This UK Royal broke code of conduct during Barack Obama’s 2016 visit to the UK

Prince George's breach of royal protocol by wearing a dressing gown to meet President Obama was deemed disrespectful. Obama's reaction was described as a 'slap in the face.'

Written By Arshdeep kaur
First Published19 May 2024
Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are seen in the royal box before the final of the men's singles on day fourteen of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, July 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George are seen in the royal box before the final of the men’s singles on day fourteen of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Sunday, July 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)(AP)

Prince George, son of Prince of Wales William and Princess Kate Middleton, broke royal protocol in 2016 when the duo hosted a dinner for then-US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

According to a report by Hello Magazine, the royal children are forbidden from meeting the heads of various states. However, this rule was broken earlier when the Wales children met Boris Johnson, then the UK's PM, and Justin Trudeau of Canada.

Also read: Kate Middleton cancer: Princess of Wales' battle is 'becoming more & more difficult' while children are kept in the dark

However, in this case, the breach of protocol was George's dress. He came to meet Obama in a dressing gown, as can be seen in the pictures available online.

It is unclear how Obama felt about it. But he later made a statement, calling it a "slap in the face."

According to the magazine, "Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face—a clear breach of protocol," he said.

Also read: Italian doctors, who tended to Pope Francis, flew to London to perform abdominal surgery on Kate Middleton

What is the dressing protocol for the British Royals?

According to the report, there are three levels of formality, and each requires different dress codes.

First, royals are expected to wear a white tie at royal events or state banquets. Women can wear a long, formal evening gown on these occasions.

Also read: Prince Harry ‘worried’ about William's children George, Charlotte, and Louis: ‘Of those 3, at least one will end up…’

Second are the black-tie events. Here, men must wear a shorter dinner jacket and a black tie or bowtie. Women can choose between a cocktail dress and a trouser suit.

Third, royals can wear smart casuals like jumpers with a collared shirt.

In the report, Etiquette expert Lucy Hume was quoted as saying that it is always safe for the Royals to err on the side of caution.

"A royal event is not necessarily a time to go too unconventional or too alternative. It's just one of those occasions where it makes sense to stick with tradition," she said.

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