Sometimes a kiss just isn't a kiss. The royals are rather circumspect in their displays of affection, so when they do touch each other it becomes incredibly significant. Not only that, it's seen as a barometer of the status of royal relationships. Of course we've seen the polo match kisses, which is nothing more than a chivalrous brushing of the Queen's gloved hand. We would expect to see the queen greeting her Danish, Norwegian and Spanish cousins warmly. However there are other more memorable moments. So, a brief history of royal kisses and physical contact:
1953: Princess Margaret lighly brushes some lint from Peter Townsend's uniform and a firestorm of controversy ensues. Read: He should have used a lint brush.
1957: After months of being away, and amid rumours of marital problems, Prince Philip returns from his solo tour and reunites with the Queen. We don't know whether they actually kissed each other, but Prince Andrew was seen as a 'happy by-product' of their reunion. Read: Let's assume they did.
1981: Casting protocol aside, and with Mummy's permission, Charles and Diana historically lock lips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, in front of millions of people. Seemingly the first time anyone had kissed on the balcony. Read: if you're going to break precedent go all the way.
1986: Not to be outdone, Andrew and Fergie kiss on the balcony after their wedding. Not as big a deal but it's been the last public royal wedding kiss. Read: What do you think that means?
1992: The infamous kiss-off in Pakistan. Charles went to kiss Diana and she moved her head away. Read: Extreme marital problems
2001: Charles and Camilla made their first public appearance in 1999, but we had to wait two years to see their first public kiss. Read: True confirmation that they're a couple.
2005: William and Harry kiss Camilla after a polo match. Read: Confirmation that they like their step-mother
2006: Now the Queen kisses Camilla and it's seen as a sure sign that Camilla has finally gained acceptance! Forget the wedding, the tiara, the coat of arms, and now the regiment. Read: The Queen tolerates Camilla
© Marilyn Braun 2006
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