Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of order!

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Squirrel, Apr 3, 2009.

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  1. Hi guys,

    Here's the situation, last night, the officers' mess on our unit hosted a joint Officer's Mess, WO and Sgts' mess function and outstanding it was too.

    Now, it's an RAF station, and as you'd expect, the mess was full of blue jobs, with lots of Army, and a few matelots thrown in. As senior matelot from our mess, a young PO asked me whether we'd remain seated for the loyal toast, as we're in an RAF mess. I told him that putting a dog in a stable doesn't make him a horse, and that we'd all remain seated. We duly did so, but afterwards, the only RN Officer present mentioned to me in the bar, in good nature I may add, that we were incorrect and as it was an RAF Officers' mess, with a tri-service attendance, we should have stood.

    My question:
    simple really, who's right and who's wrong??

    Some evidence and references would be nice, just so I can, in equally good nature, rub his nose in them. If I'm wrong, I will of course shut up and never mention the issue to him again.
    Cheers in advance guys
  2. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    I have always been led to believe that when a guest you adopt the hosts traditions. Not just a case of when in Rome, but it is the correct protocol as far as I'm aware. I've certainly done so at the numerous army mess dinners I've been to.
  3. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator


    You were in the right. At a different tri-service unit function which was RN led, I experienced the same thing but it was the crabs who wouldn't budge from their traditions and it was seen as bad form however they were adament that they were in the right.

    Now, I'm not going to have a go at the RAF's 90 year old 'traditions' but if they're not willing to adhere to RN tradition when it's the RN lead, why should the RN do as the RAF want when it suits them?
  4. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    The Royal privilege of remaining seated for the Loyal Toast only applies to the messes of commissioned RN ships or establishments. It is not allowed elsewhere, even in quasi-naval establishments such as Sea Cadet units.

    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 an entitled RN mess.

  5. I'm sorry shippers, I thought I read something in your post about the crabs having traditions lol
  6. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    Forgot to add that bit to mine! Concur!
  7. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    that's my understanding as well, when in Rome.....

    fwiw I would have taken a lead from the senior RN present, if he was standing then it would have been prudent to align.

    That said when I've been in Army or RAF messes and it's been an RN hosted evening; Traf or Taranto, then the other guests have usually respected the tradition, even where it's not technically permitted.
  8. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    You should follow the protocol of the service you are a guest of .Also like at reunions if it is a full naval reunion you remain seated .If you are say a guest at a army reunion you would be expected to stand up for the toast .It is proocol and basicaly good manners to do so
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    Again, when in Rome...

    Then again it wasn't a custom or tradition that was broken, it was barely even a habit if it was an RAF base, so I wouldn't worry too much either way.
  10. When in Rome is the best rule of thumb. As a guest in an Army or RAF mess (or being hosted by one of the other services in a joint establishment) fall in with their traditions- it's the polite thing to do.

    Just because we can be different, it doesn't mean that we have to.
  11. I experienced this in a Joint Mess, in a far off and windy place, when a dining in night was hosted in honour of a certain visiting PJHQ Vice Adml. The general dark blue consensus was that the Mess was “joint†and the Guest was Andrew; so Naval Tradition. On hearing of this, the Mess prez (Wg Cdr) made it known that ALL would stand; and SO1 Mar didn’t feel inclined to argue. It particularly rankled, though, when a light blue tradition was exercised in the calling out of CO FI Air Wing (Mess prez!), by OC 1435 Flt, on suspicion of wearing a clip-on dicky bow. It was a real tie and a bottle of Port was duly coughed up but not until after V Adml G had stormed off! We went through the same silly pantomime again at Trafalgar Night!

    My point is that a resident single Service type is not a “guest†in a Joint Mess and it would be sensible if single Service traditions applied to single Service members. If a Service has been awarded a privilege, it seems contrary and petty to renounce it just because another Service hasn’t. One size fits all bollox!

    The assault on entitlement to facial hair will probably be next.
  12. For what it's worth, the Royal Navy is not exclusive in being awarded this special privilege. Officers of the the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are also allowed to drink the Loyal Toast while seated in their mess, as are officers of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. King George III dined regularly with the Greys and it is thought officers remained seated because he had difficulty standing. Officers of the DLI and KSLI were even absolved of the need to drink the Loyal Toast at all and this privilege is maintained by Light Infantry regiments today (link).
  13. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    It couldn't have been much of a piss up or else at the end you would not have been ABLE to stand up.

    I thought it was only "Pigs" that did it anyhow, if you had of tried in any of the mess decks I was on you would have been told to stow it you anchor faced Bsatard.
    Except at tot time but that was different, I would have said anything for my tot, The Queen god bless her, but you was not expected to say it as it was alreadt on the fanny.
  14. The original question specified an RAF mess. Where a truly 'joint' mess is concerned, the President and Committee should be able to pick and choose the best rules and traditions to follow. This worked very much to our advantage in the Joint Services Officers' Mess (JSOM) at Mount Wise in Devonport where I lived c.1980. I was permitted to keep alcohol in my cabin although I wasn't at least a Commander and my wife (then still my fiancee) stayed in the mess on several occasions whereas such privileges were tabu in any RN wardroom at the time.
  15. I must admit that I have always followed the tradition of the Mess I am dining in as their guest and have always asked the Mess President or PMC if he wanted me to stand or remain seated. Most of them told me to carry on with the Naval tradition.

    I just think its good manners to at least ask in my opinion.
  16. Further to that, the PWRR retains the traditions of the Queen's East Surrey Regiment, one of its forebears, who were originally marine soldiers, and have a long-standing association with Excellent via the Queen Charlotte connection.
  17. So thats why I was in Queen Charlotte 1 division when I was up the Island, but still the only toast I was ever involved in was in the JR dinning hall at breakfast. :cry:
  18. I was in HQAFNORTH 87 thru 89 tri service and not once did I stand for the Loyal Toast.A few raised eyebrows but never questioned.The only question I ever had was Why are you not in mess undress Chiefwren ?
    Cos we didnt fecking have one and were allowed to wear a long dress!!
    I even quoted a DCI which didnt exist when a SSGT queried the above and he was fined a crate of port
    Very nice it was too
  19. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    Never mind Rumrat. I've got a glass of red plonk in my hand and I'll toast you now. Reminds me of a friend who always orders two pints whenever he goes to the pub on his own. He says the other one's for his old oppo who does the same thing in accordance with a pact they made when serving together.
  20. Re: Remaining seated for the loyal toast........point of ord

    Snap and I shall raise my glass of Rioja also shippers.

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