17th FEBRUARY 2023
Tips for the Royal Table Etiquette
If you are invited to a Royal dinner or even if you have a royal visitor, the following codes of etiquette are highly recommended. These etiquette protocols should be followed at Royal dinners, but they can also be applied to fine dining. Here are the most important etiquette rules of Royal Dinners:
1. We start with the napkins
We cannot just throw our napkins anywhere on the table as we please. Members of the royal family place their napkins on their laps just after they have been seated, and fold them in half so that the fold faces away from them. When they have finished eating, the napkin is placed in a neat pile on the left side of the place setting. We believe that we should all follow this no matter where we eat.
2. Take care to follow the cues of the King
No one should start their meal before the King starts eating, and everyone should finish their meal as soon as the King has finished his. This is a formal courtesy to the King.
3. How to hold the cutlery correctly
This is no surprise, as almost all of us know this rule. Traditionally, cutlery is held with the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left, a rule that dates back to when men carried their swords and daggers in their right hands.
4. Avoid noise when using the eating utensil
One must eat one's meal properly without making noise with cutlery, plates or glasses. In Western formal dining culture, we don't want noise, whether it's unpleasant chewing sounds or the scraping of a fork and knife on an almost empty plate.
5. How to signal that you are finished eating
When a member of the royal family has finished eating, they put their cutlery together. The correct procedure is to treat the cutlery like needles on a clock and place it on the plate at 6:30, with the tines of the fork pointing upwards. Read more about this here.
6. Chatter with right and left table neighbours
Once you’re seated for a formal meal, you should only direct your conversation to the people directly to your left or your right. You should not attempt to conduct chatter with the person opposite you.
With regard to the conversation itself, you need to balance it with both questions and answers to ensure the discussion flows. Try not to give single word answers, but instead expand your answers a little to make them interesting. Though don’t hog all the chat for yourself!
7. Always drink tea from the same place
It is important to always drink tea from the same spot you started. Royals can't turn their cups upside down when drinking, especially if they're wearing lipstick. This is to help avoid lipstick stains on the rim of the cup.
8. How to hold the cup properly
And yes, there is also a specific way you should hold your teacup. Members of the royal family usually hold the teacup in such a way that they pinch their thumb and forefinger between the handle and rest their other fingers against the shape of the handle.
9. Dress appropriate for the occasion
Deciding on the right attire is never easy, but there are certain standards that must be adhered to at a royal dinner. Remember that it is less about fashion and more about elegance. For formal occasions, ladies should ensure that their shoulders are covered and their dress is floor-length. They should also wear their hair up.
Gentlemen should put on their black woollen tails and complement them with a wing-collar shirt and a white bow tie.
10. A polite word on posture
Posture at royal events is very important. Women must ensure that their knees and feet are together when seated and they should not cross their legs, although it is permitted to bend the legs. Men, on the other hand, should sit slightly forward in their chair to ensure that they sit with a straight back.
11. Do not chew the cud
And of course, the way you eat your food is also very important. If you are eating at a formal occasion, prepare a bite that only needs to be chewed four or five times before you swallow it. This will ensure that your conversation partner never has to wait more than a few seconds to hear what you have to say. Because, of course, you should never speak with your mouth full!
12. Eating with your fingers
If finger food is offered, e.g. a roll, you should hold your food with three fingers. And remember: don't cut your roll in half, but break it into bite-sized pieces - one at a time as you eat your roll - and coat each piece individually before putting it in your mouth.
That way everything should go well!
14th FEBRUARY 2023
Royal visit to Germany: King Charles III on state visit at the end of March
Recently it was announced that even before his coronation in May, King Charles will visit Germany. Visits to Berlin and Hamburg are on the agenda at the end of March.
King Charles and Queen Camilla are coming to Germany in spring. They will first travel to France on 27 March for their first state visit and then visit Berlin and Hamburg from 29 to 31 March. And possibly a third stop in eastern Germany will take place. It will be the new King's first visit to Germany.
