Queen Camilla, 75, greeted many of her friends at the Queen’s Reading Room Literary Festival on Sunday.
These friends included Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joanna Lumley, and Gyles Brandreth, who all proceeded to curtsey and bow to the Queen.
However, as Camilla has a friendly relationship with all three individuals, she appeared to kiss them very quickly on the cheek so their bows/curtseys were halted.
Judi James, a professional body language expert, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to explain why Camilla did this and why she appeared to have some “awkwardness”.
She explained: “Greeting rituals, especially royal ones, need an element of etiquette rules about them to avoid this kind of awkwardness.
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“Presumably these actor/performer friends of Camilla have offered support and warmth in the past and she seems keen to keep relations at that same level.
“But now she is Queen there needs to be a proper decision about whether the rituals get an upgrade or not.”
According to Judi, Camilla wants to keep interactions among friends the same as they were before she became Queen.
She claimed: “Camilla’s body language here seems to suggest she would prefer no upgrading with her friends as she doesn’t seem to offer scope for the kind of bobbing curtseys or head-bows that are being performed.
“She also seems to want to do the kind of ‘closeness grading’ rituals she might have done before she became Queen, where friends get the informal cheek kiss and other people get a handshake.
“This is not really an option for a Queen though, as it leaves guests or hosts feeling awkward and it also seems to alienate anyone not in the ‘inner circle’.”
Judi argues that Queen Camilla should be fully transparent about the protocols when greeting her friends in public to avoid this “awkwardness”.
She opined: “Camilla, as Queen, should be using announcement gestures to show clearly what her preferred intention is, plus some prior notes to anyone she now plans to meet, so they can be ready to reciprocate.
“The first greeting here is smooth as the host bobs his head as soon as he sees her and Camilla offers her hand for a shake. After that though it is chaotic. The second host offers her hand in a shake but by then Camilla has her bag in that hand and instead extends her left hand in a ‘cheek-kiss’ ritual.
“As she approaches Judi Dench this mix of desires to be both Queen but also a friend causes more confusion as her hand is raised for a cheek kiss and she is already talking to Judi, who then has to bob in a curtsey before putting both hands up for a cheek kiss.
“Gyles Brandreth throws more complications into the mix by going to kiss Camilla’s left cheek first, after which the pair hold hands to suggest close friendship.
“Does Judi Dench ask Brandreth about a ‘high five’ after Camilla has moved on? If she does it could be a reference to the confusing royal protocol.”