Here's why Prince William broke protocol by HUGGING England players after Euro 2022 win
Royal expert Grant Harrold claims the younger royals have realised 'they can’t get away with being aloof'
Prince William is a die-heart football fan. And being the president of the Football Association, spotting him enjoying the Euro final last week was no surprise for royal fans. But the real surprise was what he did after the match.
Last weekend, England finally broke their 56-year wait for a trophy when the women's soccer team won the 2022 Euro Cup defeating Germany 2-1. The big win by the Lionesses left the Duke of Cambridge emotional and made him head to the pitch to congratulate the players and hand over their medals.
The Duke of Cambridge has previously shown his love for the sport, but this time many are saying he broke royal protocol by giving the players hugs as they made their way across the pitch. Royal protocol dictates members of the royal family limit themselves to formal handshakes during official engagements. Hence a royal member embracing members of the public is a rare sight, but a royal expert says it was a deliberate action by the duke.
Speaking to OK, royal expert and former butler of Prince Charles Grant Harrold said, “Historically, there was a rule with royals that you could look but you couldn’t touch. If you met a royal, you could look at them and if they offered you a handshake, you were to accept it. That was a lot to do with the mystique surrounding the family but also for security reasons, too.”
But as old traditions continue to be replaced by more updated practices, Harrold said Prince William’s approach represents the modern era. “I think William and the other younger royals have realized that they can’t get away with being aloof," Harrold added.
He added: "The Queen can get away with it because she’s the Queen and she’s from a different era, but the younger royals have been brought up very differently. Diana was a hugger and I think that this physical contact and hugging people has a lot to do with how William was raised. It won’t feel unnatural to William - if anything, it’d feel more uncomfortable if it was just a strict handshake. As well as this, seeing royals hug makes them relevant and modern."
Prince William has been actively playing a prominent role in changing the equation between the public and the royal family. And as per the royal expert, the gesture of the prince is a way of showing a more humane side of the royal family.
He continued: "As he does more work and gets to grips with his role, he wants people to see the real him which is why we’ve seen a lot more affection recently. He’s eased into his role."