By Josh Duboff. Photos: Getty Images.
What with the continuing twists and turns related to the lives of Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Harry (and Prince George!), Prince Charles can often fly under the radar somewhat, at least by comparison. But, this week, Charles is making some bold-faced headlines of his own, as he has allegedly “broken royal protocol” by . . . embracing an 11-year-old.
O.K., let’s back up a second. The royal code decrees that male members of the royal family should be greeted with a “neck bow”—essentially a nod of the head. In Bucharest on Friday, as part of his current tour of the country, Charles was seen, in a series of photos, hugging an 11-year-old boy named Valentine Blacker, who is the son of a British-born local conservationist. The Daily Mail notes that Valentine was “clearly unfamiliar with royal protocol,” as he “[threw] his arms around the prince.”
Charles did not seem to care whatsoever, as he smiled brightly throughout the hug. (Valentine’s dad later told reporters, “[Charles] loves my son,” and Valentine himself said, “It’s not the first time he’s hugged me.”) It would seem as though Charles was not so much as actively breaking the protocol here, as much as he was letting it be broken by someone else, which is, we guess, in a sense, the same idea as if he broke it himself (we are having flashbacks to the one ethics seminar we took in college).
Charles also, per the outlet, on Thursday “could be seen greeting Crown Princess Margareta with [a] tender kiss on the hand,” noting “it seems there is no end to Charles’s affection.” Well then!
Over the past few days, Charles has toured various historical areas of Bucharest, met with religious leaders, and paid a visit to the National Theatre of Romania. He’s due to fly to Italy next, where he will spend the second part of his nine-day tour of Europe.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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