The monarchy is nothing if not proper, which is precisely why you always tend to hear about it when a member of the royal family breaks protocol. So, how is it that the world is only now discovering a video in which Queen Elizabeth runs after a young Prince William? As in, yes, Her Majesty took off at a sprint while dressed to the nines. But, in her defense, this eschewing of proper etiquette took place so she could keep wily young Will out of harm’s way. Plus, the resulting GIF created from the moment is pure magic.
Here’s a little backstory. On July 23, 1986, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, wed Prince Andrew. While they went on to divorce in 1996, fans of the royal family tend to hold fast to ceremonies and tradition. As such, people once again celebrated the former couple’s wedding anniversary when July 23 rolled around this year. To commemorate the occasion, one fan unearthed a GIF showing little William chasing after Sarah and Andrew’s wedding carriage — and Queen Elizabeth hot on his heels as she darts to catch up with her energetic grandson, grabbing his hand.
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Wrote the fan, “Late post, but it’s been 33 years since the wedding of Prince Andrew and Fergie in 1986. And so here’s Queen Elizabeth running after little Prince William to stop him from getting closer to the carriage. Her Majesty as a grandma is cute.”
They aren’t wrong, either! Bound by her monarchial manners, the Queen is rarely caught in such a purely normal moment. William was only 4 years old at the time, so it’s entirely natural that his grandmother would want to protect him. It’s just not the sort of informal behavior the public typically gets to see from Her Majesty. It’s heartwarming, really. And also a bit comical, considering Prince Harry always seemed to catch the reputation of being the wild one of the two brothers.
Fast forward to the present, and William has his own little ones to chase around. On Monday, Hello! reported that William and wife Kate Middleton threw a big soccer-themed bash for their eldest son, Prince George, to celebrate his sixth birthday on July 22. The couple’s other children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are 4 years old and 1 year old, respectively. Prince Harry has a potential little carriage-chaser on his hands too, but it’s too early to tell yet if baby Archie will require wrangling from the Queen like his uncle once did.