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David Pibworth | The Blog


Dave Pibs Tips On Royal Protocol

It's Ma'am as in jam, not Ma'am as in harm ...



If, by chance, you happen to meet the Queen there are some basic rules. Firstly don't speak unless you're spoken to and secondly call her Ma'am as in jam, not Ma'am as in harm ...

If you meet The Queen, you'd be advised to get your Royal Protocol correct

If you meet The Queen, you'd be advised to get your Royal Protocol correct

copyright: gynane / 123rf stock photo

There you go. That's it. Oh and don't break wind either, but that goes without saying if you're angling for an OBE. If you officially meet the Queen then some self important flunky will tell you all this.

It's going to be a rarity to meet her in any other situation to be honest, as she's not going to stroll into the boozer for a light ale of an evening.

"Prince Philip may, but the rules aren't as strict with him."

A friend of mine found himself standing next to him in a racing paddock and had an argument over which horse looked like the winner, but apparently, bickering with Prince Philip is fairly common as he's an argumentative sod by all accounts.

Les Dawson and Philip used to argue about the correct way to make black pudding every time they met culminating in Dawson saying "what the hell do Greeks know about black pudding anyway" and Philip pointing aggressively at Dawson saying "I'll bloody have you for that Dawson".

I've only met one person who had a proper chat with HM and that was Kenny Ball who, having been versed in protocol whilst playing with his jazzmen at the palace, forgot all about it and said, when she walked into the hospitality room, "hello darling, how are you?" To which she said "I'm very well Mr Ball and how are you?" before having a natter and offering him some Turkish cigarettes.

The flunky was furious and bit the carpet with rage when the Queen had left, but she didn't seem to mind. One imagines that she perhaps never sees the normal side of people and quite likes it.

Tommy Cooper once asked her, at a Royal Variety line up, if she liked football and when she said "not especially" asked her if he could have her tickets for the Cup Final. Peter Sellars was baffled when she asked him what he was doing at the moment - meaning what production he was working on - and asked her to repeat the question which she did and he said "I'm standing here Ma'am."

If you are not known as a personality her standard question is "what is it that you do?" In the unlikely event of meeting her, I would be in danger of boring her to tears on acting, directing, writing, running a stage hire company, representing Galton and Simpson scripts, running a Magic wholesale business and representing corporate actors. So I've decided that if she asks I will say "I'm a Web designer Ma'am" thus allowing her eyes to glaze over virtually immediately before moving on. It's so much quicker.

Now then, here's the little insider tip: if you are chatting to HM and she says "how fascinating" that is a code for "get this boring bugger away from me".

Personally I'm after a knighthood for the simple reason that it makes travelling much easier and you're upgraded most of the time. Even an MBE gets you out of the cattle carriage and into business class I'm told.

"So I'm going to be nice to her and bow and scrape accordingly."

Yes, I'm a great believer in the honours system, if only for my own comfort whilst travelling. You do as you like, but when you meet her, don't fart and more importantly don't, whatever you do, make her think you're fascinating.

Keep to the rules and you could become part of the establishment.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.

Further Reading ...

The British Monarchy The British Monarchy
BBC - Rules For Meeting The QueenBBC - Rules For Meeting The Queen
Wikipedia - Monarchy Of The United KingdomWikipedia - Monarchy Of The United Kingdom