Loyal Toast - Guest Etiquette

#1
At a recent regimental dinner hosted by a PWRR unit, one of the guests - a Guards WO1 - stood to drink the loyal toast as per his regimental custom whilst the remainder of the diners remained seated as per the custom of the PWRR. Several members were annoyed at his behaviour particularly as he was an invited non-paying guest. Was he out of order? Should he have followed the custom of drinking the Loyal Toast seated along with his hosts? Your thoughts would be welcome.
 
#2
If a member of the PWRR carried out his custom in our mess I would have no problems with it as its his Regimental tradition.

But I guess its down to the RSM of that particular mess as to what he want guests to do.
 
#3
;
I'd never realised that there was so much difference in the Loyal Toast.

I always thought it was proper to respect the hosts traditions, even if you don't agree with them.

Then again, he was Gaurds, stubborn barstools :wink:
 
#4
I have been priviledged to serve with a PWRR unit and to be present at a Sobroan dinner (may well have been that one that you refer to as it is about the right time of year). Drinking the loyal toast seated was different but I enjoyed being part of a different custom. As (now ex) REME, we tend to do what our parent unit does and don't really have any traditions of our own regarding this. There are 2 trains of thought that I can see regarding your Guards WO1.

a/ He should be respected for upholding the tradition of his own Regiment and the way he has been taught to do things.

b/ He should have done as his hosts did and enjoyed the experience of something new.

Anyways, as a big badge, there is nobody who is really going to say anything to him, is there :D
 
#5
We also have a tradition of sitting for the toasts which anyone attached to the Battalion (REME, RAMC etc) also did. We also sat for the toasts if we had guests from our own regiment.

However, we stood for them when we had outside guests from other regiments in the mess to avoid this type of problem.
 
#6
That's interesting. I was never aware that there was any difference in the toast. In the RAMC, we all stood and toasted Betty. Although there was a sort of legend that some RAMC unit somewhere used to toast her while remaining seated, but I could never track anything down.

It might be that they were attached to the 54th Ganja Rifles, whose toast (necessarily seated) is: "Meh shi livv forevva, da Kween an' don' Bogart de spliff, fella!

MsG
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I would have thought it was the custom and privilege of the mess that determined this rather than the individual. Guests should conform. The Royal Navy has drunk the Loyal Toast seated since the privilege was conferred by King William IV, allegedly because of his banging his head on the deckhead, while he was serving, whenever he toasted his father. If foreign guests are attending their Head of State is toasted standing, after the toast to HM. Last night (as it happens) that toast was an omnibus one to 'The Heads of State of those nations now represented', a neat catch-all, though the musicians only played one anthem (don't know whose).
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
#8
seaweed said:
I would have thought it was the custom and privilege of the mess that determined this rather than the individual. Guests should conform.
Agreed, the privilege for Royal Marines was granted in 1964 and worded (by HM herself) thus"...in Royal Marines' Officer's and NCO's messes...) note not to Royal Marines but to the Messes (incl JNCO's). Guest should comply withe the mess status not their own Regimental rules, IMHO an insult to your hosts to do anything else.

IMD
 
#9
A little off topic but would any of you fine gentlemen with knowledge of the PWRR's particular traditions and customs send me a PM or reply here with them. I'm off to Cyprus soon and wouldn't mind a heads up.

Thanks in advance
 
#11
diehard57 said:
At a recent regimental dinner hosted by a PWRR unit, one of the guests - a Guards WO1 - stood to drink the loyal toast as per his regimental custom whilst the remainder of the diners remained seated as per the custom of the PWRR. Several members were annoyed at his behaviour particularly as he was an invited non-paying guest. Was he out of order? Should he have followed the custom of drinking the Loyal Toast seated along with his hosts? Your thoughts would be welcome.
Having been in a similar situation I would suggest that you cut him a little slack. I don't know the person or exact instance which you are referring to but if it hadn't been made clear to him in advance what the mess's custom was then it is a little late, once he has already stood up as he has always considered correct, for him to then sit down.

My transgressions in messes where I was a guest haven't yet been during the loyal toast but have generally been due to different messes having different customs. I've always made a point of afterwards apologising to the senior member present for my mistake in a fairly public location. The difference between me and the instance you descibe is that at the time I was a fairly junior Sgt. I would suggest that if he thought there was reason to think that a WO1 had offended the mess then your RSM is quite capable of dealing with it without referring to you.

Edited to add:

Yes he should have made sure of the mess customs before he attended. With hindsight he'd have been better off with foresight!
 
#12
Guests in a strange mess should obey its rules and respect its customs, just like anyone visiting your own home. By the same token, visitors are usually allowed to share the traditions and privileges granted to members of any mess in which they find themselves. That is why Army, RAF and civilian guests are permitted, indeed expected, to remain seated for the loyal toast in the mess of any commissioned RN ship or establishment.
 
#13
Dunservin said:
Guests in a strange mess should obey its rules and respect its customs, just like anyone visiting your own home. By the same token, visitors are usually allowed to share the traditions and privileges granted to members of any mess in which they find themselves. That is why Army, RAF and civilian guests are permitted, indeed expected, to remain seated for the loyal toast in the mess of any commissioned RN ship or establishment.
I agree totally. I was trying to suggest that transgressions are more likely due to ignorance than malice.
 
#14
If you are a guest and wearing your Regimental Mess Kit, then in my opinion you should follow your own traditions, and your host should respect that.

In a mixed mess, one of the things that used to happen was that the band would play the respective marches of the guests, and if they didn't recognise their own march and stand for it, they paid a round !

But I'm an old bas*ard and don't know what goes on these days !
 
#15
Having said what I have said ..... it is also prudent to talk ! (7 P's)

In EVERY case, it just requires respect for tradition and for each other and no doubt lines can be drawn, the big thing is not to make an obvious / intentional insult.
 
#16
LEGZ30 said:
We also have a tradition of sitting for the toasts which anyone attached to the Battalion (REME, RAMC etc) also did. We also sat for the toasts if we had guests from our own regiment.

However, we stood for them when we had outside guests from other regiments in the mess to avoid this type of problem.
Which Rgt would that be, as I have long believed that only the Queen's (both Surrey & Buffs) were the only Rgt who did this, on account of their history of serving on HM ships as marine soldiers (a tradition retained when they became PWRR). In answer to the original question, badge or not, the Guardsman was incorrect, indeed disrespectful. He should have been berated, and his host fined.
 
#17
CATGI said:
In a mixed mess, one of the things that used to happen was that the band would play the respective marches of the guests, and if they didn't recognise their own march and stand for it, they paid a round !
The GSM at Dhekelia instigated the same thing one dinner night. The only problem was that there were about 20 different capbadges including the Long Service dinosaurs. It took forever and led to more than a couple of arguements over Regimental seniority and the order in which the marches were played. Got one thing right tho', played the Crabs last (just after the Sally Army). It was never repeated!

P-T
 
#18
'The Royal Navy has drunk the Loyal Toast seated since the privilege was conferred by King William IV'

However, Royal Marines Sergeants Messes stand for the Loyal Toast and attached matelot seniors stand with them.
 
#19
I attended a dinner in which the Regiment (host) and my Regiment shared the Regimental march, the bandmaster asked me to confirm that we shared the same march and explained that he was obliged to play it twice. Imagine the confusion for the mess members if their regimental march was played twice! I went and saw the main man and we agreed that it would only be played once. A numbers of members came to me in confusion and genuine concern thinking i had been snubbed and therefore offended. It was a grand night and brings back some wonderful memories.
 
#20
If there is any potential for embarassment, it is courteous for the host to adequately brief the guest.
 

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