Queen Elizabeth II, Theresa May
Theresa May's recent curtsy was criticized by royal fans. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II, May alongside, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd prior a ceremonial welcome for Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife Maria Clemencia de Santos at Horse Guards Parade on November 1, 2016 in London, England. Getty Images/Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool

Theresa May and Sarah Ferguson’s failed attempts at doing the perfect curtsy have ignited Debrett’s to explain how exactly the move should be done when meeting royals.

Adam Partridge from Debrett’s recently told Daily Mail, “A curtsy should be a discreet, brief movement and not a ballet plie, or a grand, sweeping descent to the ground. From a standing position, transfer your weight to one foot (usually the left). Place the ball of your other foot behind and slightly to the outside of your standing ankle.”

“Bend your front knee while keeping your torso upright and your hands relaxed at your sides. There is no need to hold your skirt or dress. To come up, slowly straighten your knees, bringing your feet back into a parallel position. The whole motion should take a few seconds,” he added.

One of Debrett’s other staff, Jean Broke-Smith, said that curtsying in front of Queen Elizabeth II is a little bit different from doing the movement in front of other royals.

“If you’re meeting the Queen, she will always put her hand out to you and that is your cue to curtsy. You should not look at her as you curtsy but keep your eyes lowered. Only as you come back up should you meet her eyes and if she is offering you her hand you can shake it. Otherwise, keep your hands to yourself,” Smith said.

Earlier this week, May made headlines when she curtsied to Prince William at a recent event. The prime minister was criticized because she appeared to bow too low. Ferguson also suffered the same mistake a few years ago when she bowed in front of the royals.

But according to Smith, there really is no specific rule when it comes to how many inches the curtsy should be.

“It depends on how flexible you are and how good you are with your core strength and balance. The Duchess of York’s curtsy at Ascot was a little over the top, however,” Smith said.