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Meghan Markle's Reclusive Dad To Get Crash Course In Royal Etiquette Ahead Of Wedding

Meghan Markle’s reclusive dad is to get intensive etiquette training ahead of his daughter’s wedding, learned exclusively!

Retired Hollywood lighting director Thomas Markle Sr. will undergo a set of lessons teaching him how to react when he meets the Queen and rules about touching and talking to the Royal family.

The 73-year-old will also be schooled in how to act when walking his daughter down the aisle, his duties as father of the bride and how he should tackle the feast guests of the Royal wedding will be served.

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A Royal source revealed to exclusively the “crash course” has been compared in inner circles to the training given in musical My Fair Lady.

It is the musical version of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion play about Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle receiving speech lessons from phoneticist professor Henry Higgins so she can pass as a lady.

Our insider said: “It’s clear to look at Thomas he is not used to Royal protocols or attending posh events, especially not on the level of a Royal wedding.

“But the training he is going to get in the run up to the big day is not snobbery – it will actually make him feel comfortable as it is designed to demystify Royal protocols and traditions so he will not be confused about how she act in front of royals.

“The etiquette lessons will cover everything from how he should act when he meets the Queen – by bowing his head and not touching her for example, and how he should start conversations with royals.

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“He will also be taught the traditions of Royal weddings and how to eat the banquet that will be served as there will be a huge amount of cutlery and glasses involved at the meal.”

The source said knowing “the basics” of tradition helps put “outsiders” more at ease at Royal events.

"Ground rules” will also be laid down, such as advising Thomas not to drink too much at the wedding meal.

He is also likely to be firmly told to memorize protocols such as not talking to the Queen until he is spoken to, or turning his back on the monarch.

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It is understood the etiquette training is the reason Emmy award-winning ex-cinematographer and lighting designer Thomas is traveling from his home in Mexico a week before his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry on Wednesday May 19.

Similar lessons will also be given to Thomas’ ex-wife, social worker and yoga instructor Doria Ringland, 61.

The former couple – who divorced when their only daughter Meghan, 36, was six years old – will also be introduced to Prince Charles and Camilla, best man Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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Prince Harry, 33, is still to meet his future father-in-law who US actress Meghan is said to “adore”.

Thomas married Doria in 1979. They divorced in 1988 and he now lives alone and is said to be “virtually reclusive”.

But he was recently spotted being measured up for his Royal Wedding suit by his local tailor in Rosarito, Mexico – a backstreet wedding and tuxedo shop minutes from his ocean-side home.

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It is thought his specifications are being sent to a top tailor in London for the creation of a bespoke suit he will try and possibly get altered further when he arrives in the city.

Kensington Palace last week confirmed Meghan’s wedding will be “guided” by the type of traditions Thomas and his wife will be taught.

But a spokesman for the Palace added it would also contain touches “which reflects the personalities of Prince Harry and Ms. Markle – such as Meghan making a speech, which is not traditional form for a bride.

Meghan Markle
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Meghan has already undergone months of etiquette coaching to prepare her for entry into ‘The Firm’.

She has displayed some of it by the way she sits with her legs crossed neatly at the ankle, knees pressed firmly together – a pose named the ‘Duchess Slant’.

Meghan will also already have been taught about banqueting with royalty, from how to hold cutlery to how the table is set and which utensils are used and when.

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Holding cutlery properly is a huge part of British etiquette, and is a way of showing respect for the culture and the monarchy.

Curtsy etiquette is also incredibly important in the royal family, even among each other.

As Meghan is marrying into the family, she will have to curtsy to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, and the other “blood royals” in the family. But if Prince Harry is with her at the time, Meghan’s “status” is elevated, and the blood princesses have to curtsy to her.

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At her wedding, Meghan will first curtsy to her soon to be sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge.

According to the British Monarchy website, there are “no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting the Queen”, but it notes that many people prefer to “observe the traditional forms”.

For women that includes a small curtsy when meeting the monarch, while for the men it is a neck bow, from the head only.

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On presentation to the Queen, the correct address is “Your Majesty”, followed subsequently by “Ma’am”, which should be pronounced with a short ‘a’, as in the word ‘jam’.

Other ‘do’s’ that should be noted include always taking the Queen’s lead by only speak when you are spoken to, and to not sit or begin to start eating until she has done so.

Arguably the most important thing to remember is that one should never touch the monarch, and only shake her hand if she offers it.

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Former US first lady Michelle Obama famously breached traditional protocol back in 2009, when she was spotted with her arm around the Queen.

If one is invited to dine with the Queen, it is important to note which side of the monarch you are sitting on.

It is customary for the guest of honor to sit to the right of the Queen, and it follows that she will speak to that person during the first course of the dinner.

Taking photographs while visiting the Queen at home is also out, and guests should also never leave an event before a royal unless special permission has been granted.

One should also avoid any personal questions when conversing with royals – polite small talk will suffice.

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