Why Prince Harry May Actually Be More Polite Than Taylor Swift

A group of students has slammed the royal while praising the country singer and Justin Bieber, and it isn't necessarily fair

By Leslie Gornstein Dec 13, 2012 4:30 AMTags
Prince Harry, Taylor SwiftShaun Botterill/Getty Images; Beretta/Sims/REX/Startraksphoto.com

A group of manners experts has named Taylor Swift as the politest celeb of the year. Examples?
—Two From Six, via Twitter

She's described herself as "not the kind of girl/Who should be rudely barging in on a white veil," but Taylor Swift? The most polite celeb of 2012? Not necessarily so, regardless of what the National League of Junior Cotillions say. The group released a list this week, composed by children grades 6 through 8, of celebrities they think are the most polite.

Swift tops the list, along with Justin Bieber, while Prince Harry was called out for being rude.

Here's why the gentle cotillion folk may need to reconsider.

In a statement issued today, the NLJC, based in Charlotte, N.C., declared Swift No. 1 in its 21st Annual 10 Best-Mannered People of 2012.

The reason cited?

"For inspiring young people with her music and her manners."

"We think that she conducts herself with such graciousness with her fans," NLJC national director Elizabeth Anne Winters Russell explains to me. "Keeping her dignity and poise as she created the Red album, and not really having anything that would sour her reputation."

Such as, say, maybe, crashing a wedding earlier this year. Swift has denied the accusation, even though it was recalled in painful detail by Victoria Gifford Kennedy to the Boston Herald.

Swift and Conor Kennedy "texted me an hour before the wedding and asked if they could come," she recalled. "I responded with a very clear, 'Please do not come.' They came anyway...I personally went up to Ms. Swift, whose entrance distracted the entire event, politely introduced myself to her, and asked her as nicely as I could to leave. It was like talking to a ghost. She seemed to look right past me."

Classy. Almost as classy as airing your ex-boyfriend's foibles in a thinly veiled song called "Dear John."

Justin Bieber also made the list, for "for consistently showing courtesy to his many fans." That's fine, as long as his fans don't have cameras, badges, low-hanging balls or Grammy voting privileges.

"There were some incidents that occurred" involving Bieber this year, Winters Russell allowed to me, "but we truly like to think that they as humans, are all going to slip. We all have bumps in the road."

Meanwhile, the NLJC reserved a special wag of the finger for Prince Harry.


"For disregarding his prestigious title and misbehaving in the public spotlight."

They're referring to Harry's infamous bout with naked billiards in Las Vegas earlier this year. The group might have had a point...if the jape had happened in public. Except it didn't. It happened in a private hotel room. One of Harry's suite guests sold him out by airing the photos.

"What goes on behind closed door can certainly be exposed," Winters Russell argues. "This is just about being very careful."

There were other celebrities who made the nice list, including gymnast Gabby Douglas "for demonstrating humility and politeness as a young Olympic athlete"; Matt Damon for "being a positive role model in Hollywood to younger generations"; and Daniel Radcliffe "for the kindness extended to his Harry Potter fans."

Well and good. But Swift and Bieber? The NLJC might want to reconsider. And I mean that in the politest way possible.