Mike Tindall has admitted he was almost the victim of a royal protocol faux pas during a private meeting with King Charles III.
The former rugby player, who is married to the late Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter Zara Tindall, described his blunder during an episode of his his sports podcast The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby.
The 43 year old told his fellow hosts James Haskell and Alex Payne that he very nearly curtseyed the King, after mirroring his wife.
According to the royal family website, protocol dictates that, when meeting the king, men should give a neck bow, without bending their waist, while women should carry out a "small curtsy".
Mike went onto explain: "You know when you're following a routine? I almost curtseyed to the King the other day.
"Without thinking about it. I was just following my wife, saw her curtsey, and I, fortunately, didn't."
The ex-Gloucester and Bath rugby player claims he managed to disguise his curtsy by turning it into a "lower bow".
He told listeners on the podcast that he thinks he "styled it out alright", although he later admitted he may have looked as though he'd "stubbed my toe or something on the floor."
Fortunately, for Mike, his gaffe happened during a private moment behind the scenes, and not in front of any TV cameras.
Mike was also asked how the royal family had responded to the Queen's death on a personal level.
He told his co-hosts: "It's been sad, emotional but happy. In some ways amazing. To see the family come so close together overnight.
"You never predict it. A 96 year old lady, you know it's going to happen but you're never ready for when it does.
"Watching what Zara had to go through, obviously she loved the Queen beyond everything else.
"Their connection with horses, they had a real bond around that. It's like the world has lost its grandmother in some way."
In an earlier episode of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, Mike was asked about the first time he met the Queen.
At the time, he told his co-host Alex Payne: "I did get sweaty palms. I think anyone would.
"She's such a legend of a lady that I still get nervous now when I see her. I'm way more comfortable now, but… it's been a journey."
In 2011, he also told the Telegraph that his integration into the royal family was down to the Queen.
He said: "I can only say how kind they’ve been to me, and how welcoming they’ve been to me since joining the family. And how they’ve made my family welcome."
The father of three added: "I’ve always felt part of it and I think that’s down to what an amazing woman the Queen is. They’re a fantastic family."
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