Prince William deviated from royal protocol by refraining from bowing to Queen Camilla during the coronation, and people noticed.
Body language expert Judi James suggests that the Prince of Wales may have found it unnatural to bow to his stepmother. Instead, James speculates that his subconscious loyalty to his late mother, Princess Diana, could have influenced his decision.
At a special concert in Windsor on May 6, most members of the Royal Family had already taken their seats when King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived. Interestingly, even Prince George and Princess Charlotte followed Prince William’s lead and did not formally greet Camilla, as most of the family bowed or curtsied exclusively to the King.
In contrast, their mother, Kate, deliberately chose to curtsy to both the King and Queen.
According to royal protocol, lower-ranking royals should bow or curtsy to those of higher rank. Given that Camilla now holds a higher rank than the William, the Prince of Wales, he should have followed this protocol.
However, it is possible that Prince William had already performed the gesture earlier in the day, off camera, and did not feel the need to repeat it. James suggests that the Prince might have felt uncomfortable bowing to the woman who assumed the position once held by his mother on the throne of the UK. Notably, he turned to look at his father but avoided eye contact with his stepmother.
In contrast, Kate demonstrated a warm gesture towards her mother-in-law. James describes it as a unique example of selective bowing, where William, Charlotte, and George chose not to bow or curtsey to Camilla in adherence to protocol, while Kate performed a deep curtsey to both Charles and Camilla as an act of appeasement following Camilla’s elevation to the role of Queen.
James suggests that Kate’s engagement with Camilla indicates an effort to maintain peace within the royal family. As Kate may one day be a Queen Consort, she likely desires the same respect to be extended to her.