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Theresa May’s awkward curtsy strikes again

The Prime Minister is not the first to struggle with the manoeuvre.

Theresa May has hit the headlines again for the curtsy she rolls out for members of the Royal Family.

Instead of an elegant bob, the Prime Minister’s curtsy looks more like a crooked lunge, leaving the Duke of Cambridge a little nonplussed at Amiens Cathedral on Thursday.

In June, Mrs May treated William to a similar display at a ceremony at the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre with her long legs splayed out awkwardly.

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The Queen welcomes Theresa May at the start of an audience when she invited the then home secretary to become Prime Minister (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

According to English etiquette bible Debrett’s, women should curtsy when being introduced to a member of the Royal Family, then again when they leave.

It states, “To make a curtsy briefly bend your knees with one foot forward”, a movement the PM seems to struggle with.

Mrs May is not the first politician to over-egg her curtsy, Margaret Thatcher habitually dipped almost to a crouching position while greeting the Queen.

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Baroness Thatcher struggles to perform an elegant bob curtsy to the Queen, crouching instead (David Cheskin/PA)

But it is not just the uninitiated that struggle.

Despite attending the exclusive Hurst Lodge preparatory school, Sarah Ferguson executed an awkward manoeuvre on her wedding day.

In a voluminous silk dress, the Duchess of York might as well have prostrated herself on the floor as she greeted her new mother-in-law, the Queen.

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Sarah Ferguson struggles to strike the right note with her curtsy to the Queen at her wedding to Prince Andrew (PA)

It was the first of countless gaffes from the duchess, who is now excluded from most royal events following a series of scandals, including offering “cash for access” to her ex-husband, the Duke of York.

The duchess told undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood that for £500,000 he would get “open doors” access to Andrew.

Men get off lightly when it comes to royal protocol and are merely required to bow.

Debrett’s states a bow should be “made by bending from the neck or shoulders while briefly lowering your eyes”.

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Julia Gillard sidesteps the curtsy problem by shaking the Queen’s hand (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Former Australian prime minister and staunch republican Julia Gillard decided to swerve the curtsy altogether when she met the Queen in 2011, shocking protocol experts by opting for a swift bob of the head and a hand shake.

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