Stop what you’re doing, people: Kate Middleton drove herself to Buckingham Palace yesterday (December 12).
Actually, don’t stop. Feel free to carry on with your life, because this actually isn’t a big deal—despite what the Internet is saying. Yes, it’s true the Duchess of Cambridge rolled up to Buckingham Palace in her car, firmly planted in the driver’s seat, but this isn’t a breach of royal protocol. (The Sun reports Middleton was at BP for a quick hangout with Queen Elizabeth II. Ya know, just a breezy grandmother-in-law luncheon!)
“Royals have long been known to drive themselves, from the queen and Princess Diana, and it’s not unusual or a break in protocol to do so,” Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, tells Glamour. “We typically, however, see royals driving themselves to less casual events, and being driven to any official or formal events they are attending.” (This strengthens the theory that the queen and Middleotn were having a casual kickback as opposed to something fancy.)
A fan caught Middleton in driving action and posted a video to Instagram. Check it out for yourself, below.
This is the third time this year people have raised eyebrows at car-related situations with the royals. There was all that hubbub in September when Meghan Markle was praised for shutting her own car door. Before that, the Duchess of Sussex sparked chatter when she entered a car before the queen. “This is just a case of habit, not protocol (protocol actually says the most important person sits diagonally behind the driver) but the Queen has always preferred being directly behind whoever is driving her,” a royal etiquette expert told Daily Mail Online about that incident.