Royals

The 13 rules Kate Middleton swears by when hosting a party

If you've ever wanted to host a dinner party fit for a royal, pay attention.

Who doesn't love a good dinner party? Now raise your hand if you enjoy hosting them?
Thankfully, Country Living magazine and royal etiquette expert, Myka Meier, are sharing the most-know tips so we can all host dinner parties - just like Kate Middleton does.
Meier, who attended finishing schools in the United Kingdom and Switzerland and trained in London under a former member of the royal household, knows exactly what the now-Duchess was taught about while dating Prince William about carrying herself like royal, and how to host like one.
"The Duchess of Cambridge is known to be an excellent hostess," Myka Meier told Country Living. "She loves to cook, host and is known to personally serve her guests."
Now, find out how she does it - in 13 (sort of) easy steps:
Credit: Paperless Post
1. Start with the invitations
Facebook invites just don't cut it for the Palace - but that doesn't mean they don't use technology. Meier says Kate is a fan of Paperless Post, and is always sure to include an end time so guests don't overstay their welcome!
2. Set the table like a pro
Rather than just grabbing the cutlery as you serve up, make the table setting an attraction in itself. It doesn't need to include four wine glasses and seven forks, just one for each course. And remember, start from the outside, and work in.
3. Be organised
Make sure you aren't rushing around like a headless chook in the minutes leading up to your guests arrival. If there is anything that can be done ahead of time, then do it! That way you can focus on your friends and family.
5. Never be early - and don't keep tardiness to yourself
If you want to be a really good guest, never, never arrive early. The perfect arrival time, according to Meier? For cocktails, 10-15 minutes after the time stated on the invitation, and 5-10 minutes after the start is bang on for a sit down dinner. If you are running late, be considerate and give your host "two minutes notice for for every one that you are going to be late".
4. Pucker up (or put it there)
Kate is a fan of the double kiss when greeting close friends (right cheek to left cheek, in case you were wondering). And for those she doesn't know as well, she favours a firm, friendly handshake.
6. Introduce people like Bridget Jones would
"As the host, your job is to speak to and engage each of your guests, making sure everyone is happy, comfortable and feels welcome," says Meier. Remember that scene where Bridget tries to think of an interesting fact about the two people she's introducing - she was on to something. Meier suggests finding common ground between people, and then move on to the next guests.
7. Give hungry guests options
The basic rule of thumb Kate follows, is one dish for every three guests. "If you have nine guests, you should serve a selection of at least three foods," Meier suggests. Include a vegetarian option, and don't forget the napkins.
8. Handbags stay in the hand
When Kate is at an event, her handbag or clutch never leaves her hands. It is never tucked under the arm, or put on the floor, a chair, or the kitchen bench (well, she might do that at Kensington, but who would know!) If you need to, slip it between your back and the back of your chair.
9. The royal way to fold a napkin
To follow Kate's rules, don't touch that napkin until your host does, and then fold it in half with the crease facing you. That way, if you need to wipe your mouth while eating, you can use the inside of the fold, and save your clothes from getting dirty.
10. Three bites, then stop
The Duchess will take no more than three mouthfuls of food, and then put her cutlery down. Use that time to join in the conversation, or wipe you mouth discretely.
11. How to hold your wine glass
The best way is at the stem. This way, your wine won't get warm. And if you are wearing lipstick, try and drink from the same spot each time - that way you'll avoid the dreaded lipstick ring.
12. Toilet talk
This is, apparently, how Kate Middleton styles her bathroom (although she would never call it a bathroom, unless there was a bath in it, apparently!): No reading material, toilet paper turned over, not under, and no candles. "The Duchess will probably also have lightly scented soap and paired hand cream," Meier says. But, it will be a bar soap, not liquid!
13. Guests don't tidy up
While a "good guest should always offer to help", Meier says a better hostess would never accept. So sadly, it's time to stack the dishwasher!
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