess/whatever-she’s-going to be having done sex scenes.

    But her actual personality when she’s not acting doesn’t strike me as very different from the upper-crusties. The accent is different, but not much else. She hangs out with the Mulroneys and Trudeaus — she most likely knows how to hang with dignitaries.

    Wasn’t Harry photographed naked by cell phone cameras? There’s nothing MM can do in the flashing department that will top that.

    • bettyrose says:

      I just discovered that Suits is on Amazon Prime, so I’ve watched a few episodes. It seems more like something that would’ve aired on the USA channel in the days before Netflix/Hulu. The sex scenes in season one are G-rated by today’s standards. Does it get steamier at some point?

      • Princessk says:

        Well the sex scene at the end of season two was not suitable for children IMO. I was like…..whoa!

  27. Frosty says:

    Good grief.
    I hope Meghan eats with her feet.

    • Olenna says:

      Ha! I wouldn’t mind seeing that myself. This fake concern from the media that Meghan is going to struggle with royal protocol and has so much to learn about British etiquette has become tiresome. People will say anything to diminish her character. Some even act like she’s barely functioning above the level of a moron, as if she lacks the intelligence to learn new things or absorb new cultures. It’s all just BS, envy and elitism. I think she’ll do just fine if she marries into that family.

    • Skylark says:

      LOL! Me too, while chewing gum, wearing torn jeans and shouting across the table to Liz to stop hogging the port.

  28. The Original G says:

    My question is who will teach Ingrid Seward some manners?

  29. Mel says:

    “We hold our cutlery differently. It’s a whole different culture.”

    No, it’s called “holding the cutlery differently”. Big deal. It’s not something particularly difficult to learn, or even particularly offensive if there happens to be some faux pas (burping excluded).

    Also, I don’t see what “mere mortal” would consider it “strange” for the Queen to be called “M’am” after the initial address. Everyone knows that.

  30. wink1970 says:

    She simply needs to read Debrett’s and remember never to shake salt over food or ‘spoon’ peas. Other than that she will do fine. Good hosts pretend not to notice one’s mistakes…

    • Erica_V says:

      I’m sorry how does one add salt to their food without shaking salt over it?!?!

      • LAK says:

        You put the salt on the side of the plate, and use as required in the same way you add jam to a piece of bread you are about to put into your mouth.

      • Jaded says:

        The salt thing is that you taste your food first. If it requires salt then you add a few discreet dashes but don’t shake so much that salt grains fly everywhere. Adding salt to food before you taste it presumes, wrongly, that the meal hasn’t been seasoned properly before serving and is an insult to the hosts.

      • Erica_V says:

        Whoa whoa whoa – so y’all are just over there with a bunch of salt on the side of your plate that you’re dipping things in? Or are you putting salt on the side and then using your fingers to pinch it off your plate and sprinkle it over the food? What if it’s on the side of your plate and some falls off & lands on the table? How can you toss it over your shoulder if you even can’t sprinkle it over your food? Or are Brits not superstitious about tossing spilled salt?

        Also I understand not adding salt before you taste the food but it’s absolutely not bad manners to add salt to your food if you want more salt on your food after you taste it. Some people don’t use as much salt in their cooking as others do that’s not a sign of a bad cook that’s just a cooking/taste preference !

  31. Dally says:

    Oh Ingrid, don’t you know that these days, no “special school” is needed for that kind of thing, you can learn anything you want from YouTube.

  32. Millie says:

    My two penn’th as a Brit:

    I have never heard anyone mention PH or Megan for as long as I remember. The vast majority of the public won’t be bothered who he marries, although some will just hope they are happy, some will moan about the cost and some will be supremely indifferent.
    Ingrid Seward is not the British public.

    • frisbee says:

      Yes thanks for this, as a fellow Brit out in the big wide ‘real’ world I don’t know anybody who gives a toss except for my 84 year old Royalist neighbour who thinks Harry is lovely and therefore Meghan must be lovely too. No one I know cares about the Royal Family, everyone has far better things to worry about.

