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Miss Manners: Taylor Swift tops list for polite behavior

| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 9:23 p.m.
FILE - This May 20, 2012 file photo shows singer Taylor Swift at the 2012 Billboard Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Swift joined several members of the Kennedy clan, including boyfriend Conor Kennedy, in a somber weekend visit to the grave of his mother on Cape Cod. Swift and Kennedy held hands and at one point appeared to bow their heads in prayer, as did his siblings, while visiting the resting place of Mary Richardson Kennedy on Sunday, Aug. 19. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, file)
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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Actor Matt Damon attends the 'Promised Land' premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 on December 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
FILE - This Dec. 8, 2011 file photo shows ABC News personality Robin Roberts arriving to the opening night performance of the Broadway play 'Stick Fly', in New York. On Monday, June 11, 2012, Roberts announced on 'Good Morning America' that she has been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia. She will start pre-treatment chemotherapy in advance of a bone marrow transplant later this year. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge visits the Kranji Commonwealth War Memorial in Singapore. Prince William and his wife Catherine are expecting their first child. St. James’s Palace announced the pregnancy Monday, saying that the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton has a severe form of morning sickness and is currently in a London hospital. William is at his wife’s side. (AP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri, Pool, File)

Should they ever meet, Harry Prince of Wales and country singer Taylor Swift will find they have something in common.

But it might be a subject that is best avoided.

Swift topped the list of “Ten Best-Mannered People of 2012,” issued by the National League of Junior Cotillions.

Harry was named the most-ill-mannered person of 2012, thanks to his scandalous nude frolic in a Las Vegas hotel suite in August.

Harry's transgression sparked a tabloid feeding frenzy when photos of the bacchanal were published.

In its 21st year, the list recognizes celebrities, pro athletes and other public figures that set a good example for young people, national director Elizabeth Anne Winters Russell says.

Despite the pressures of touring and recording and relentless media scrutiny, Swift has always been a class act.

“She continually carries herself with dignity, and is always gracious to her fans,” Russell says.

Harry's sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, is No. 7 on the list. She was No. 1 last year, but her new ranking should not be viewed as a demotion, Russell says.

Pressed to name her favorite on the list, Russell cites U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gabriel Douglas as one who demonstrated grace under pressure — not just during the competition, but in the subsequent glare of celebrity.

“Gabby Douglas was really an all-star this year,” she says. “She was thrown into the limelight at a very young age. Just the way she carried herself through all conversations and accusations. The way she held her head high really spoke to her character.”

Based in North Carolina, the National League of Junior Cotillions licenses local chapters across the country to teach etiquette, ethics and social dance to students, mostly seventh-, eighth- and ninth- graders. Students and chapter directors can submit nominations for the list.

More than 10,000 students have completed their program, which includes lessons in online manners, Russell says.

Young people must realize that the Internet is also a public place where posts and photos can come back to haunt them.

Had anyone made the list only to have them blow it with some cringe-worthy public outburst or gaffe?

“Every now and then, “Russell says. “We are all human. Inevitably, we will make mistakes and slip up. We really try to do a thorough background check on the individuals.”

William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wloeffler@tribweb.com or 412-320-7986.

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