BARRY NORMAN, film critic: I've met him in informal surroundings, such as drinking tea at Lord's after a cricket match, where it would have seemed inappropiate - it was a question of shaking hands. On a formal, state occasion, it would be churlish and childish not to do so - it really is a very small courtesy after all. At a royal film premiere I would at least incline my head.

DAME VERA LYNN, singer: Yes. Absolutely certainly.

WILL SELF, novelist: No. I'm an avid and lifelong republican. Princess Diana once opened a door for me at a wedding - the right way round, I felt. I wouldn't expect an honour from this government under this sovereignty. I've got no time for them.

LADY CELESTRIA NOEL, editor, Jennifer's Diary, Harpers & Queen: I think people should, generally. You just bob - it's not supposed to be anything very exaggerated. When I was a small child, we were taught to bob when shaking hands with an adult, but that's completely gone out.

STEVE BELL, political cartoonist: No, of course not] I don't believe in bowing to anybody.

GERRY COTTLE, circus ringmaster: Yes, just a quick nod of the head. I've got a lot of respect for heritage and tradition.

INGRID SEWARD, editor, Majesty magazine: I think Prince Charles feels unbothered about it. He would hardly have noticed that Mrs Keating didn't curtsey - I don't think Nancy Reagan curtsied to him either and he was very fond of her. People get flustered and nervous and forget what to do when they meet the Royal Family. The ones that bow and curtsey the lowest are ladies-in-waiting and friends.

ROGER LAW, Spitting Image creator: Yes I would, but only if it would help to conceal the gun.

SUZANNE MIZZI, model and singer: I know I'm an old- fashioned girl but when you're at one of those events, it just comes naturally. I met the Duke of Edinburgh once and curtsied to him, and then later when we were sitting at the top table, he stepped on my dress and tore it as he walked away] He was ever so apologetic and really down to earth.

NICHOLAS PARSONS, television presenter: The answer is quite simple: while he is the heir apparent, you conform to the tradition. We are still a monarchist country and it would be small-minded to try to make a political statement by not bowing.

(Photograph omitted)