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How Queen Elizabeth II Broke Protocol at Prince William and Princess Kate’s Wedding

How Queen Elizabeth Broke Protocol at Will and Kate s Wedding
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On one of the biggest days in modern royal history, Queen Elizabeth II was the victim of a major faux pas.

When the late queen arrived at the April 2011 wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, her vehicle pulled up on the wrong side of the pavement. So, rather than simply exit out of the car door that had been opened on the correct side, Elizabeth was forced to stand up and shuffle out the door where her husband, the late Prince Philip, had been seated.

“I spotted that the car conveying the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh pulled up in entirely the wrong way in Dean’s Yard at Westminster Abbey,” etiquette expert Alexandra Messervy told Hello!’s “A Right Royal” podcast on an upcoming episode.

“The queen got out on the wrong side and there was a bit of a fluster,” Messervy continued. “I think the [guard] who opened the door appeared flustered when the queen was actually not where she would normally be. The correct protocol for her was to be on the curbside, and she was on the reverse side.”

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Messervy acknowledged that the mishap could have an actual explanation, theorizing that perhaps the queen had “a sore leg that day and she couldn’t let herself out on the left.”

Regardless, Messervy explained, “It is correct for the female to get out on the curbside.”

“It’s all because of the days of carriages and horses,” she explained of the tradition. “The gentlemen enjoyed the outside of the pavement while the women were on the other to avoid the mud.”

How Queen Elizabeth Broke Protocol at Will and Kate s Wedding
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011. James Devaney/FilmMagic

Of course, Elizabeth eventually made it inside Westminster Abbey to witness the nuptials of her grandson William, 41, and Kate, 42.

To celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary on Monday, April 29, the Prince and Princess of Wales shared a never-before-seen portrait from their big day.

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“13 years ago today!” read the caption on the black-and-white snap shared via Instagram.

This year’s anniversary comes with a tinge of bittersweetness for the couple in the wake of Kate revealing her cancer diagnosis in March. Throughout the process, William has been a dutiful support system for his wife.

How Queen Elizabeth Broke Protocol at Will and Kate s Wedding
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with the Dean of Westminster as she arrives at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

“Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too, as is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you,” Kate said in a March 22 video. “It means so much to us both. We hope that you’ll understand that as a family, we now need some time, space, and privacy while I complete my treatment.”

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