Royal Polo Kisses: Comparing William & Kate to Charles & Diana


The Role of Royal Etiquette

Is a kiss always just a kiss? Absolutely not, especially if it is two princes (in this case from Wales) exchanging it in public. On the occasion of the Royal Charity Polo Day, Prince William gave his wife Kate Middleton one of the rarest displays of affection in front of the crowd, a chaste brush of cheeks that anticipates a peck during a regal embrace with one hand on the other’s shoulder. They don’t look into each other’s eyes, which instead are tightly squinted with a hint of a smile and contain formidable rigidity even during that intimate gesture. Royal etiquette expert Myka Meier had already explained that there are no written rules on royal romanticism in official circumstances, so it is at the discretion of the parties involved.

Comparing Charles and Diana’s Gestures

However, comparing a similar situation with what happened on the polo field in 1985 between the current King Charles and his wife Lady Diana Spencer, there are many differences. It is he who holds her tight by the arm and presses a kiss, albeit chaste, on her lips. She has half-open eyes, looks elsewhere and doesn’t seem relaxed at all. Yes, in both cases it is a gesture to congratulate each other on the outcome of the game, so completely harmless, lawful and almost encouraged, but it is clear the abyss that distinguishes the two circumstances.

William and Kate’s Discretion

William and Kate rarely exchange effusions in public (although every now and then she stretches out her hands and gives him a light pat on the backside), because they maintain discretion and royal dignity in every occasion. After all, they will be the next king and queen of the United Kingdom and have been programmed to behave this way, although to varying degrees. You can see that there is complicity between the two, even if it is shown in their own way and within the limits of royal etiquette. For Diana, on the other hand, there is always the impetuosity of youth in her gestures, but it is immediately clear when they are affected, imposed and not very genuine because, unlike her son and daughter-in-law, she seems unable to adapt to the golden cage and simulate authenticity. It is true that every gesture of hers exudes grace and elegance, but the comparison makes the certainties of those who, over the years, have believed that all those public displays of affection were of a private nature crack. No, they were part of a precise ceremonial, a script that Lady Spencer has often suffered to interpret.


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