Buckingham Palace absolves LeBron James of breaching ‘royal protocol’
After being raked over the coals by the British media, LeBron James seemingly has been cleared of any wrongdoing related to the friendly gesture he made when posing for photographs with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, otherwise known as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge very much enjoyed their time in the US, including attending the NBA game and meeting LeBron,” Laura King, senior communications officer for Buckingham Palace, indicated to the Northeast Ohio Media Group in an email.
“When members of the Royal Family meet people they want them to feel as comfortable as possible,” King said. “There is no such thing as Royal protocol.”
The supposed transgression against acceptable decorum when royalty occurred when James met with Prince William and Duchess Kate after the couple attended the Brooklyn Nets-Cleveland Cavaliers game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Monday night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar was sharply criticized in British tabloids once photographs surfaced of James posing with the couple for violating “royal protocol” by draping his arm around Duchess Kate, purportedly because apparently it is considered a social faux pas to lay a hand on royalty, at least according to etiquette expert William Hanson.
“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 told the Daily Mail. “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.”
Brit transplant Piers Morgan also railed against James for his lack of decorum during an appearance on “Rachel Ray.”
“You do not put your arm around the future queen of England,” he said, via the Orlando Sentinel. “LeBron James, you may call yourself King James — you are not a real king. Prince William is going to be my king, that was his wife — hands off the duchess.”
Clearly there is a stark difference in what is deemed acceptable behavior when it comes to interacting socially with the royalty. But for what it’s worth, it’s probably best to heed the comments from someone speaking on behalf of Buckingham Palace as opposed to a so-called “etiquette expert” or a talk show host.
(photo credit: Pool/Getty Images)