Wardrooms have rules governing etiquette. Traditionally considered taboo are three topics: politics, religion, and sex (earlier guidebooks referred to the latter as "ladies"). On large ships in peacetime, talking about professional business is frowned upon. It is also considered inappropriate to perform work or to meet with subordinates in a wardroom.
Prior to the advent of jet airliners and modern communication, warships played a larger role in diplomacy. They transported diplomats and dignitaries and served as floating embassies where these diplomats would meet their foreign counterparts, hold formal dining in ceremonies, and complete international agreements and treaties. The wardroom was normally used for these occasions and was often lavishly appointed, particularly on warships outfitted for service as flagships.