Ever feel queasy about going to an event where you don't know other guests? Talking to strangers does not come naturally to many people, but it's important to learn to do so. Social events are your opportunity to make new friends and business acquaintances.
Many British papers and news broadcasts have dwelt insistently on the personal poignancy of this moment for the Queen -- considering the IRA's assassination in 1979 of her relative, Lord Louis Mountbatten, whom she used to call "Uncle Dickie".
A receiving line is the perfect opportunity for guests and hosts to meet one another at a large event. They are only essential for groups of fifty or more, when it's otherwise impossible for the hosts to greet everyone individually.