AUSTRALIA’s former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was accused of breaching royal protocol with “inappropriate” behaviour around Prince William in 2014, unearthed reports reveal.
The monarchy’s website makes clear that “there are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the Royal Family.” However, those who “wish to observe the traditional forms” have options. For example, men are encouraged to do a “neck bow” and women a “small curtsy”.
There are several other rules, but, perhaps, the most oft-transgressed maxim is touching a member of the Royal Family in a manner that goes beyond a formal handshake.
The guideline is said to date back to the Middle Ages, when, as the royal historian Kate Williams noted, “monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were kind of seen as gods, so they demanded to be treated as gods”.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was caught carrying out such a protocol blunder in 2014, when at Federal Parliament he put his arm to Prince William’s back.
The photo was uploaded to the Australian Harper’s Bazaar Instagram feed and immediately drew ire from the online community.
Royal scandal: Australian PM’s ‘inappropriate’ breach of protocol around William revealed (Image: GETTY)
When meeting the Queen men are encouraged to do a “neck bow” and women a “small curtsy” (Image: GETTY)
Described as “a hug” by the magazine, the stray arm was dubbed “awkward” by one user and “not appropriate” by another.
Others said: “What is it with our PMs touching up royalty!”
Many also drew parallels with Paul Keating’s gaffe in 1992, during the Queen’s tour of Australia.
Australian Prime Ministers appear to have a lamentable record when it comes to handling members of the Royal Family.
Prince William and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (Image: GETTY)
In 1992, Mr Keating caused outrage when he put his hand around the Queen’s waist and ushered her around a Parliament House reception.
He was dubbed by the British tabloids as “The Lizard of Oz”.
However, Lord Robert Fellows, the monarch’s private secretary, later claimed Her Majesty took no offence.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating (Image: GETTY)
Queen Elizabeth II and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard (Image: GETTY)
Eight years later, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was accused of the same loutish behaviour after being photographed with his arm around the Queen.
However, Mr Howard was adamant that his hand did not touch the Queen as he was introducing her to MPs at a VIP receptionA spokeswoman for the former Prime Minister said: “We firmly deny that there was any contact whatsoever.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK