UK

Canada's Governor General Lightly Touches The Queen's Arm And Sends The World Into Meltdown

It's a breach of royal protocol to touch the Queen.

20/07/2017 11:23 BST | Updated 20/07/2017 16:28 BST

The Governor General of Canada touched the Queen’s arm and sent the internet into meltdown - but not for the same reason it made the news in the first place.

David Johnston lightly held onto the monarch’s elbow while walking down some steps together during an event to mark Canada’s 150th birthday in London.

But the innocent-enough seeming gesture is actually a royal faux pas when it comes to meeting Her Majesty as it breaks with official protocol to touch the Queen.

And so his hand quickly began making headlines in the UK press.

The Daily Mail wrote: “Governor-General breaks royal protocol by TOUCHING the Queen” while the Telegraph quoted the royal website saying: “No obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms”.

Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
The forbidden act up close

Johnson explained himself to CBC News, saying he was aware of the royal etiquette but was anxious about the Queen walking on the “slippy” carpet.

But Brits on Twitter are stunned that such a thing is even worth talking about at all.

Many commentators jumped to Johnson’s defence.

Some spelled the situation out in black and white to highlight the ridiculousness of it.

Even a Trump joke was thrown in for good measure.

Others grabbed the opportunity to relate the story to BBC pay, following yesterday’s publication of its highest earners.

The Canadian Governor General is certainly not the first to be accused of making such a royal mistake - former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating earned himself the unwanted nickname ‘The Lizard of Oz’ when he put his arm around the monarch during a tour of Australia in 1992.

More recently, Michelle Obama strayed even further away from typical customs by giving the Queen a hug at a reception in 2009.