Queen Elizabeth II has made more public outings in her royal career than any sane person could actually count, but her latest one has been causing some serious waves. After attending a celebration to mark Canada’s 150th birthday in London on July 19, the 91-year-old royal was spotted making her way out of Canada House. While this fact isn’t necessarily exciting, it’s who she was with that is behind the current “scandal.” Canadian Governor General David Johnston was photographed helping the queen down the stairs by lightly touching her arm and back. Totally harmless right? Not so fast. Royal etiquette states that greetings should not go beyond a handshake, and while the younger royals like Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton have no problem breaking this rule, especially when it comes to emotionally charged meetings, the queen can be a different story. While she’s not too bothered if people bow or curtsy in her presence, she is known to be quite traditional.
The governor spoke out about his decision to touch the queen, saying he was simply trying to prevent her from falling. “I was just anxious to be sure there was no stumbling on the steps,” he told CBC News. “It’s a little bit awkward, that descent from Canada House to Trafalgar Square, and there was carpet that was a little slippy, and so I thought perhaps it was appropriate to breach protocol just to be sure that there was no stumble.” While we understand the royals’s “no autographs or selfies” policy, the innocent and polite gesture of helping a woman down the stairs is nothing to get upset over.