Prince Charles Nixed Hand-Shaking in Favor of Saying ‘Namaste’ to People to He Greets

prince charles namastay commonwealth day h

Yesterday, all eyes were on the royal family as they celebrated Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who famously announced their plans to exit their roles as senior members of the royal family, appeared at the service for their last official engagement. Prince William and Kate Middleton were also present to mark the meaningful day (and the first time the royal Fab Four has been seen together in ages). But there was one royal moment that many missed.

Prince Charles, the only royal other than his wife Camilla Duchess of Cornwall who joined Queen Elizabeth in the official processional, decided to greet well-wishers and dignitaries in a rather unique way. Instead of abiding by royal protocol and shaking hands, the 71-year-old Prince of Wales opted to press his hands together in a prayer position and greet them with “namaste.” Yep, we didn’t see that coming either.

According to Rebecca English, Daily Mail contributor, Prince Charles was actually following the policy of Westminster Abbey and not an adapted royal protocol. The Abbey has asked people not to shake hands to avoid the spread of Coronavirus and clearly Prince Charles was happy to oblige. We’re guessing he even put his own spin on it since “namaste” doesn’t seem like it would be the Abbey’s preferred replacement for a handshake.

Following the service at Westminster Abbey, Prince Charles carried on with his new greeting. When he said hello to Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal, a Labour Party politician and barrister (above), at the Commonwealth Day reception at Marlborough House (the Commonwealth’s headquarters), he was still using a prayer gesture in favor of a handshake.


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Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.