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FW: Escorting Ladies

Poster: PETERSR@spiegel.becltd.com (Peters, Rise J.)

My two cents worth on this subject are based only on my own experience.

I was in the kitchen at an event at which there had not been planned a royal 
presence, much less a royal court.  At the last minute, we were graced 
unexpectedly with the presence of Her Majesty.  I don't even remember if I 
knew she was there; I had all my attention on keeping the table of drinks 
and desserts full, making sure the wine was hot and plentiful, and such 
other little niceties.  I was barefoot, because the kitchen floor was 
slippery, I had my hair piled on my head, I was dressed like a scullery 

When court began, I slipped just outside the door of the kitchen to watch. 
 The herald called for someone named Caitlin; I knew it wasn't me, though, 
because he continued "nic [insert more name here]," and there's no "nic" in 
my name.  He called this person twice.  My attention wandered.  Someone 
clued him in and he finally turned, looked at me and called =my= name.

So I made my first entry into court conspicuously late, dressed for the 
kitchen, and covered with wine splatters.  I did well not to fall on my 
face.  Her Majesty was most gracious; receiving my AOA, even under those 
circumstances, ranks high in my memory as one of the most moving experiences 
I've had.

It didn't make me feel any better about how I'd handled the situation, 
however, to have two gentles approach me (after I backed away from the 
Presence with stars in my eyes) to reprove me for not having waited for an 

I'll accept that offering to escort ladies is a courtesy, and one that 
should be received or declined graciously, but courtesy should be extended 
throughout the process; embarrassing those who are unfamiliar with custom, 
or simply swept away by events, is unnecessary.

Caitlin Cheannlaidir

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