Walking the red carpet for a big movie is intimidating. Add to that very VIP guests of honor and the whole night becomes an exercise in keeping word vomit to a minimum. Sounds easy until you're lined up with other A-Listers and briefed on how to greet two (very popular) members of Britain's royal family.
Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, who voice Pumbaa and Timon (respectively) in "The Lion King" remake, experienced this at Sunday night's European premiere.
"You're given a lot of protocol to follow, which is unusual. They're the only people I've met that come with protocol," Rogen said on ITV This Morning. He added that they were trying to gauge who else was following it and if it was really as necessary as it was made out to be (it's not).
Eichner admitted that he started to panic while waiting to greet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He was briefed on how to initially address the couple (Your Royal Highness) and when it's appropriate to speak.
"I didn't know how much you're supposed to follow that but I started panicking," Eichner, whose panic was caught on video, admitted.
Rogen and Eichner watched as co-star Keegan-Michael Key dropped the ball on protocol and just "nodded his head" as he was introduced to Meghan and Harry.
In the end, everything worked out. Eichner and Meghan spoke about their alma mater, Northwestern University, and no one was taken to the tower for speaking before a proper handshake.
The most amusing thing about royal protocol is that those who are not royal are sticklers about it. Even the Queen, 93, said to Michelle Obama, "Oh it’s all rubbish, just get in" when the First Couple was picked up by the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.
Protocol works as a guidance on how to address members of the royal family. Upon first meeting the Queen, you address her as "Your Majesty" and thereafter use "Ma'am" (like "ham). The same goes for Charles, Camilla, William, Harry, Kate, etc. (just swap out "Your Majesty" for "Your Royal Highness," then it's "Sir" or "Ma'am").
Curtsying or bowing one's head isn't a make-or-break, but many do it out of respect for the crown.
The Queen's granddaughter, Zara Tindall, explained why she and her family still curtsy/bow to the monarch.
“I curtsy to her every time I see her,” Zara told Majesty Magazine in 2008. “The thing with my grandmother is she is still my grandmother and she’s very approachable, but she’s also from an era where that was how it was done. But there aren’t many people who know how it’s done. I know because I have grown up with it.”
Watch Eichner and Rogen's interview below: