The Queen's fans outraged after Bill Gates breaks royal greeting protocol

Bill Gates met the Queen at her Berkshire home on Tuesday

The Queen's fans outraged after Bill Gates breaks royal greeting protocol
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's fans have accused Bill Gates of being disrespectful after the tech mogul's meeting with her at Windsor Castle on Tuesday. 


The Queen welcomed over 100 business moguls and presidential envoys to Windsor Castle on Tuesday, where they were treated to a plush reception after a day-long global investment summit in London. 

The grandiose affair, which was held in the famous Green Room of the Berkshire residence, saw the 95-year-old monarch shake the hands of several highly successful folks, including American billionaire Bill Gates. 

The Microsoft co-founder waited in line with a group of other industry leaders to be approached by Her Majesty, who was accompanied by her son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William. The meeting marks the second time Bill has met the British Head of State, having previously received an honorary knighthood from her at a Buckingham Palace ceremony in 2005. 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II presents Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates with his honorary knighthood at Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday March 2 2005 watched by his wife Melinda. Gates, one of the richest men in the world, cannot use the title "Sir" as he is not a British citizen. He received the KBE insignia, in recognition of his charitable donations in Commonwealth countries. /WPA POOL (Photo by CHRIS YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS YOUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Bill Gates being presented with his honorary knighthood by the Queen in 2005 

(Image credit: Getty)

Unfortunately, it looks like the tech businessman has forgotten the protocol for greeting the Queen after all these years—and royal fans have been quick to call him out on it. 

Unlike his counterparts, who bowed their heads or curtseyed upon meeting the beaming monarch, Bill simply nodded and offered a firm handshake with a loud ‘Hi!’. He also failed to address her by her formal title of ‘Her Majesty’, a courtesy observed by most people who meet her. 

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 19: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) greets Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates (R) during a reception for international business and investment leaders at Windsor Castle to mark the Global Investment Summit on October 19, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Arthur Edwards-Pool/Getty Images)

Bill Gates has been accused of breaching royal protocol with his 'rude' greeting of the Queen 

(Image credit: Getty)

“Bill Gates came across as rude,” one royal fan commented on Youtube. “You don’t just say ‘hey, how’re you?’ to the Queen. He should have addressed her as Your Majesty. I know he’s not British but I wouldn’t speak to the President of the United States without addressing him as Mr President. Buck your ideas up Mr Gates.” 

“He should have bowed his head in respect, if nothing else for her time as the sovereign, her poise and grace for 70 years,” another unimpressed monarchist said. 

According to the Royal Family’s official website, members of the public are not obliged to follow any particular social customs when meeting the Queen. However, it’s common practice to observe certain behaviors when in her presence. 

It is generally advised that one curtsey or bows their head when meeting the royal matriarch, before addressing her as ‘Her Majesty’ upon introduction and ‘Ma’am’ for the rest of the interaction. 

People are also expected to arrive before the Queen and to avoid touching her unless she initiates it. 

As for conversational etiquette, it’s best to let the monarch take the lead and only speak when spoken to. Personal questions or contentious topics are also off the table, so stick with the small talk and you’ll be fine. 

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.