Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Princess Diaries + High Tea and Etiquette Training = Kids Off The Couch

A return to school means a return to polite society -- which has us worried because we are pretty sure our kids left their manners at the beach! Kids who watch Princess Diaries will delight in the funny misadventures of Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) as she is transformed from a gawky teenager -- "I can't be a princess! I'm still waiting for the normal body parts to arrive!" -- into the poised and self-possessed princess of Genovia. Parents will want to pluck the Queen (played by Julie Andrews) from the film to infuse a little royal etiquette in their own children; that's because this G-rated comedy reminds us all that good things happen when people's manners improve. We were pleased to discover that our local Etiquette School offers a well-rounded range of instruction - from proper grooming and posture to polite telephone etiquette and the art of introduction - and concludes with a five-course dining tutorial that will prepare any child for attendance at a royal state dinner. We experienced a few comedic fits and starts as a group of 6 to 12 year-olds struggled to get the hang of being graceful and refined, but our 9 year-old now even folds her dirty napkin over her chair whenever she temporarily excuses herself from the dinner table. As the Queen exclaims to her assistant once Mia masters her lessons, "Aah, Charlotte, I think it's time for tea."

Click through to City Savvy for the best spots to take your girls for High Tea in your city