While they certainly have their own share of controversies, the British Royal Family typically tries to present themselves as regal role models for an entire nation. In addition to embodying the English tradition of the “stiff upper lip,” the royals are guided by centuries of traditions. And as the future King of England, Prince William can usually be counted on to obey every rule laid down by his famous family.
However, even future kings have been known to rebel against the rules from time to time, and Prince William is no exception to this rule. What are the biggest royal rules that William has ever broken, and how did breaking these rules shape him into the man he is today? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Losing control at sports events
If we’re being honest, it can sometimes be tough to relate to members of the Royal Family. After all, how much does the average Joe really have in common with Prince William, someone who was rich and famous from the moment he was born? Well, here’s one thing that makes William just like the rest of us: he gets fired up at sporting events to the point of uncontrollably cursing!
In 2022, William was watching tennis at Wimbledon and clearly rooting for the success of British player Cameron Norrie. We say “clearly” because when Norrie lost a point during the quarterfinals, William could be seen clearly saying “No, no, no, f**k it,” a hilariously blue moment that one user posted to Twitter.
As you might imagine, royals are meant to abstain from such open displays of emotion, especially angry cursing. But William couldn’t control his anger then, just like he couldn’t contain his joy in 2012 when he and his wife Kate Middleton took part in “the wave” while watching the Olympics. What can we say? The prince just really loves sports more than he loves the rules!
One of the more understandable royal rules is that royals are supposed to avoid discussing politics. Since the monarchy lives alongside a political democracy, the idea is that royals need to avoid saying or doing anything that might unduly affect how people vote.
However, Prince William broke this particular rule in 2019. That’s when People reports that the prince visited England’s Lake District and began asking the farmers there if they were worried about “Brexit,” referring to England leaving the European Union in 2020. In retrospect, Brexit was absolutely terrible for England, but William still broke the rules by talking about it. Then again, Queen Elizabeth brought Brexit up in speeches, so William may have been following her cue.
Hugging the occasional commoner
It will likely not surprise you that England has rules in place that boil down to “don’t touch members of the Royal Family.” In fact, common people are meant to avoid offering so much as a handshake to a royal, both to avoid potential health issues (like someone getting the Royal Family sick) and because of their station (in short, the royals shouldn’t have to touch the peasants).
However, this seems to be Prince William’s least-favorite rule. One time, he hugged a woman who had lost her home in the Grenfell Tower fire (she was further distraught because she couldn’t find her husband). Another time, he hugged an elderly Scottish man who was overcome by emotions when meeting the prince. Oh, and remember when we noted how much William loves sports? According to Hello, he wrapped his arms around various Lioness players in 2022!
A little too affectionate with Kate Middleton
Just as the royals have rules against touching the commoners, there are even rules against touching each other in public. Specifically, married couples like Prince William and Kate Middleton are meant to limit their public displays of affection because, frankly, looking like horny teenagers in public really hurts the image of the Royal Family. This is the reason that, when William and Kate visited the Taj Mahal in 2016, they barely touched one another.
More recently, though, William decided that was a rule that had to go. For example, Elle reports that the two were openly physical and flirty on a 2022 trip to Jamaica, and that same year, William openly kissed Kate on the cheek during the Royal Charity Polo Cup. All of this culminated in a hilarious moment at the 2023 BAFTA Awards where Kate actually gave William a slap on the ass, a posterior moment that Twitter has recorded for posterity.
Mourning his mother on his own terms
One of the biggest scandals over royal rules was caused by William when he was a teenager. However, it was tough for anyone with a heart to get very mad at him at the time for one simple fact: he was mourning his mother.
Back when Princess Diana died in 1997, royal protocol held that the family would have to return to Buckingham Palace, so they could publicly mourn along with the nation. But William was at Balmoral in Scotland with Prince Harry and their father, and William decided to stay in Scotland and mourn his mother privately rather than heading back to England.
This generated major controversy, with a scathing editorial in The Sun claiming that, “”Not one word has come from a royal lip, not one tear has been shed in public from a royal eye. It is as if no one in the royal family has a soul.” In fact, the controversy grew so extreme that Queen Elizabeth had to release a statement to defend the decision of the 15-year-old heir to the throne.
However, it ultimately proved to be a good decision. According to People, an older William looked back on this bleak period, saying, “I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning. And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors.”