Prince William ripped up the royal rulebook by ditching formality and sharing a heartwarming embrace with an emotional royal fan, who just so happened to be his namesake, during his visit to Scotland yesterday.
During their visit the couple visited the Wheatley Group site, to see first-hand how they are transforming the lives of disadvantaged or vulnerable people, including those at risk of homelessness.
As they greeted local residents after the visit, William, 39, shared an affectionate hug with local man William Burns, 66, who was overcome with emotion as he embraced the future king.
Prince William was seen sharing a heartwarming embrace with an emotional man as he heard about the challenges of homelessness in Scotland
As they greeted local residents, William, 39, shared an affectionate hug with local man William Burns, 66, who was overcome with emotion as he embraced the future king
The protocol surrounding touching the Royal Family has historically been so strict that a simple breach like a hand on the back, even by a well-meaning dignitary, was enough to spark outrage.
While older generations of royals might have seen a lack of contact as a way to communicate a higher status – it appears the Duke and Duchess are attempting to be more approachable.
There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting a member of the Royal Family, but many chose to observe traditions, which is to bow or curtsey.
The tender moment saw the Duke break strict royal protocol, in a move that echoed the tactile nature of his late mother Princess Diana.
Prince William and Kate Middleton posed for selfies with locals during their visit to the Wheatley Group site in Kennishead in Glasgow
The Duchess of Cambridge looks delighted as she meets members of the public during a visit to the Wheatley Group in Glasgow
Perfecting his selfie pout! the Duke appeared in high spirits as he leaned in for a snap with a member of the public in Glasgow
Strike a pose! Kate looked delighted as she waved to cameras during the visit to the Wheatley Group in the Scottish city yesterday before putting on an animated display with crowds
The Duke and Duchess appear to have put on their finest charm offensive during the visit, with Kate, 40, seen beaming as she cuddled up and cooed with newborns.
During their relaxed engagements, William appeared playful as he goofed around with children, before the royal couple posed for selfies with locals.
Their new easygoing approach could also be part of an attempt to to modernise the Royal Family after their Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas trip which was hit by public relations gaffes and protests.
In fact, royal sources claimed recently that in wake of the tour, the couple want to be known by their first names instead of their titles and are considering getting rid of bows and curtsies.
‘The general consensus was that the tour seemed out of date, out of touch, too formal and stuffy’, a royal source told the Mirror.
‘So now it’s more “Wills and Kate” instead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge… “Just call me Wills” type of thing.
The mother-of-three was elegant in a tonal outfit for the engagements in Glasgow yesterday, pairing a cornflower blue blouse with smart navy trousers
Goofing around! Prince William didn’t hold back while playfully chatting to the toddler yesterday during his visit to Glasgow
A very royal play-date! Prince William appeared charmed by little Olivia during the visit to Wheatley Homes Glasgow yesterday
‘They want to try to avoid the bows and curtsies in public, be more approachable, less formal, less stuffy, and break away with a lot of the tradition and focus on a modern monarchy.’
The news comes as the Queen moves ahead with slimming down the Monarchy and the Palace announced that only senior Royals, which do not include Prince Harry and Meghan and Prince Andrew, will be on the palace balcony for the showpiece Platinum Jubilee celebration.
Wheatley Homes is Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group aiming to tackle homelessness and support vulnerable tenants during the cost of living crisis.
During their visit the royal couple met Wheatley Homes Glasgow tenant Joanne Wales, 31, who opened the front door of her new-build home to welcome Their Royal Highnesses.
Inside they met son Jason, four, and heard from Joanne how the energy-efficient house design is helping reduce her energy bills.
Joanne said: ‘With four young kids then energy bills is a big concern. There’s always a need for a new pair of shoes or new clothes.
‘I had a meeting with the energy advice team and they gave me great tips on how to use my electricity to keep my bills low. I don’t need to put the heating on as much during the day in my new home. It’s made a big difference.’
The Duke and Duchess were met in Kennishead by John MacLeod, Glasgow Deputy Lieutenant, accompanied by his wife, Mariella McLeod.
They were introduced to Wheatley Group Chief Executive Martin Armstrong, Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong and Bernadette Hewitt, the tenant Chair of Wheatley Homes Glasgow.
Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and show them how Wheatley Group is ‘Making Homes and Lives Better’.
‘They were very interested in the work of our Foundation, about how Wheatley is giving young people the best start in life and also how we are creating new job and training opportunities so customers can reach their full potential.
And it wasn’t long before Kate joined in with Prince William to help out with the youngster, who was wearing a pink outfit for the occasion
The Duke and Duchess helped two-year-old Olivia up after she tumbled to the ground during their visit yesterday (pictured)
‘We also explained how Wheatley is playing a key role across Scotland in tackling homelessness and giving people a home of their own.’
The Duke of Cambridge is a long-standing campaigner for the homeless and is patron of Centrepoint, which helps homeless young people get back into education, training and employment.
The charity was William’s first patronage and the royal took over the role from his late mother Princess Diana.
In 2009, the Duke decided to spend the night rough sleeping in order to understand the plight of the homeless at Christmas, staying out in temperatures as low as minus 4c in an alleyway near Blackfriars bridge.
The Prince said afterwards that the experience had helped to deepen his understanding of life on the streets, calling the charity’s work ‘desperately important’.