An awkward TV moment shows Kate Middleton shrugging away from Prince William's touch, and fans are trying to make sense of it. The royal couple are considered unflappable, yet this strange moment in the new BBC holiday special, A Berry Royal Christmas, has admirers raising their eyebrows. Some wonder if everything is alright between Middleton and and the prince.
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The hour-long special about the royal family's holiday aired in the U.K. on Monday, giving viewers an up-close look at the monarchs they rarely see. Royal admirers are still picking the special apart piece by piece, including this scene near the end where Middleton and Prince William host a party for local volunteers who will be working on Christmas day.
While gathered around a table with their guests, Prince William and Middleton sit side-by-side with their backs to the fireplace. At one point, Prince William turns to Middleton and puts a hand low on her shoulder, or high on her upper arm. As if by reflex, Middleton jerks away from the touch, turning sideways.
The gesture was exaggerated enough to catch a lot of attention, but viewer are still split over what it really means. Some thought it showed a tension or distance between the married couple, while others figured it must have been a gut reaction because of all the cameras on them. Middleton is extremely respectful of royal decorum.
Other leading guesses said that this could have had to do with something specific on that day, between the stress of hosting and filming. Viewers suggested Middleton was annoyed with her husband at the time, but there was nothing long-term to read into it. Still others thought that Middleton was not reacting to Prince William's touch, but responding to him by turning to face him. The awkward gesture was just an unfortunate side effect, they reasoned.
Whatever the case, this is just the latest example of the extreme scrutiny the royal family is under, and the investment admirers have in their every move. The special was about TV personality Mary Berry helping the royals with their holiday preparations, and it had some other viral moments as well.
Middleton even revealed that Prince William is a pretty good cook himself. She said that he used his skill in the kitchen to try and woo her when they first met.
"[In our] university days, he used to cook all sorts of meals," she said. "I think that’s when he was trying to impress me, Mary. Things like Bolognese sauce and things like that."
So far, A Berry Royal Christmas is not available to watch or stream in the U.S.