Monday, December 31, 2012

Etiquette and Protocol in the 21st Century

William Hanson is the self-avowed etiquette and protocol expert from the U.K. Hanson insists that etiquette and protocol are very necessary in our digital age, because "people are persistently being rude, inconsiderate and generally ghastly." He believes that "good manners and etiquette, which are based on common sense, should be universal." Hanson was contributed to the commentary of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middletonand The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for the BBC, CNN, and America's Discovery TLC Channel.

Let's take a look at a few entries from his very popular blog.

Hanson has this advice on avoiding Christmas Card faux pas:

1. Do pick charity Christmas cards.
2. Make sure your envelope flaps are triangular, rather than straight.
3. Do not print signatures onto the cards. It's rude. Handwrite them.
4. Ditto, choosing not to address the card to the recipient.
5. eCards are not the same as a proper Christmas card.
And lastly,
6. If you feel you need to write to your address book with a chirpy Christmas newsletter, which will often boast of the family triumphs over the past 12 months, then it’s probably time you had a review of your contacts.

His post on "How to be a Downton Gentleman" has been well received. Nuggets of advice, include a gentleman never wears a hat indoors; when the ladies repair into the drawing room after dinner, gentlemen are to rise from their seats until they have left the room; the hallmark of a true gentleman is that he knows how to tie a bow tie; when wearing a waistcoat, a gentleman always has the bottom button unfastened; et cetera.

He offers this pithy advice on how to make your napkins the envy of your neighbors: "I love a good stiff napkin. I'd never dream of offering a guest anything but." He further says, "White is the best colour for napkins, although multicoloured ones are fine for out-door affairs. Gingham works nicely for barbecues and picnics." Napkins come in different sizes but are always square: dinner 22–26 inches, lunch 18–24 inches, tea 12 and cocktail 9. Hanson further gives instruction on how to perfectly starch a napkin.

What beauty products men should use is covered in: "Men can moisturise too" where he defiantly admits: "I love a beauty product." His favorite products are: Alpecin C1 Caffeine Shampoo, Bed Head Sugar Dust, Clinique Even Better Eyes, L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream, and Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish among others.

One of his freelance jobs include instructing others on how to be a butler: "I taught her how [I] clean silver, serve afternoon tea, set the table, answer the door, as well as [provide] butler service at table."

One final salvo that caught my eye is on setting up a guest bedroom to perfection involves fan folding the top couple sheets of a new toilet roll, a flourish on top of the tissue box, and ironed bedsheets and duvets.