LONDON — Don’t give the queen a friendly hug and don’t tweet from the church.
That’s just the start of the advice being offered to those attending Britain’s April 29 royal wedding.
St. James’s Palace says the guest list is an eclectic mix of European royalty, military personnel, charity workers, diplomats, and friends of Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton. Some invitees will have been born into families that teach children to curtsey as soon as they can walk, but others may need a bit of help navigating the etiquette and protocol that such an important day demands.
Anyone who is invited to the royal wedding will be given detailed instructions on how and when to arrive at Westminster Abbey, where the wedding is being held.
The first rule: Don’t be late.
“The queen should be the very last person to arrive at the church before the bride and her attendants,’’ said wedding planner and etiquette adviser Sarah Hayward.
Next, choose an outfit that blends in. Women should wear a dress — not too short, not too skimpy, and certainly not white. Most British women will complete the look with a hat or a fascinator — a small feathered or jeweled hairpiece attached to a clip or a comb.
“Never ever, ever do anything to draw too much attention to yourself,’’ says Hayward. “It’s the day the bride shines.’’
Guests may be asked by security to leave their cellphones outside the Abbey, but if they aren’t, they need to make sure a ringing phone is not heard by millions during a service broadcast live around the world.
“The ultimate faux pas would be to have your mobile phone go off in the Abbey, even if you had ‘God Save the Queen’ as your ringtone,’’ Hayward said.