    • Skylark says:

      Ditto. It’s more than a bit exhausting having to deal with this really tiresome ongoing narrative on here that the DM and its ilk is somehow representative of the opinions of the UK at large.

      Millie’s assessment – “…some will just hope they are happy, some will moan about the cost and some will be supremely indifferent” is spot on.

      • frisbee says:

        Me three, see posts above about the Daily Mail that someone was trying to argue is a vox populi, I mean, really?

      • Skylark says:

        Ah yes, the DM ‘vox populi’ argument is always very telling. And usually couched in careful ‘I don’t think like that but…’ terms. ;)

        We see you for who you are and we know exactly what you’re trying to do and what you really think.

      • Dally says:

        I used to agree with you, but the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s win have convinced me otherwise… that there actually are a fair number of people in this world who harbor nasty bitter nationalistic racist views, even if they pretend otherwise in public.

      • Mel says:

        “see posts above about the Daily Mail that someone was trying to argue is a vox populi, I mean, really? ”

        Yes, really. I was the one who brought this up (others may have, too, as it is common knowledge). Media analysis is part of what I do for a living (and as a passion); but one doesn’t even have to be some “expert” on media to acknowledge it. It is and it has been a major public opinion influencer since the 19th century – a very powerful one. Only those who didn’t read the DM – or its foreign equivalents – more specifically, the COMMENTS (the ‘vox populi’ proper) – were surprised by Trump’s win.
        There was a time, a while ago, when I had to browse through the DM comments sections literally every day (for prediction purposes). I am not surprised it coincided with a major depressive episode in my life (not trying to be funny). But it worked quite well for the purpose intended.
        Besides, you don’t have to take my word for it: any respectable media stat website will show its outreach.

      • Tina says:

        I know everyone likes to conflate the two, but Trump and Brexit are not the same thing. Not everyone who voted for Brexit was a racist, there were what people perceived to be good reasons for voting for it, even if I vehemently disagreed. Many Brexit voters would be utterly horrified at the thought that they would be automatically perceived as racist towards Prince Harry’s girlfriend.

        Also, the DM has two completely different home pages, depending on which side of the pond you are on. Brexit will never feature on the US home page, but Royal stories will feature in both. The vast majority of people commenting on Trump stories are Americans. Many of the people commenting on Markle stories are not British. Again, listen to the people who live here and can tell you about the DM’s influence.

    • Princessk says:

      DM is not representative of public opinion but it does use insidious means to manipulate the opinions of people who do not have enquiring minds.

  33. phatypopo says:

    I’m sorry to Harry, but part of me wants to scream, “RUN!!!!!”

    • Katherine says:

      Ahahahaha! Same here! And a BIG part at that! Like, at least 85%.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Why? Genuine question. I don’t see a problem and he is very happy plus doing well so it seems he’s got good judgment here…?

      • Tina says:

        I think they’re telling Meghan to run, not Harry. Harry’s a lucky man, and he clearly knows it.

  34. Sandra says:

    Wait, wasn’t Wallace Simpson an American divorcee? And didn’t she take up with Edward (it was Edward, wasn’t it?) before he became King?

    • Millie says:

      He had to abdicate and was never crowned, which is officially when you become the monarch.

    • Maria says:

      Twice divorced, and heck, it was 80 years ago.

    • Jaded says:

      Wallis (Bessiewallis was her full name but was shortened to Wallis) didn’t marry Edward until after he abdicated the throne. In fact once he abdicated she was so reviled that she started receiving threats to her life and did NOT want to marry Edward. She eventually capitulated, realizing that her dream of being Queen was not going to happen so she’d better marry the hapless twit and make the best of a bad situation.