We are already looking forward to the King's and Queen Consort's visit here.
God save the King!
12th FEBRUARY 2023
The King's Coronation Emblem revealed
The official coronation emblem for the historic coronation of King Charles III on 6th May has been unveiled by Buckingham Palace.
The emblem is a tribute to The King's love of nature and combines the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom: the rose for England, the thistle for Scotland, the daffodil for Wales and the shamrock for Northern Ireland. Together, the flowers form the shape of St Edward's Crown, with which His Majesty The King will be crowned during the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May. The emblem has been designed in the red, white and blue of the Union Flag.
The emblem will be on display during the historic celebrations in May, including the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey and the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, as well as at national events, street parties and community gatherings. The emblem will also be used for all official articles commemorating the coronation of the King and Queen Consort, as well as digital and social media.
Source: The Royal Family / www.royal.uk
29th JANUARY 2023
Two Heraldic Beasts of Somerset
... both very similar and still different, but firmly linked to the county of Somerset.
The arms of the county of Somerset shows a dragon originally from the attributed arms of the Kingdom of Wessex, also called the Wessex dragon. The Wessex dragon is also the heraldic symbol of the neighbouring counties of Dorset, Avon and Wiltshire. To distinguish this one from the others, this dragon holds in his claws a civic mace. Thus the arms shows that this is a local council in Wessex.
The Motto is 'Sumorsaete Ealle' meaning 'All the people of Somerset' as mentioned in this extract from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which is also the first written reference to the county of Somerset:
A.D. 878. This year about mid-winter, after twelfth-night, the Danish army stole out to Chippenham, and rode over the land of the West-Saxons; where they settled, and drove many of the people over sea; and of the rest the greatest part they rode down, and subdued to their will; -- ALL BUT ALFRED THE KING. He, with a little band, uneasily sought the woods and fastnesses of the moors. And in the winter of this same year the brother of Ingwar and Healfden landed in Wessex, in Devonshire, with three and twenty ships, and there was he slain, and eight hundred men with him, and forty of his army. There also was taken the war- flag, which they called the RAVEN. In the Easter of this year King Alfred with his little force raised a work at Athelney; from which he assailed the army, assisted by that part of Somersetshire which was nighest to it. Then, in the seventh week after Easter, he rode to Brixton by the eastern side of Selwood; and there came out to meet him all the people of Somersetshire, and Wiltshire, and that part of Hampshire which is on this side of the sea; and they rejoiced to see him. Then within one night he went from this retreat to Hey; and within one night after he proceeded to Heddington; and there fought with all the army, and put them to flight, riding after them as far as the fortress, where he remained a fortnight. Then the army gave him hostages with many oaths, that they would go out of his kingdom. They told him also, that their king would receive baptism. And they acted accordingly; for in the course of three weeks after, King Guthrum, attended by some thirty of the worthiest men that were in the army, came to him at Aller, which is near Athelney, and there the king became his sponsor in baptism; and his crisom-leasing was at Wedmor. He was there twelve nights with the king, who honoured him and his attendants with many presents.
The crest of our family coat of arms shows a very similar heraldic symbol. This depicted heraldic beast - called the St. George's dragon - is actually a wywern as it has only two clawed feet and is characterised by a throat pierced by a lance.
The Motto is 'Nil Desperandum' meaning 'Never despair'. Our family motto for as long as we can remember and has always been a guiding light for us.
In addition, our coat of arms features King Arthur's sword Excalibur, symbolising our connection to North (and South) Cadbury in Somerset. Cadbury Castle in South Cadbury is the most probable site of King Arthur's principle court 'Camelot'. The historical map of Somerset from 1766 shows the feudal barony of North Cadbury (marked with an arrow).
Map Somersetshire 1766, Joseph Ellis © The Baron de Newmarch Collection
17th JANUARY 2023
Links to our manorial Lordships
Last year we have launched separate websites for our two other manorial Lordships. These can be visited by clicking on the images.