Dear ladies and gentlemen, is what you see in movies the truth? We know there are often arrangements with reality, but do they also cheat a bit with etiquette? What about Downton Abbey, supposedly to be the mirror of the aristocratic British lifestyle of that time? You will see with me, they have been doing a few mistakes…

Right or Wrong ? Let’s do a game about the etiquette in Downton Abbey!

Table manners

1 Is Mary holding the glass correctly?

Answer: She should hold it by the feet, not by the upper part! Little mistake here

2 Hands on the table or not, who’s correct ?

A) The gentleman, both hands on the table

B) The ladies, hands on the lap

C) They are all correct I think

The ladies are following the British rules, hands on the lap when unused; the gentleman let them on the table, which is a French rule. So in Britain it is a mistake.(B)

3 How do you explain then the hand postures below?

A) Mary is correct

B) Lord Richard is correct

C) They are all correct, just eating differently

Remember: on the British way the hands you use are on the table. If you need both of them like the lord, it’s then totally acceptable.(C)

4 What do you do with your napkin when you are finished eating?

A) Mary is right, on the table, right of the plate

B) The Lord is right, on the table, left of the plate

C) It shouldn’t be on the table anyway

Right of the plate for the French way, left for the British way. Thus Mary is doing wrong, here again!(B)

 5 Is it the correct way to serve a King?

A) That’s the French way, more for private events like here

B) It should be the British way, served from the right by the butler

C)  A&B would be correct

French servie is like the photo: from the left, the guest help himself. In the British way the butler comes from right, and serves the guest with the right hand. In private events that way both are good!(C)

Afternoon tea

1   In afternoon tea, how do we hold cup?

A) She’s holding her cup and saucer correctly

B) The sauce should be on the table, she should only keep the cup

C) There is no strict rule here

When taking the tea at a low table, both saucer and cup travel together.(A)

2 In afternoon tea, when drinking tea...

A) Men can do whatever they want

B) We should look at the cup, not at people

C)  We should look at people, not at the cup

Although it’s not a strict rule, looking at people when drinking a slightly weird, I don’t recommend you to do it. (B)

Social manners

1 When the ladies are doing the curtsy to the King

A) They should look at him

B) They should look down

C) It doesn’t matter

Indeed, it doesn’t matter. Bending the head simply shows more humility.(C)

2 How should be the legs when seated?

A) The King should have the legs straight, like the ladies

B) The Ladies back is straight, indeed they shouldn’t rest on the back of the chair

C) A&B are correct

The King is not doing mistake, although I would prefer him having a more elegant leg posture. The ladies on the contrary have a very nice posture.(C)

  3 A handkiss to conclude?

A) Yes, but he shouldn’t look at her in the eyes

B) Yes, but his lips shouldn’t touch her hand

C) It’s very old-fashioned anyway

Kiss in the air only (ok, we can’t really tell here). But it is very old-fashioned anyway.(B)

Here we are! As you can see even a movie paying a lot of attention to details is doing a few mistakes. And now, what is the movie you would like us to analyse? Tell us in comments !