King Charles handled a royal fan’s bizarre gift with a sense of humor, despite the awkward “ambush,” a body language expert said. Charles had a very different reaction than Camilla Parker Bowles did when she was presented with the same jokey gift earlier in the month.
King Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles received the same gag gift
King Charles and Camilla were in Germany on a state visit and met with fans who gathered to greet them in Berlin. One person in the crowd handed Charles a paper Burger King crown and he handled the situation with humor, though he declined the crown.
A fan wearing the Burger King hat offered it to Charles, saying, “This is for you, if you want it.” Charles responded with a smile and said, “No, I’m all right.”
Camilla had a similar experience earlier in the month in Colchester when she was given a crown by someone in the crowd during a walkabout. She didn’t know how to deal with the strange encounter, however. Camilla took it and said, “Thank you very much,” but seemed unprepared and awkward in the moment.
Body language expert looks at how Charles and Camilla handled similar situations
Body language expert Judi James compared Charles’ and Camilla’s reactions in these similar situations, telling Woman & Home that Camilla looked “understandably awkward.”
James explained, “Experience seems to tell when it comes to accepting ‘gifts’ from the crowd on royal walkabouts. When Camilla was handed a paper crown she looked taken aback and inspected it with the kind of curiosity of someone who is possibly a stranger to the joys of a burger bar.”
The body language expert added, “She did hold onto it though, looking understandably awkward.”
Charles’ reaction was slightly different as he had a laugh about the gag gift.
“Charles was offered a similar ‘gift’ in Berlin on the first day of his royal visit but he decided a swerve might be better than any acceptance,” James said. “As the man held the paper crown aloft Charles did point to it to acknowledge it and possibly to share the gag that he would be wearing a real crown within a few weeks.”
The expert continued, “But he turned the offer down with what looked like good humor, presumably not wanting to be photographed by the press holding a paper crown. He was also very quick to hand on a bunch of tulips that someone from the crowd gave him.”
Expert notes King Charles’ extensive experience with fan encounters
James chalked the differences up to Charles having a lot more experience handling fans over the years.
“Some of the younger royals might like to look accessible and down-to-earth enough to join in a joke like this and they might even know and have eaten a burger before, but for Camilla and Charles there’s no point pretending,” James said.
She added, ”Both looked wary although Charles’s experience showed in the way he did not allow himself to be ‘ambushed’ by the joke gift in any way.”
Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.