Kate Middleton was caught on video awkwardly trying to push Prince William’s hand away as he attempted to be affectionate during what ended up being an uncomfortable scene that was broadcast on TV throughout the U.K., Elle reported.
On Monday night, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were featured on A Berry Royal Christmas with Mary Berry, effectively their own Christmas special.
Christmas is a time when the Royal Family’s public profile is increased. The family shares photos and videos of their properties festooned in Christmas decorations, as well as pictures and videos of its various members enjoying the holiday. And, indeed, millions of Brits, at home and abroad, will listen to the Queen give her annual Christmas speech on Christmas Day.
Further, as The Daily Mail notes, now is a particularly good time for the family to put its best foot forward, as the Windsors are currently in damage-control mode, trying valiantly to contain the fallout over allegations that Prince Andrew‘s ties to Jeffrey Epstein may have extended beyond the two men just being acquaintances. So, it would make sense that the family would bring out two of its most-visible, most-beloved, most-relatable members, the future King and Queen.
Unfortunately, one brief moment in the Christmas special caught the attention of viewers for all the wrong reasons. In the clip, William extends his hand toward Kate’s shoulder. Kate rather brusquely appears to resist, quickly turning her shoulders the opposite way.
Before anyone concludes that this clip betrays trouble in the Cambridges’ marriage, it bears noting that Kate and William have a rather complicated relationship with public displays of affection.
Officially, the Royal Family doesn’t have a standard when it comes to PDA, leaving it up to each individual.
“It’s up to each and every royal and royal couple about how affectionate they are. There’s no protocol that tells them they can’t hug or kiss or touch,” etiquette expert Myka Meier has explained.
Unofficially, however, Kate has developed something of a reputation for being averse to it. It’s not clear if it’s because she’s a Royal or because she’s simply not a fan of it.
For Kate, it seems that there’s an inverse relationship between the seriousness of the event and the amount of PDA she’ll tolerate, Meier noted. In casual settings, such as at sporting events, the Duke and Duchess seem to be the most at-ease and affectionate with each other. In more serious or formal settings, the two appear to take a more subdued approach.
Clearly, their appearance on the Christmas special was a “hands-off” event — at least as far as Kate is concerned.