Most families have a standard greeting when they get together whether it’s an embrace or a peck on the cheek. For the royals, who have been caught on camera greeting family members many times, it appears to be air-kissing. But sometimes those interactions make news for looking awkward.
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry’s former butler, Grant Harrold, told The Sydney Morning Herald that the action is known as “cheek kissing [because] you place your right cheek against their right cheek but you don’t air kiss or make the loud pucker noise.”
Either way, here are some instances where the British royal family‘s standard greeting looked cringe-worthy.
Prince Harry’s awkward air kiss with someone not expecting it
If you think photos of Prince Harry greeting his own family look odd, he really stumbled when he tried to give an air kiss to a woman who wasn’t expecting it.
As The Sun noted, the Duke of Sussex was with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her mom, Doria Ragland, when they appeared at the launch of a cookbook written by neighbors to the West London disaster in 2018.
The prince shocked one of the volunteers from Hubb Community Kitchen when he leaned in with his arms out to greet her. Because she was taken aback Harry decided not to hug her and gave three distance air kisses.
Prince Philip wasn’t ready for Prince William’s goodbye
In 2016, when Prince William was a pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, his grandparents took a special tour of The Duke of Cambridge’s workplace.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were there for about 40 minutes. As they left cameras captured William giving them each an air kiss but his grandfather wasn’t ready for it so it made for one odd-looking moment.
“Prince Philip looked stunned when he was planted a kiss from his pilot grandson on the runway during a trip to see his workplace,” The Sun reported.
Prince Charles’ infamous hand kisses for his mother
There are several photos that have been captured of Prince Charles air-kissing Queen Elizabeth’s hand but something about those pics always looks uncomfortable.
Body language expert Judi James told Express she believes that has to do with how distant their relationship has always been.
“The sight of Prince Charles as a very small boy standing with his hand out to shake his mother’s hand formally after she returned from a long tour once sparked rumors that the queen had a distant and remote relationship with her oldest son,” she said. “Since then though Charles appears to have gone to great pains to display affection bordering on adoration for the woman he calls ‘Mummy,’ performing the hand-kiss to suggest a sense of almost Medieval chivalry and dedication to her service.”
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