Newport Etiquette Expert Teaches Tournament of Roses Royal Court

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Julie Ann Ulcickas (center) with the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court — NB Indy file photo ©
Julie Ann Ulcickas (center) with the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court
— photo by Christopher Trela ©

Bluewater Grill hosted royalty for lunch last month, but the queen and her princesses didn’t have to travel far.

The seven newly-named members of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court made their first public appearance south of Pasadena by taking a Duffy boat cruise through Newport Harbor (in an electric boat skippered by City Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield) and then docking at Bluewater Grill for lunch.

The “Etiquette Luncheon” was hosted by etiquette expert Julie Ann Ulcickas, a member of the 1988 Royal Court and wife of Bluewater Grill founder Jimmy Ulcickas.

Ulcickas has been teaching etiquette to the Royal Court for many years, including the famous “parade wave.”

“We call it putting wax on and off,” said Ulcickas, whose book “Urbanity Fair: An Abbreviated Guide to Modern Manners” is available on and on her etiquette website “The trick is to keep the upper arm at a 90-degree angle, so only the forearm moves and the wrist gently flows from side to side.”

“I make sure they walk correctly, sit correctly, that they have proper posture – I tell them that proper posture is now part of their life,” added Ulcickas. “We also go over dining skills because they have to understand proper use of utensils, buffet etiquette, which side to wear your purse on, where to put the name tag, which hand to hold your glass in, proper toasting etiquette. All those things help to make a princess who she is.”

The seven 2017 Royal Court members that dined at Bluewater Grill and received the personalized etiquette training are Audrey Mariam Cameron, Victoria Cecilia Castellanos, Maya Kawaguchi Khan, Shannon Tracy Larsuel, Autumn Marie Lundy, Natalie Rose Petrosian, and Lauren Emiko Powers.

Ulcickas also started teaching etiquette at the Girl Scouts headquarters (the Girl Scouts have merit badges for etiquette). Her first class was sold out, and her book is now sold in the Girl Scouts store.

Julie Ann Ulcickas with her Urbanity Fair book — NB Indy file photo ©
Julie Ann Ulcickas with her Urbanity Fair book
— Photo by Christopher Trela ©

Ulcickas said her expertise in etiquette began with her mother’s best friend, who was “a real stickler for table manners. Her sister was a Rose Queen and was my teacher when I was on the Rose Court. I was involved with Girl Scouts, National Charity League and Cotillion, and I was a debutant.”

After her Royal Court experience, Ulcickas attended USC, where she taught etiquette to her sorority sisters.

Her book “Urbanity Fair” is packed with etiquette tips, from addressing envelopes to dinner manners. One of the most practical is BMW. No, not the car: Bread, Meal, Water/Wine – the order from left to right of a traditional table setting, which helps diners to remember which ones are theirs, and which belong to their neighbors.  

And then there is the proper way to pass the salt, and the pepper.

“Mr. and Mrs. Salt and Pepper are so in love, they have to be together, just like Mr. and Mrs. Knees,” explained Ulcickas. “Never pass salt and pepper hand to hand, always put them down and have the next person pick them up.”

But why “Urbanity Fair?”

“Urbanity means to be urbane, or polite and confident,” explains Ulcickas her book’s preface. “Urbanity Fair” is an abbreviated guide to modern manners and basic etiquette, which Ulcickas notes is “missing in today’s society.”

For more information, and to watch Ulcickas’ etiquette videos, visit

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