The Harry-Meghan royal wedding: Lessons for our dignitaries

I have on many occasions suggested that if people do not know what to do, they should watch television. Some have taken my advice and they have expressed surprise at what they learnt over a period of time.

While the Harry-Meghan royal wedding was being beamed to the world on Satellite TV, I was watching it. I sincerely hope our governors, their wives, and aides, state chiefs of protocol, chief security officers and their men and women, protocol officials across the federation, security chiefs and bouncers, event planners and anyone associated with planning events in this country watched the royal wedding whilst it went on.

More than an hour to the commencement of the ceremony, guests were already arriving, and got ushered in with dignity and respect. The VIPs did not show up with their aides struggling to sit directly behind them. All seats had numbers and names on them. There were no protocol or security officers running around aimlessly or looking confused.

Everyone involved knew exactly what to do and where to stay.

Did anyone see the arrival of a former prime minister and the distance he walked to the church? That’s what our VIPs hate to do. If you allow them, they would be driven into the church and carried to their seats. If you are not too busy, just re-watch the video clips for a while and see how a disciplined society and people behave.

If you are a friend or associate of any of the officials mentioned above, please send this to him/her and encourage them to watch the proceedings of the Royal Wedding. Encourage them to pay attention to the humility, the dignity, respect and discipline of both the system, the practice and those attending.

Who can quarrel with or not admire the chronological ordering of the whole event, from the timely arrival of the guests, and the royal family, including her majesty. Did anyone see the way the Queen arrived and departed the church after the service?

Did we notice that the aide de camps/chief security officers (ADCs/CSOs) to the Queen, the Duke, and the two princes, where nowhere to be seen nor will we see their faces in any photograph, yet they were there.

Did we notice that at no time was Her Royal Majesty recognised or mentioned even during the beautiful sermon and the fact that she sat in the second row? It was simply because it was not her day or event but that of her grandchild, and they made sure it was all about the prince and his charming Duchess.

In our clime, parents these days make such an event more of their day. What we witnessed during the Royal Wedding was protocol at its best. We saw what makes nations work and, among other things, it involves discipline, respect, humility and dignity.

Joe Keshi former consul-general of Nigeria in Atlanta and former permanent secretary,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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