The wives and daughters of the nobility are of course eligible for presentation at Court, unless there is an objection on the part of the Sovereign from some moral cause. Only ladies of good character are received by the excellent Queen of England.
Young ladies of rank, who have violated duty and propriety by a runaway marriage, are not allowed to appear at Court, at least for some length of time afterwards.
Only certain professions are admitted at Court after the nobility and squirearchy.
The wives and daughters of the Clergy', of Naval and Military officers, of Physicians and Barristers,have a right to presentation at Court. These are aristocratic profession:-. The wives and daughters of solicitors and general practitioners are not entitled to a presentation, nor are the families of tradesmen, though wealth and connexion have proved a passport thither of late years for merchants and manufacturers.
The lady wishing to be presented must ask the favour - and it is a great one - from the friend or relative of highest rank whom she knows. The higher the rank, and the more unexceptional the character, the better for her. The lady who presents must be at the Drawing-room at which her protegee appears to be presented. Any married lady presented at Court may present a friend in her turn.
The regulations of the Lord Chamberlain must then be consulted and implicitly obeyed.
It is desirable to be early, in order to escape the crowd.
Everything in the shape of a cloak or scarf, even of lace, must be left in the carriage. The train must be carefully folded over the left arm, and the wearer can then enter and wait her turn to be presented.
She is at length ushered to the Presence-Chamber, which is entered by two doors: she goes in to the ante-room or corridor, instantly lets down her train, which is spread out by the officials. The lady then walks forward towards the Queen or Princess. The card on which her name is inscribed, is handed to another lord in waiting, who reads the name aloud to the Sovereign.
When she arrives just before her Majesty, she should curtsey as low as possible, so as almost to kneel.
If the lady presented be a peeress or a peer's daughter, the Queen kisses her on her forehead.
If she is only a commoner, the Queen extends her hand to be kissed by the lady, who having done so, rises, curtseys to the Princess of Wales and the other members of the royal family, and then passes on, keeping her face towards the Queen, and backing out of the door which leads from the Presence-Chamber.
Peeresses in their own right - like peers - can demand a private audience of their Sovereign.