22 November 2014

American press corps upset over dress code in advance of royal visit

As the winter months fast approach there generally is little discussion about proper attire to be worn while attending the celebration of the Holy Mass, but a recent story concerning the upcoming visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to New York gives us reason to consider this topic again.

One month out - and without any express reminding from Buckingham Palace - many members of the American media are rather upset about the clothing requirements for those who will be in the presence of the royal couple:
"Why should the United States' press corps — who barely bother to brush the muffin crumbs off their polo shirts before lobbing questions at the President of the United States — schlep extra pieces of clothing to work just so they can make small talk with a (perfectly nice-seeming) British air ambulance pilot-in-training and a former chain-store accessories buyer?" asked New York magazine.
Politico, a site covering Washington politics, noted: "Our much more refined brothers across the pond are apparently worried that the American press corps, with our pride of the haggard and ill-dressed journalists, won’t be appropriately attired when interacting with the royals"[more].
Frankly, if that is really how the press core greets the President of the United States, it may be past time for the White House to issue similar protocols.

Leaving aside the question of what one wears in the presence of a President or of a Duke or Duchess, it ought to be obvious that we should dress at least as well when going into the presence of the King of the Universe (whose solemnity we celebrate this weekend).

I've said it before, but it bears saying again: When considering what to wear to Mass, we ought not to wear what we might also wear to bed or to the beach (which, for most of us, isn't a problem at the moment); the old maxim of our “Sunday best” should still guide what we wear.

N.B.: It was almost two and a half years ago that Wimbledon insisted on a dress code for spectators at tennis matches.

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