Etiquette queen gives me a crash ‘Duchess training’ course – so which way of stirring your tea is common?February 12, 2019
“Never stir your tea in a circle and always place the handle in the 3 o’clock position.”
I’m sweating as I concentrate on remembering every little detail at etiquette expert Myka Meier’s Duchess Effect course, which teaches women how to act just like Kate Middleton.
Myka Meier from Beaumont Etiquette taught me how to be a duchess in a crash course[/caption]
As one of the clumsiest people I know, who prefers water and wine to tea and coffee, even holding my cup like a duchess proved to be a challenge.
Since Meghan Markle mania took over the world, there has been a surge in women desperate to learn how to act and behave like royalty, according to the Florida-born businesswoman.
Thousands of eager women have flocked to Myka’s day-long courses at the swanky Plaza Hotel in New York, forking out £542 to learn everything they can about being palace-ready.
Myka told Fabulous Online: “Our courses always sell out which shows the interest is higher than ever, especially with the royal wedding last year and soon to be royal baby this year.
I was told to avoid using arm rests as they ruin your posture[/caption]
“We could never have predicted how big the Meghan Markle mania would be. As soon as the engagement was announced we had thousands of requests.”
Some have dreams of marrying into royalty, and others have been signed up by their parents to improve their table manners.
I am simply hoping to not spill hot tea over Myka, who kindly offered me a crash course while she was over in London for a few days.
Meghan would have undergone extensive training before joining the royal family[/caption]
Circular stirring methods are to avoided at all costs if you wish to be a duchess[/caption]
After rushing red-faced off the bus in a dress from Primark, I quickly discovered I had a lot to learn in the elegance department.
The first lesson of the day was the correct way to hold a cup and how it should look on the saucer. Apparently only a specific angle will do.
Handles of cups must be placed in the 3 o’clock position, and you should never pass a mug to be filled with tea or coffee without it resting on its saucer.
It took me a while to literally grasp the concept of holding a cup correctly – with my fingers pinching the handle[/caption]
You should never pass a mug to be filled with tea or coffee without it resting on its saucer[/caption]
My tiny fingers struggled to “pinch the handle”, without spilling hot tea over my less-than-fancy dress.
But when they were eventually steady, I was taught how to support the cup with the rest of my fingers and was told to AVOID raising my pinkie – who knew?
Another ground-breaking piece of information is that it is uncouth to stir your tea in a circular motion, and it is preferred that you move your spoon forwards and backwards slowly in the cup.
Etiquette expert William Hanson, who was on hand to offer some extra advice, said the rotating method is more “common”.
He said: “Ok so you went round and round.
“We actually stir going back and forth. Obviously we don’t want any sound.”
Cutlery must be placed prongs up in a six o’clock position when you are finished eating[/caption]
Next Myka, who founded Beaumont Etiquette, moved onto cutlery, and explained where the fork and knife should rest on your plate.
Feeling like Mia Thermopolis from the etiquette scene of Princess Diaries, I am told to place my knife and fork prongs facing upwards in the six o’clock position when I’m done with my meal.
Myka, who was trained by Alexandra Messervy, who previously was a member of the Queen’s household, showed me how even sit like the royals.
Each member of the family has their own distinctive sit, and I manage to master what Myka has coined the Sussex Slant that Meghan is a fan of.
Sadly arms rests were forbidden, as they make you slouch and ruin your posture.
Myka showed me how to achieve Meghan’s ‘Sussex Slant’, where she crosses her legs and moves them to the side[/caption]
Meghan looks a lot more comfortable when doing the Sussex Slant but is breaking the rule on not using arm rests[/caption]
She sits with one leg crossed over the other, and both slanted to the side, with her hands resting in her lap.
As someone with horrendous posture, it isn’t one I’m likely to adopt in a hurry, but I try my best to sit looking poised during my lessons.
I even learn how to stand in the class, stealing Meghan’s trademark red carpet pose of one leg behind the other to make her legs look slim.
By the end of the class I may still be worlds apart from being a duchess, but I do feel like I belong slightly more around the triangular cucumber sandwiches at the Plaza and feel more sophisticated.
Cups must be pinched by the handle, and forget putting your pinkie out when you drink as this is frowned upon[/caption]
Etiquette expert William Hanson was on hand to help Myka show me how to curtsey, by placing one foot behind the other and bending slightly – hard to do without wobbling![/caption]
Along with her Duchess Effect courses in the Plaza that cater for around 30 women (or men) at a time, she also runs one-on-one sessions around the world for a range of individuals.
She said: “We also do one-to-one training for families and have even done hen dos.
“I’ve worked on yachts, private jets, trained on jets on the way to events, accompanied clients to events and can be there almost serving as their aides.”
For a customised service, depending on the length of session and travel costs, people can fork out up to £15,515 for her time and knowledge.
Myka runs etiquette lessons at the Plaza Hotel in New York for women looking to emulate the style of a duchess[/caption]
She explained that some of the women have hopes of following in Meghan’s footsteps in marrying into royalty.
Myka explained: “We have had quite a few guests who are going to events where there will be royal guests attending, I think very much in hopes of meeting one of the eligible royals.
“Years ago there was a wedding in the south and both of the princes were attending, and we had no less than a dozen calls from attendees going to the wedding that knew that they were probably going to meet the princes on that day.”
But Myka is adamant that etiquette lessons aren’t just for upper class individuals.
She said: “I think years ago people thought you had to be born into a certain type of family to have this training.
“You can learn, anyone can do it, and it’s approachable and fun.
“It’s all about understanding the secrets behind the royal family that now are available for anyone to learn.”
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