Pull up any recent photo of Meghan Markle and it can feel like the once jittery (American) commoner is now a full-fledged royal, nailing the car exit, the ‘Duchess Slant,’ even the wave.
Ditto Kate, ahem, Catherine.
Their secret? A master class in royal etiquette coaching—or as Myka Meier, the ever-flawless (and impeccably trained) founder of Beaumont Etiquette, likes to call her version of it: Duchess School. (For the record, and according to reports, Meghan is being similarly trained by Samantha Cohen, a 17-year veteran of Buckingham Palace.)
The curriculum of Myka's course, officially called The Duchess Effect and taught at New York City’s Plaza Hotel (the next session takes place in March) is vast: In a two-hour session, you’ll tackle how to sit, stand, hold a cup and saucer, make a grand entrance down a flight of stairs, carry a clutch, walk in heels, enter and exit a vehicle, dress like a duchess and more.
A chance to learn firsthand (Myka was taught by a former member of Queen Elizabeth’s household staff) about the rigorous training the royals undergo? I was intrigued. Was there a shot in hell that I, a flustered mom who rides the subway and carries not one, not two, but three bags to work, could adopt the poise of a Markle or Middleton? It was worth a try.
And so it was that I found myself striding through the Plaza’s gold-encrusted revolving door, a Manhattan spot so iconic that everyone from the Beatles to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor have stayed the night. I met Myka in an Edwardian suite on the 18th floor with my bags and breast pump in tow, but also an open mind.