Personal speech with Royalty and Rank
Addressing the Queen in person.
It is sometimes difficult to know how to address personally people of high rank. The Queen is addressed as Maam by those immediately surrounding her person and by princesses, duchesses, and others who are on terms that may be described as those of acquaintanceship with her Majesty. All others would speak to her as Your Majesty.
The Princess of Wales.
The Princess of Wales and all other princesses are in the same way addressed as Maam, or Your Royal Highness, according to the position of the person speaking to them.
The Prince of Wales and royal dukes.
The Prince of Wales, with all other royal dukes and princes, is addressed as Sir, or Your Royal Highness; the Duke of Teck as Your Serene Highness, as well as many foreign princes. Equals would address all these as Prince.
Formal and informal modes of addressing nobility in person.
The following list will show the correct modes of addressing the nobility informally and formally, in conversation, the first being the custom among acquaintances, the latter by all others:
It is one of the rules of etiquette that, in speaking with royal persons, the inferior leaves it to them to originate subjects of conversation, and never introduces any topic of his own.
Letters of condolence.
Letters of condolence are among the most difficult forms of composition. They are almost equally trying to read and to write. The best rule to be given for these is to make them as brief as possible. If brevity is the soul of wit, it is also, in such cases, the very heart of sympathy. A very usual fault committed is to begin by dilating upon the shock or grief felt by the writer. The absurdity of this becomes apparent when one compares mentally the shock or grief as felt by the recipient. Two lines conveying the expression of sympathy are better than pages of even the most eloquent composition. Mourners require all their fortitude at times of loss, and anything likely to impair their self-command is the reverse of a kindness.
The inquiry call.
On hearing or reading of the death of an acquaintance or friend, an expression of sympathy should at once be sent off. It used to be the custom to wait for the memoriam cards sent out by the family, but this, if it was ever the custom in the best society, has now long ceased to be so. Memoriam cards are only used in humble circles. At the same time, one needs to be very careful as to the accuracy of ones information before sending off a letter of condolence. Similarity of name is apt to lead to awkward mistakes. In this connection it may be as well to remark that about a week after the funeral it is customary to call and leave cards of inquiry. When these are responded to by cards of thanks for inquiries, it is a sign that the family is willing to receive callers.
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