Meghan Markle Is Inspiring American Women To Take Etiquette Classes, Learn How To Sit Like A Proper Lady

Only in rarefied circles are such archaic forms of etiquette taught to American girls and women.

Meghan Markle appears in a grey ensemble.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Only in rarefied circles are such archaic forms of etiquette taught to American girls and women.

Meghan Markle — the woman from L.A. who married into European royalty — is inspiring American women to take up an interest in etiquette. Markle is apparently propelling a boom in etiquette classes, according to the Telegraph.

If you’re an American woman, odds are pretty good that your parents skipped out on etiquette lessons — or an expensive finishing school where such things are taken very seriously. But when Meghan Markle married a man who is — however distantly — in line to the British throne, she quickly learned that such things are taken quite seriously over there, and she seems to be getting the protocols down pretty well.

Now, she’s inspiring American women to take up etiquette lessons.

Etiquette instructor Myka Meier explained to her students, in front of a Telegraph reporter, that proper ladies etiquette begins with what she named the “Duchess Slant” — knees and ankles together, shins pointed at a slight angle, like in the image below. Meier says that the pose, and the name she came up with for it, is now taught by her colleagues in the etiquette industry.

“Think ‘Princess Diana at the Taj Mahal.’ You might think you’ll never get that invitation to the palace, but you never know.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. The Queen's Young Leaders Programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of young people from across the Commonwealth working to improve the lives of people across a diverse range of issues including supporting people living with mental health problems, access to education, promoting gender equality, food scarcity and climate change. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
  John Stillwell - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Meier isn’t the only American etiquette teacher who is seeing a surge in new students.

Over in San Diego, Elaine Swann — of The Swann School of Protocol — says that even in anything-goes Southern California she has students, young and old, who would like to learn to be more like the Duchess of Sussex.

“If I post anything related to Meghan on social media, it gets serious traction. Individuals are contacting me about classes. Girls want tea parties, and women want to look more polished. It’s certainly happening, and it’s exciting.”

It’s happening over on the East Coast as well. Over in Washington, Crystal L. Bailey — of The Etiquette Institute of Washington — says that even dreaded finishing schools are becoming a thing again, much thanks to Meghan.

“A number of finishing schools are now opening up. And it’s not just young people – it’s adults, too. Every time I speak, I’m now asked about Meghan.”

A finishing school, for those unfamiliar, is a school where social graces and similar niceties are taught. In the American South, you might have heard it referred to as a cotillion school. They went into decline in the 1950’s, but Meghan appears to be driving their resurgence.

Meier says that Meghan, in addition to getting her phone ringing, has also helped bridge the divide between America’s more cavalier attitude towards such things as etiquette and protocol, and the British tendency to put one’s best foot forward.

“As a British-American, I really am proud of the Duchess of Sussex — from both sides of the pond — and think she is doing an excellent job.”