Mastering the court curtsey

Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images

Princess Diana's first curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II as the Princess Of Wales during the wedding ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

By Andrew Roberts, NBC royal contributor

Today’s newspapers tell us that Catherine Middleton has been practicing the court curtsey, in preparation for the moment in wedding ceremony tomorrow when she has to curtsey to the queen for the first time as a member of the royal family. Whereas the normal curtsey is a quick little bob, the court curtsey is a great, deep curtsey that goes much lower and involves head bowing too. I was myself taught how to curtsey by Diana, Princess of Wales, when I was sitting next to her at a lunch party in the 1990s. She told me how hard it was to stop herself from laughing when nervous men in receiving lines curtsied to her by accident. I asked her whether she’d judge my attempt at curtseying, and she gave me 8.5 out of 10, which I thought rather impressive. I’ve never tried the court curtsey though.

 Andrew Roberts’ e-book , ‘The Royal House of Windsor’ is available on Kindle from

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