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Waltzing Australia


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

30. What? No Hat? The PM Meets The Queen

Which One Is The PM?
Above:The PM and the GG

One could be forgiven for thinking the G.G. (Governor General) is our Prime Minister. If you didn't know what either lady looked like, who would you say was the PM dressed to meet Her Maj? If you said the lady on the right, you would be wrong - it's the lady on the left, the one without a hat.
Then again, the hatted one (Quentin Bryce) does look rather severe doesn't she? Whereas Julia the hatless looks genuinely happy and relaxed.

Above: The Prime Minister meets the Queen
Our Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard said she chose to bow her head as she shook the Queen's hand because that is what she felt comfortable with.

"The advice to me was very clear - that you can make a choice with what you feel most comfortable with," she said.

"That's what I felt most comfortable with. The Queen extended her hand, and I shook her hand."

There Are No Obligatory Codes
The Queen meets thousands of people each year in the UK and overseas. Before meeting Her Majesty, many people ask how they should behave.

According to The Official website of the British Monarchy, the simple answer is that there are no obligatory codes of behaviour - just courtesy.

However, many people may wish to observe the traditional forms of greeting.

For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.

On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is 'Your Majesty' and subsequently 'Ma'am'.

Australia's Queen of Sarcasm Etiquette Scathing In Her Opinion of the PM
June Dally-Watkins says the PM should have stuck to the traditional greeting.

Said she, "I saw the Prime Minister kind of wobble and I didn't know, did she try to curtsy? I didn't know what she was doing. I just laughed. I was laughing out loud because I thought it was really hilarious and of course very rude.

But I just couldn't understand what that movement was. What was she doing?"

It seems to me, Dally-Watkins herself was very rude and not at all "ladylike" in either her actions or sentiments.
June old girl - you should know better.

Naturally the fact that she is a Liberal and not a Labor supporter would have had nothing to do with it.

Ms Dally-Watkins said recently while "formal" had its heyday in the '50s, the refined customs of a bygone era should still hold a place in modern society.

What she of the flag-bearing do's and do not's needs to remember is the so-called "refined customs" of a "bygone" era are just that - bygone. If we look back a little further into "bygone" days, women had no voice, couldn't vote, couldn't go out to work, had no rights and were an extension of their husband's arm - and this was in "refined" times when everybody was so bloody polite to and with each other it was nigh on impossible to have a decent conversation or exchange views. Except if you belonged to the "lower orders" - who of course were only "people" and etiket and manners didn't apply to them!

Meeting the Queen
Above: The PM, HM and the GG
The co-called "wobble" which so offended dear old Junie!
Judging from this photo, I'd say the only one with her nose in the air is Dally-Watkins. The Queen looks happy and smiling, not at all offended. Then again, no doubt she has been trained from birth never to show her feelings or make indiscreet remarks in public, something that Dally-Watkins obviously has not been able to do, no matter how she might pride herself on so-called "manners and etiquette."

Another Tirade from Dally-Watkins
The following day, Dally-Watkins described the greeting as "the lowest part of Ms Gillard's life" and said "instead of bowing her head, she should be hanging it in shame.
I think it was not only funny, but it was shameful, if she isn't a royalist, it's not a matter of that, it's a matter of paying courtesy, good manners to a queen, to the Queen.
That was the expected thing to do and I thought not to do that shamed her tremendously."

About June
June Dally-Watkins, a former model was born in 1927 and grew up on a remote property at Watsons Creek, near Tamworth. Her mum Caroline was a single parent - a great stigma at the time and she (June) kept the story of her birth a secret until very much later in life. When her mother took her to Farmers department store in Sydney and asked if she could be a model, a successful career was launched. In 1950, she founded a modelling/deportment agency in Brisbane.

Above: Australia's queen of etiquette, June Dally-Watkins

Quelle Embarrassment! Quelle Horreur!
And it would appear she also had a bone to pick with the PM's outfit.

Said June - "She should have been wearing a hat, she should have been standing straight and she should have curtsied. I thought that was a great embarrassment for Australia."

She gave the GG (Quentin Bryce) full marks for her meeting with the Queen and described her (the GG) as "delightful", saying, "She did all the right things. I thought she was magnificently dressed and she curtsied beautifully and she was polite. You wouldn't know what her thoughts were, but she did all the things that were correct and expected of her as the Governor-General, but as the Prime Minister, Julia should have conducted herself the same way."

It's Not A Bloody Garden Party!
I have news for you June old girl - I'd take the word of the "Official website of the British Monarchy" over yours any day. And as for "a great embarrassment for Australia" - I'm Australian, and I am not embarrassed. Neither am I ashamed.

This is Australia, not Merrie Olde England and it is the 21st century, not the 19th century when Victoria was on the throne (you know, the old biddy who always looked like she was smelling something nasty) and the legs of tables were covered for "decency". Thank goodness we have moved away from that nonsense. Yes, manners are important and good manners, consideration for others and being polite is something that should be practised regardless of the era.

Trying to hang onto an out-dated system from days of yore with its' de rigeuer way of doing things only strengthens and promotes a class system which, alas is still rampant in some parts of the world.

If you receive an invitation to a Garden Party at Buckingham Place, full instructions concerning what to wear are on the invitation card sent to you from the Lord Chamberlain's Office. But let me say again - this is not England, this is Australia where we have no royal garden parties, no palaces or castles. And trying to instill what you may perceive as the "right" way, doesn't necessarily make it so. Now, had Our Julia greeted the Queen with, "G'day your maj, how ya goin'?" it may have been a different situation, but - it wasn't and she didn't so perhaps some people should climb down off their high horses, return their nose to a normal position (not stuck up in the air) and stop being so stuck-up and snobbish.

Two Ladies in Silver
Above: Her Maj and the PM
At a formal reception held at Parliament House. Here, the Queen, is wearing a dress in antique white with a chic silver-toned lace jacket. The Prime Minister's outfit consists of an elegant silver grey satin underdress and matching top overlaid with a silver grey skirt with matched jacket and bow tied at waist level. Story here

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