  35. Kelly R. says:

    The irony of Ingrid’s snootiness against Meghan is that she has royal blood on her father’s side and even has her own crest unlike Kate Middleton who had a crest made for her. Megan has more blue blood than Kate. How ironic is that!? Meghan is related to the Queen Mother through her father’s side–so they are essentially cousins several times removed. Take that Daily Mail readers and Ingrid Seward!

    • Maren says:

      We Americans don’t pay any attention to this nonsense. Royal blood? Absurd!

      • aquarius64 says:

        You don’t speak for all Americans. A bow or a curtsy is not required for a non royal. If you marry into a royal house you would be required to follow the protocols. If Meghan married Harry she will become a princess of the United Kingdom and her primary job would be to promote British customs and ways. Every person who married in and was not a native had to adapt. If Meghan refuses to curtsy to the queen it sends the wrong message, that she’s an ugly American who feels she does not have to represent other cultures.

    • Carrie1 says:

      Holy cow this is news!! I’m off to google. So cool.

  36. Combat Vet's Girl says:

    Wow, reading this, I feel kind of sorry for Megan. The shade thrown at Americans is palpable and it all seems so stifling. No wonder Kate has shut down in so many ways when faced with prissy old Brits who are constantly correcting her and “guiding” her. It will be interesting to see how Megan handles it if they do end up marrying.

    • Jaded says:

      I think Meghan will do just fine – Kate is a bone-lazy mommy’s girl who’s barely worked a day in her life and clearly shows she’s not the least bit interested in the work she’s forced to do. It’s almost like she has a bad case of arrested development. Meghan, on the other hand, having built a solid acting career as well as her charity work, will find it a piece of cake. I think her ego is strong enough to withstand the Ingrid Sewards of the world.

  37. Sequinedheart says:

    The “british manners are very different to American manners” is garbage. “she can’t walk around chewing gum”.

    EXCUSE ME, but Carole Middleton was well documented chewing gum at Williams Sandhurst passing-out parade in 2006.
    DM, just stop it.

  38. perplexed says:

    Wouldn’t learning how to do things a certain way properly be more of a class thing than a cultural thing?

    I mean, it’s pretty clear that the equally British Noel and Liam Gallager don’t behave the same way as Prince Charles or Princess Diana. Like, duh. (Although who knows about Prince Phillip. Liam and Noel probably have never said anything racist, despite hurling F-bombs like it’s a regular part of the language – emphasis on the word probably).

    That’s what I find annoying about Seward’s comments — a working-class person isn’t likely to behave the same way as an upper-class person of a certain old rich background (and that could apply to both British and American culture.) It isn’t like there is a set of particular manners as it applies to either culture, because that sort of thing seems more class-based. It wasn’t like you’d see Jackie Kennedy walking around chewing gum in public or flashing her gams from cars either, given her class status. JFK Jr. had “manners” like William and Harry, and he was American. Maybe he had better “manners”, I’m not sure. He never got photographed naked or in a Nazi uniform from what I can recall. When it comes to manners, I really think you’d have to a class analysis rather than a cultural one.

    Of course the whole middle-class thing as it applies to British people has always confused the heck out of me, since I’ve heard both the working-class Manchester folk like Noel Gallagher AND the upper-crusties make fun of the middle-class in Britain.

  39. Lilly says:

    Eff off Ingrid.

  40. Nikki says:

    I’m in Newfoundland and never really paid attention to how people hold their utensils (other than in the moment) to the point where I can recite it here.

    The people I’ve been around, in London, the US, Germany, JA and NL, even those who would be classified as ‘high society’ or wealthy, are pretty easy going and don’t really focus on how you hold your fork because in the end, none of that matters more than who you are as an individual.

    I have lived in 3 different countries so I’m not sure what I do. (I do know I don’t put my empty hand in my lap.)

    But, for my 11th birthday I attended an etiquette class on formal eating. So, I’m not sure what is from habit or comfort with me.

