As I’m sure you’re aware from the non-stop coverage, Prince William and Kate Middleton are visiting our fair country. I don’t know why anyone would give a shit, but a lot of people apparently do. They went to a basketball game and met LeBron James, who apparently made an “embarrassing faux pas.”
On Monday night, Lebron James met the visiting Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after a Nets game in Brooklyn, N.Y. “King James” smiled while he was photographed with Prince William and Kate Middleton, but the Duchess’ face showed that something was amiss.
What’s wrong with Kate’s face? Is it because she has no idea who Lebron is? Is it because she’s upset that he is using a title to which he is not entitled? Neither of the above. In fact, James was breaking one of the many important rules of etiquette for dealing with royals: He was touching her.
For a short while, I worked for the British royal family, or as it is officially called, Her Majesty’s Household. Because we were based in Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, one of the first things we were taught was how to interact with royals if we came into contact with them. The first lesson was to Google them so we did not mistake them as lost tourists and usher them out. The second lesson was to never start a conversation. The third—and most important—lesson was to never, ever touch them…
One would hope that future American encounters with royalty proceed more smoothly. We wouldn’t want a repeat of 1812 all over again. For all of our sakes, here are some of the most important rules of interacting with royalty.
Let me be clear about one thing: I totally support the right of an individual person to set their own boundaries. If someone isn’t comfortable being touched, especially by strangers, I’m perfectly fine with that. But this isn’t the same thing. This is saying no one can touch any member of the royal family because they’re so much above the station of those plebes who might come too close to them. Fuck that noise.