Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Prince Edward and Living Classrooms CEO James Bond

No curtsies or bows but one strange clawing gesture as Prince Edward visits Baltimore. (Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

This may be Charm City, but the PR outfit promoting Prince Edward's visit wasn't sure the Baltimore press corps had the polish to cover royalty.

So IMRE took it upon itself to play Henry Higgins to newsroom Eliza Doolittles.

"Royal Protocol: The general rule is that on first meeting the salutation is 'Your Royal Highness' and thereafter 'Sir,'" reporters were instructed via email.

(I'm wondering if Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office sent the prince a similar primer, with a "Don't call me 'Stephanie'" advisory. )

"Ladies may curtsey and gentlemen bow their heads but only if they really want to and are comfortable doing so," IMRE's email continued.

I'm surprised the bows and curtsies were optional. Seems those wars against the Brits really paid off.

Reporters also were instructed to submit any questions for the prince in writing. Those that made the cut -- all queries about the royal wedding were nixed -- were recast to begin with "Sir."

In the end, Prince Edward did not take any questions. And I'm told none of the reporters on the scene opted to bow or curtsey.