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Google lessons on bowing and curtseying

Last night my 4 year old appeared for dinner adorned in full Princess regalia. She greeted the table with, "Hello subjects." Her brother and sister did not think this was quite as funny as her father and I did.

Anyways, during dinner a long discussion began on the proper way to curtsey or bow to important people. None of us were quite sure of the rules and so of course we utilized all parents go to textbook tool GOOGLE! What we found was funny and I thought I would share it with you.

Proper rules for bowing/ curtseying (No surprise the word curtsey is derived from the word courtesy).


Here are the rules for bowing, unless you happen to be Mr Darcy. Then just showing up in a room and brooding is ok.

Half bows are used for those who are considered to be your equals. It's like a nod or bend of your head.

For full bows the lead leg should be slightly in front of the body, the arm corresponding to the lead leg should be folded across the waist, and the other arm held across the back, palm facing inward. Keep your back straight!

A full bow to the floor shows great respect as does the length of time you bow.

To show disrespect, don't follow any of the above rules and make sure your palm faces the bowee and wave your arms around. My son was really good at the impolite bow, um yeah so moving on.....


A half curtsey is almost like a polite nod with the head down.

To curtsey politely stand with your lead foot in front, legs slightly overlapped. Have the hands clasped behind the back, in front of the skirt or folded across the waist. Bend at the knees, back straight (you may need to adjust your legs for this). For added politeness, incline or bow the head.

You may lift your dress out away from your body, but don't go too far. It is impolite to lift your skirt or leave your hands at the side of your dress. Lifting your skirt shows your ankles, which is improper. My 4 year old runs around naked so she didn't understand why showing her ankles was impolite.

How far you curtsey to the ground shows how much respect you have towards the person you are curtseying as does the amount of time you spend in the act.

My girls kept falling over. Maybe you will have better luck with yours.

Ok now that we all know the rules, who's ready to meet some royalty?


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