    I do tend to watch how others eat when I’m in various dining settings, and follow suit unless it seems utterly strange.

    As a side note, the DM is vile and extremely racist. And it’s not just British people commenting.

  41. Bxhal says:

    Well, he is marrying her and not you, Ingrid, you bitter, bitter soul. With all your manners, where’s your Prince? I truly hate people that act like their sh!t don’t stink.

  42. Katherine says:

    Oh wow I’m gonna hate this. The snobbery…

  43. perplexed says:

    “As Seward points out, advance information on how to dress correctly could have helped Markle ahead of the Invictus Games, where she famously wore ripped jeans.”

    I didn’t personally like her ripped jeans (just because of why own personal preferences), but I thought everybody else LOVED her ripped jeans. No one seemed to have a problem with it.

    And I thought she was allowed right now to dress as she wants because she’s not married to him yet.

    • Maren says:

      I thought her ripped jeans were fine. Not my cup of tea, I hate ripped jeans, but she is NOT royal or even engaged formally yet, so she can wear anything she wants. She looked lovely.

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate always wears those awful tight jeggings during her “Royal work” and they are just as bad as jeans with rips in them.

    • Princessk says:

      Seward is stupid! ‘advance information on how do dress correctly’, Meghan is not stupid, she knew people were going to comment on her jeans but she is sending a signal that she is her own woman. Did Seward expect her to turn up in sensible tweed sets like Kate who was trying hard to ingratiate herself into the RF. I really hope Meghan continues to wear ripped jeans throughout her engagement and as long as she wants to.

  44. whatever says:

    I don’t see what the fuss is about, when us plebs start work at a new company we have to follow the rules and procedures not matter how ridiculous and pointless they are. If we don’t we eventually get fired. If MM does get married she is going to be marrying the family (and joining ‘The Firm’) and not just marrying the Prince. So if ‘The Firm’ wants her to brush up her presentation skills so they are in-line with how other Royal’s do things then she will have too it.

  45. L says:

    I think Meghan will outshine Kate for many reasons. And for that she will be treated unfairly. Oh well.

    • Millie says:

      Well she can’ t be treated more unfairly on here than Kate!

      • notasugarhere says:

        Complaining when a taxpayer-funded couple refuses to work, pointing out their constant lies, and tallying up her ridiculous clothing expenses and childish behavior? That isn’t treating her unfairly; it is setting aside the fandom obsession and telling it like it is.

      • Millie says:

        But whatever she wears is horribly criticised by some when it is perfectly fine and suitable. Some criticise for the sake of it. They moan because she doesn’t do enough (fine) then when she does something she can never do any right for them.

        Funny how no articles never list how much the queen’s clothes cost at every outing.

      • Olenna says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think most of the queen’s “working” clothes are tailor-made. It would be hard to determine what one of her suits and hats might cost b/c most are bespoke. Plus, it seems she doesn’t have a problem repeating her outfits. Here’s a DM article that goes into some detail about her dress-making team. The use a fan to test cloth weight (and prevent flashing) is interesting. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227799/A-peek-inside-ones-wardrobe-The-Queens-dresser-reveals-Her-Majs-style-secrets.html

      • Lady D says:

        The Queen is out there busting her ass at 92 every day working for her country in those clothes. If her Majesty was spending thousands and thousands on clothes and then only showing up 2-3 a month, people would be criticizing with good reason.

  46. Maureen says:

    I’m Dutch and in my country there is even a rule how to cut and eat a slice of bread. Most people don’t do it the “right” way in everyday life, but during business lunches etc it is expected of you to cut and eat your bread “the correct way”. Also maybe knowing the British/European etiquette might be less confusing for the waiters. If you are dining at an expensive restaurant for example and your knife and fork are not placed the right way on your plate, the waiters won’t come and get your empty plates. You will see them looking but they won’t come. Unless of course called over. This happened with a friend of mine once when we were dining with some clients and we were all finished but the waiters kept away until she remembered to place the cutlery the right way. My manager always lets new employees know how important it is to know the basic table manners. She really doesn’t care whether your Dutch or not, she will ask you to make sure you know the basic etiquettes before they go and have lunch with their first client.

