PROTOCOL IS POWERLESS WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN
ARMAN NAVASARDYAN
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary






Diplomatic etiquette is part of the international relations protocol and its modes of expression have been cultivated and refined in the processes of development of intergovernmental communication. Every ethnos, every subject of international law adds to the universal laws of protocol his own nuance, his own handwriting that emerges from historical traditions, national particularities, and ethno-psychological characteristics. But no matter which society or government diplomatic service represents, it is carried out by men (Homo sapiens), men with all their weaknesses. Those weaknesses come to the fore especially when men encounter beauty, especially women’s beauty. When meeting a beautiful woman, statesmen involuntarily break the etiquette rules or deviate from them, first, in order to please themselves and, second, to please the woman.

One of the oldest state structures in Europe, the Vatican, is known for following the strictest protocol that has remained unrivaled. It is reported that when Jacqueline Kennedy visited Pope John XXIII, his secretary at the Palace of the Vatican, in preparation of her visit, suggested that the Pope should call her either "Mrs. Kennedy” or "Madame.” The pope tried the options out loud to decide which seemed best: "Mrs. Kennedy. Madame. Mrs. Kennedy…” Then the doors were opened and she was announced. As she entered, John smiled, opened his arms wide and exclaimed "Jacqueline!”

On other occasions it is the woman who disregards the rules of etiquette and protocol. In the 1960s the French Armenian singer Rosy Armen would often visit Armenia. She didn’t excel too much in the art of vocal performance, but the residents of Yerevan, especially the young men, really liked her. She was attractive, full of life, a freethinker . . . During one of her visits she was received by His Holiness Vazgen I Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

The Catholicos asked Rosy: "How should I address you, my daughter? Madame or Mademoiselle?”

"I don’t think that I’m a ‘Madame’ yet, but I’m not a ‘Mademoiselle’ either,” replied the singer without blinking an eye.

Even half a century after this anecdotal incident, everyone in Yerevan remembers Rosy’s words in Echmiadzin.
DIPLOMATIC ESSAYS
1505 reads | 18.08.2013
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