It's not everyday that you see the Royal Family out and about on your daily commute. But, for some Londoners, that's exactly what happened when they ran into an undercover Prince William selling copies of the Big Issue as part of his volunteer work to help tackle homelessness.
Unsurprisingly, royal fans took the opportunity to get a selfie with the future King, with plenty of people taking to social media after the encounter to rave about how polite Prince William had been. But, with rumours floating that the Duke of Cambridge bent royal protocol in doing so, what is the deal with selfies when it comes to the Royal Family?
For those who don't know, taking selfies with fans isn't a total rule break – but it is certainly frowned upon by Her Majesty. In fact, one royal fan who attended the Queen's 2017 Buckingham Palace garden party, revealed to Insider that taking selfies with the royals was seen as a sign of disrespect. "The one thing they talked about a lot was no selfies, and the reason was that they didn't want people turning their backs to the Royal Family and the Queen. And that was very important to them," Greg Agnew said. "You do not turn your back on the Royal Family, and you do not attempt to walk up and talk to them."
As such, members of the Royal Family often decline selfies when they're approached to take one. Take Meghan Markle for example who, according to royal journalist Victoria Murphy, told fans in 2017: "We’re not allowed to do selfies."
"Royals would always rather have a personal interaction than have people clamoring for selfies," CNN's royal commentator Victoria Arbiter also revealed to Insider. "If you grant one, then it quickly becomes overwhelming," she added. "From a security standpoint, they’re also not ideal as they warrant a certain closeness."
With that in mind, why did Prince William pose for so many photos with fans whilst he was out volunteering? Well, according to the Big Issue, the future King will bend the royal rule on selfies on one condition: that fans do their part to support his charitable work.
"Lots of people want to shake hands, snap a selfie and have a chat, which William allows – only if they buy a magazine, of course," the Big Issue reported in their coverage of what really happened when the Duke went undercover as a magazine seller.
Something to keep in mind if you ever bump into the future King, eh?
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