Why didn’t the Duchess of Cambridge curtsy to Queen Letizia at Order of the Garter?

Queen Letizia Duchess of Cambridge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some of the great and good of European royalty gathered in Windsor on Monday for a lavish Order of the Garter Ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth II was joined by King Felipe of Spain, alongside his wife Queen Letizia, and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who was accompanied by his wife Queen Maxima.

The ceremony was filled with pomp and splendour, as the Queen honoured the foreign royals with the special distinction reserved for royalty abroad.

Queen Letizia Duchess of Cambridge

The event was followed by hundreds of people lining the streets of Windsor as well as royalty fans around the world, who were quick to spot that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who was in attendance, did not curtsey to Queen Letizia when they met on the Galilee Porch.

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However, Hello magazine reports that this was because this was not the first time the two women had met in the day, as they had previously encountered each other at the Castle before getting into their cars and heading over to the Galilee porch.

According to protocol, it is only necessary for one curtsy to be done when meeting the monarch, so the Duchess would have curtsied to Letizia earlier that morning.

Catherine has come under criticism on social media at the event, with some twitter uses interpreting Catherine's behaviour as 'rude'.

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Body language Judi James suggests that Catherine was distracted during her meeting with Queen Letizia, which could have been mistaken for rudeness. She told Cosmopolitan, "A clue that all might not be as it seems in terms of any hints of slight awkwardness might come from the fact that Kate appears to dislike carriage rides because they cause her motion sickness,” Judi said. "Her body language reflected tension during the ride at the Trooping of the Colour and this could be a similar problem for her here."

Both women looked very stylish for the important event. Queen Letizia wore an elegant white midi dress with a black pattern. A simple black purse and elegant fascinator accompanied her Cherubina high-necked dress.

Kate wore a chic white Catherine Walker coat and a matching black hat by Lock and Co.

Queen Letizia Duchess of Cambridge

The ladies watched the procession stood with the Duchess of Cornwall, dressed in a pink Anna Valentine coat dress, and Queen Maxima, who wore a light pink dress with a belt and cape.

The Order of the Garter service was founded in 1348, and includes an annual iconic Garter Day procession, where the Queen dons majestic velvet robes, plumed hats and grand insignia. It is a traditional ceremony which honours 24 knights to recognise their contribution to public life.

Written by Caitlin Butler.

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.


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