Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No, no, don't bow

I heard on the radio this morning that it is no longer necessary to walk backwards when leaving the presence of the Queen. I shall have to bear that in mind next time the occasion arises.

The reason for this change is not a democratisation of protocol (what a meaningless phrase I just made up!) but health and safety. No doubt hundreds have been hurt over the years tripping over footmen as they bowed their way obsequiously out of the throne room.

I have no particular feelings about the monarchy and I would, of course, curtsey, walk backwards, do anything else required if I were summoned into the presence, out of sheer nerves and awe, but when I'm thinking rationally - okay, which isn't very often admittedly - I don't understand why we should. Or why royalty should expect us to.

Maybe things will change when Charles - or William - takes over. I hope so.

I know it's about showing respect but for what? The tradition or the woman? I have nothing against the Queen and I'm sure she works hard - but so does my dustman. I just get the impression that HM is rather keen on protocol and scathing about those who slip up.

But there are many more people who deserve my respect and to whom I'm happy to give it. Everyday people, who, during the course of their ordinary lives, impact others simply by treating them with respect, by helping them when they need it, by taking time to care, listen and value. These are people who don't demand it but are so worthy of respect.

7 comments:

Devonshire Dumpling said...

Walking backwards for Liz would not worry me as its simply a part of hundreds of years of tradition. I don't care whether I do or don't (but there again, I don't visit her at Buck House very often to take in a big mac and stop for a beer with her)
What does worry me is the bloody health and Safety brigade and their powers just about everywhere you look. Half the time their new rules and regulations are crazy and they should stop interfering so much......but back to HM the Maj., I doubt if she cares but its the end to hundreds of years of tradition that she was born in to which was changed by some inky fingered schoolboy who has nothing better to do. So, time the H&S brigade has their wings clipped a bit and concentrated solely on the publics safety and their health.

MissKris said...

I rather like your Queen. One thing you've got to admire her for, she says it as she sees it. Which is more than our President seems to be able to do. Sigh. Oh well...politics. I never understood the 3-steps-behind-the-King/Queen thing, either, or however many steps it is for the spouse to walk. Children, too? I've never noticed if William and Harry walk behind their grandmother or father? Funny, the little quirks that become tradition in pomp and circumstance anywhere in the world, isn't it?

Lia said...

I don't think the H&S people are one bit worried about people falling on their backsides, I think they are worried her Maj might laugh so much that she falls down dead and then we will end up with Charlie boy for King. It's possible that they are trying to protect us from that particular form of madness.
Charlie, King, oh give me a break, an adulterous mummies boy for King.
I say we do the very best we can to keep her Maj alive for as long as poss, in the hope that Charlie boy drops off the planet first.
Either that or we have a revolt and get Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, on to the throne, who I think would be a better monarch.
Funny how it's our traditions as a British Nation that are being eroded, yet we do everything possible to protect ethnic traditions, but I won't get started on that or I will be on my soap box all day lol.
Much love
Lia xx.

Ole Phat Stu said...

It is a good rule of thumb ALWAYS to back away from anyone bearing a mace ;-)

jmb said...

Well said Liz, said the Republican at heart.

But getting rid of traditions like this are rather difficult to do. Interesting to see what brought this one down.

MaryB said...

I feel the same way, Liz. Which is why I never bow to bishops of the church. There are so many folks who *do* deserve my bows (from my point of view), but to just genuflect or walk backward because 'dem be da' rules, well, no. Examples of people I'd bow to: my parents (if they were still alive), my 6th grade teacher, Capt. Sullenberger. a friend who's stuck by me.

Course, I'm from the US and what do we know about protocol, eh? :-)

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