LeBron James breached protocol by putting arm around Duchess Kate (video)
As part of their visit to the United States, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and the woman formerly known as Kate Middleton, took in the Brooklyn Nets-Cleveland Cavaliers tilt at Barclays Center on Monday night.
Not only did the royal couple fraternize with Jay-Z and Beyonce courtside, the two engaged in a meet-and-greet with LeBron James following Cleveland’s 110-88 victory.
As the trio posed for photographs, James placed his arm around Kate.
Such a familiar gesture on behalf of someone even referred to as “King James” apparently is a big no-no to Brits. So much so, in fact, that it is considered an egregious breach of etiquette.
Etiquette expert William Hanson told the Daily Mail that even though the Duchess handled everything in stride and didn’t make much a fuss about it, James should not have done it.
“Although I am sure the Duchess of Cambridge won’t have worried about it, Mr James should not have put his arm around her,” Hanson observed. “Americans are much more tactile than we Brits and this is another example of an American being too touchy feely with British royalty. You’d have think they’d have learned by now.”
James’ innocent gesture of friendliness likely isn’t going to spark a major controversy or anything, but it certainly sent the British tabloids into a tizzy.
Before his encounter with the royals, James acknowledged it would be an honor to play in front of William and Kate.
“Well I’ve had people from all across the board as far as stature, but the President of the United States, that was pretty huge,” James said, per an ESPN.com report. “To have those two, to say they were traveling here and one of the things that they wanted to do was see me play, it’s a pretty big deal in my household.”
He added that he would enjoy the chance to get an audience with the two should the opportunity arise.
“I would like to,” he said. “They are going to be at the game so hopefully I get the opportunity to interact with them a little bit. We’ll see what happens.”
And interact he did, perhaps too much so, much to the chagrin of etiquette experts.
“The moment sweaty LeBron James broke protocol with Kate" http://t.co/fwOPSUNN4a
— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) December 9, 2014
“A shower would have been preferable but he had just finished a game,” Hanson continued. “So even more reason for him not have opened his pits by lifting his arm and placing it around Her Royal Highness!”
A bloody travesty, to be sure.