How to Be a Princess

What’s a common girl to do when she’s propelled from normalcy to royal status? There’s etiquette and protocol, responsibilities, and the watchful eyes of the public and media. Sure, there are benefits, like access to centuries-old jewelry, fancy dresses and rubbing elbows with fascinating people. But along with the perks comes extreme pressure. On behalf of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, we spoke with etiquette expert Lyudmila Bloch for advice on transforming into a royal. It turns out that non-royals could learn a lot from these tips, too! As Lyudmila says, “‘Princess’ is a title, but we can always aspire to be a princess or queen in our own life, as long as we are touching the lives of other people in a meaningful way.” Continue on for some inspiration, Your Majesty.

1) Decide how you want to be perceived. Kate will be a role model, speaker and ambassador all combined in one. It’s an awesome responsibility. Depending on how she defines her role, she will define her image. Kate will decide how she wants to come across, whether it’s stylish, confident, bold, charming or any other fine qualities.

2) Make a positive impression. Polished social skills are crucial, because it takes only five seconds to make an impression. Engaging positive body language will send the right message.

3) Connect through eye contact. When Kate meets people, she will look at the triangle of space between the eyebrows. By doing so, she’ll show that she is focused and listening carefully. Making eye contact and looking at someone’s face is essential.

4) Use your handshake to make a connection. If Kate gives a limp handshake, the impression will be that she is nervous, afraid, insecure or uncomfortable with the situation. She will initiate a handshake to establish a connection and begin a relationship.

5) Learn to be a gracious hostess. When welcoming guests, Kate will make a connection, share a private moment and thank them for coming, and then it’s up to the guests to understand that they shouldn’t monopolize Kate’s time. To gracefully exit the conversation, she will say something like “It was a delight to see you. Please enjoy yourselves.”

6) Develop personal style. Kate will aim to dress appropriately for every occasion, and in a somewhat conservative manner. As a role model adored by all, it’s important for her to be appropriate, but also to have beautiful, elegant clothes that feel comfortable and natural to her. A good guideline is that less is more when it comes to accessories and jewelry.

7) Prove you care, and be sincere. Etiquette is not just about the fork and knife. It’s really, truly about kindness and consideration toward other people. Instead of just thinking about etiquette as a set of rules, we need to regard it as a way to nurture and build relationships in our social or business life. Connecting with people from the heart, thinking about the welfare of others, being nice and likable and caring, is the essence of being a princess.