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Meeting Queen Elizabeth

If it happens, it'll be quick, so use this advice to make the most of your royal audience


You only have a few seconds to impress Queen Elizabeth on Monday, June 28, when she walks Garrison Grounds (3:40-3:50pm) and the Common (4:15-4:25pm), then Tuesday on the wharf behind the Maritime Museum (4:45 pm). But if you want to play with the Queen, you have to roll like a king. Here are tips so you don't look like a monarchist poseur.

Tea: Avoid carrying around a London Fog (a delicious blend of Earl Grey tea steeped in steamed milk with a shot of vanilla), available, usually off-menu, at every decent coffee shop around town. While it tastes like a royal winner, the tea latte is actually a North American invention, marketed to suckers who like their pop Brit.

Stick to the classic good-quality black teas, fresh water and a rolling boil in a warmed-up pot, steeped for about five minutes.

Hats: Ladies Day at Royal Ascot week is over, so keep your massive millinery constructed out of unicorn heads, Barbie furniture, birds' nests and cubist art in storage until next year's horse race. According to Heritage Canada, "The Royal Family do not wish anyone to be put to unnecessary expense by buying special clothes, hats or gloves." That said, there are local designers who know how to put the garden party on your head, including Thea Crawford (Leave Your Hat On), who's designed hats for the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, and for lieutenant governor Mayann E. Francis. And keep the Union Jack hat at home---it's a bit like buying the concert t-shirt and wearing it at the show.

Bows and Curtseys: Well, this is much ado about nothing. Apparently it's up to you whether or not you bow, curtsy or shake hands with the Queen. Dudes, to be safe, just move your head in a little nod. No full-body action. Ladies, place your right foot behind your left heel. Bend knees slightly. No one's forehead should touch the ground, and no royal hands kissed.

Check out our Fleet Week events listings and our guide to events during the Queen's visit!

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