The 'Dynasty' star shared the Princess of Wales' reaction to the royal etiquette mishap
The Dynasty icon, 90, opened up about the moment in her new memoir Behind the Shoulder Pads: Tales I Tell My Friends, published Tuesday. While Collins was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in 2015 for her services to drama and charity work and had previously met Princess Kate, the actress admitted that she forgot to curtsy to the royal at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in June 2022.
After participating in a motorcade down The Mall in London, Collins said that she received a warm welcome from members of the royal family.
"Finally, we arrived outside the Royal Box, which was packed with royals and relatives of the Queen. As we descended from the Jaguar, trying to look presentable after two hours in the freezing wind, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo waved at us excitedly. Then he nudged Princess Anne, who nudged Prince Charles and Queen Camilla, and they all waved, smiled at us, and mouthed, 'Well done!' Very gratifying indeed," she wrote in Behind the Shoulder Pads.
"Shown to the green retiring room behind the box, I collapsed onto a sofa and was offered a cup of tea. Suddenly, a vision appeared in a red dress. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, with her two young children in tow,” the Golden Globe winner continued, referring to Kate, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. (Princess Kate and Prince William’s eldest son, Prince George, 10, wasn’t mentioned).
"'Hello, Joan,' she said sweetly, holding out her hand,’ ” Collins wrote.
" 'Hello, ma'am,' I gulped, forgetting to curtsy," she recalled.
" 'This is Charlotte, and this is Louis,' she said, and both little people held out their tiny hands politely for a handshake,” the star said, shouting out the royal children’s manners.
Princess Kate, 41, was unmissable in hot pink at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, the final event of the four days of celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s record 70-year reign last June. As the Royal Standard was raised, Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to take in the celebratory atmosphere. She was joined by then-Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Princess Kate and their three kids, which created a poignant picture of the future of the monarchy.
Though Collins forgot to curtsy during her most recent meeting with Kate, the two previously met at a Dramatic Arts reception at Buckingham Palace in 2014 and again at the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in 2017. Collins and Kate shook hands at the Royal Variety Performance — proving that there are no set rules around how to greet the royals!
According to the royal family's website, which has yet to be updated in full following the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, "There are no obligatory codes of behavior when meeting The Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms."
"For men, this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy. Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way," the page states.
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As a gesture of respect, Princess Kate has dipped into deep curtsies to greet King Charles and Queen Camilla during formal events like the Order of the Garter ceremony day and their May coronation at Westminster Abbey. Her curtsies to the royal couple at the second annual Royal Carols: Together at Christmas last December even went viral online, though fans may have been surprised to see that Prince George and Princess Charlotte didn’t bow or curtsy as well.
The protocol around that goes back to their young age. Because George and Charlotte are children, they are not required to do so while greeting the King or Queen.
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