Social protocol is an aspect of etiquette defined as a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary norms within a society, social class or group. The French word etiquette literally signified a tag or label first used in the French Royal Court in the early to mid 1700’s to instruct guests on how to behave when dining at the King’s Table. In modern times, in the more common situation where the dinner table or other social gathering must be organized according to the degree of social rank and familial or professional relationships among the guests, it falls to the discretion of the hostess to determine who will take the highest position at the table as Guest of Honor to be seated at the right of the Hostess, with the Guest of Honor’s partner seated to the right of the Host. At our Formal Dinners here at the Starkey Mansion, whatever the nature of our guests, this principal is still the foundation upon which the seating placement is based, and it does much to determine the social interaction and conversation during and after the meal.
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