Expecting guests this Summer? This is how to host, the Royal way

By Grace Allen
May 03, 2018
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Hosting guests – what is the correct greeting? Do you consider a hug over-familiar, or a handshake too formal? How about a peck on the cheek. But wait, one peck or a French-style double peck? The Dutch greet one another with three pecks on the cheek, and the Greek favour a cheek-peck, back-slap combination. Maybe just play it safe with a wave?

Greeting anyone outside of your circle of close friends and family is an awkward business. And Summer is ripe with opportunities to get it wrong – think of all those barbecues, weddings and school sports days. With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, data from Airbnb predicts that 42,000 visitors will descend on the capital alone this Summer.

Research into the nation’s hosting skills has revealed that over 47 per cent of Brits feel stressed about how to correctly greet a guest. The survey revealed 40 per cent of us like a good old handshake best  over a kiss on the cheek, just 5 per cent. Turns out 17 per cent of us think a hug is inappropriate.

Unsurprisingly, only 2 percent of us would even contemplate greeting a guest with a bow or curtsey. Airbnb have helpfully teamed up with British etiquette experts Debrett’s to release the ‘Royal Etiquette Guide to Hosting’. This should help to clear a few things up…

1. Be on time

The Queen is said to be very punctual. Follow her example and stick rigidly to the arrival time agreed with your guest. Supposedly the clocks in the kitchen at Windsor Castle are set to five minutes ahead. This means food is always served promptly. Take heed and try this simple trick at home.

2. Meet and greet

Avoid a kiss-miss situation by taking your cue from your guest. If in doubt, go in for a solid handshake. By far the safest option.

3. Refresh