HistoryExtra.com has provided some very useful, practical, tips on how to survive at Court in the Eighteenth Century. Tips cover what to do if court short (see http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/regency-hygiene-the-bourdaloue/) for more detailed information, how to meet the king and even how to get home at the end of the night. The etiquette tips come via the brilliant historian Lucy Worsley and include original quotes.
To find out more go to http://www.historyextra.com/feature/how-survive-georgian-court
But sometimes court etiquette was another country even to the royal personages as the following piece shows:
Anecdote of GEORGE.II.
AMONG the antient customs of this country, which have sunk into disuse, was a singularly absurd one, continued even to so late a period as the reign of George the First, During the Lenten season, an officer denominated the King’s Cock-crower, crowed the hour each night, within the precincts of the palace, instead of proclaiming it, in the ordinary manner of watchmen. On the first Ash-Wednesday after the accession of the house of Hanover, as the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Second, sat down to supper, this officer abruptly entered the apartment, and according to accustomed usage, proclaimed, in a sound resembling the shrill pipe of a cock, that it was “past ten o’clock.” Taken by surprise, and but imperfectly acquainted with the English language, the astonished prince naturally mistook the tremulation of the assumed crow as some mockery intended to insult him, and instantly rose to resent the affront; nor was it without difficulty that the interpreter explained the nature of the custom, and satisfied him that a compliment was designed, according to the court etiquette of the time. From that period we find no further account of the exertion of the imitative powers of this important officer; but the court has been left to the voice of reason and conscience to remind them of their errors, and not to that of the cock, whose clarion called back Peter to repentance, which this fantastical and silly ceremony was meant to typify.
From The Lady’s Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to their Use and Amusement. Vol. 46 1815