  47. K says:

    It’s funny; I think quite often that professional royal watchers, and even courtiers, seem infinitely snobbier than the members of the actual family.

    • notasugarhere says:

      There is a racist strain that runs through some of the ardent royal watchers on certain forums. People who have memorized family trees for generations, know the Almanach de Gotha backwards and forwards. The type of folks who were horrified when Cuban Maria-Teresa married into the Luxembourg royal family way back in 1981, and who agreed with her horrid racist (but oh so blue blooded) mother-in-law Josephine-Charlotte.

      • K says:

        Sadly I have to agree with you. I’m not familiar with royal forums, but I am with comments on papers, and there’s dog whistle racism every which way.

        (I didn’t know that about Luxembourg – how horrible.)

  48. why? says:

    Well if she makes a mistake she can always just remind Herry what he did in Vegas.

  49. perplexed says:

    Because Britain is so multicultural now, I have a hard time believing that everyone is KEEN to do things Ingrid Seward’s way. Yes, I can believe that there is a certain way of holding cutlery — I just have my doubts anybody cares given how ethnic London is today.

    • Tina says:

      London contains multitudes, and is very different from the rest of England, which is different from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland etc. That said, Seward isn’t totally wrong. There are elements in London (sadly, the elements with whom they will mix) who do care about how one holds one’s knife and fork. They are a tiny minority of both the city and the country as a whole, but they are the people who mix with the royals and they are very influential.

      • perplexed says:

        True. I can see the influential, important people caring. But in terms of how she comes across to the public, I can’t see how she holds her cutlery being a big thing to everybody. Though, now I want to see video of Charles holding his cutlery because I’m fascinated by the discussion about it. I truly never thought about it, but I am a mere peasant who mixes with people from other cultural backgrounds and I suppose I never really look at people while they’re eating (maybe I don’t want to be grossed out by what might be happening in people’s mouths?)

        I do understand that there is business dining etiquette that people have to be mindful about, which is why Ingrid Seward’s comment about being an independent working woman strikes me as strange. I should think that an independent working woman would actually be more LIKELY to know about dining etiquette than someone who doesn’t venture out much.

  50. Lori says:

    Table manners are pointless. As long as people keep their mouths closed and dont bash their fork against their front teeth(stop it!) to scrape the food off it should be sufficient.

    But getting into royalty you sort of know what you’re in for. No matter how pointless it seem.. maybe she can shake things up for them.

  51. LILAG says:

    It’s really funny reading here that Kate doesn’t appeal to the world. When brazilian blogs post about her, people absolutelly LOVE her. They say she’s fabulous and elegant and well-dressed and all things perfect and magical. So maybe somewhere she is appealing.

    • perplexed says:

      I think she might be appealing on a regular celebrity scale, just not on the scale Princess Diana was. But I don’t think anybody else will be either.

  52. SF says:

    Has Ms Seward never heard of Wallis Simpson?

    Divorced American who married the Duke of Windsor, later King of England.

    Of course he gave up the throne for her (thank God, he was a weak, shallow man whose loyalties were essentially Team Hitler) but the facts still stand that an “American Divorcee” did more than merely DATE a man who was in the line of succession to rule the country.

    • whatever says:

      “Divorced American who married the Duke of Windsor, later King of England.”

      You’ve got that the wrong way around Wallis married the Duke of Windsor AFTER he abdicated the throne and ceased to be King.

  53. jwoolman says:

    Somehow I can’t believe that anybody in the royal family cares about her holding her cutlery differently. They can’t be that ridiculous. The Queen attends dinners with people from all over the world. I’m sure she won’t faint at such cultural differences.