LeBron James may be considered The King on an NBA basketball court but when it comes to mixing with the real royals, he might need a lesson in protocol.
James got a prized snapshot for his photo album when he posed with Prince William and Kate Middleton after the Cavaliers-Nets game in Brooklyn last night, but he also got called for a flagrant foul by putting his arm around the Duchess of Cambridge's shoulder during the shot.
Prince William and Kate stood with James inside Barclay's Center after the game Monday night — where they were presented with a tiny jersey for Prince George.
But as the camera flashes went off, a sweaty James put his arm around the Duchess' shoulder — a huge breach in etiquette.
LeBron James breaks royal protocol with arm around Kate's shoulder http://t.co/TFV7C8Om2Y pic.twitter.com/xL2IixBudt
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) December 9, 2014
Etiquette expert William Hanson told MailOnline: "Although I am sure the Duchess of Cambridge won’t have worried about it, Mr James should not have put his arm around her.
"Americans are much more tactile than we Brits and this is another example of an American being too touchy feely with British royalty. You’d have think they’d have learned by now."
Appearing alongside the royals un-showered and in a sweaty top is something many regard as bad form.
"A shower would have been preferable but he had just finished a game," said Hanson. "So even more reason for him not have opened his pits by lifting his arm and placing it around Her Royal Highness!"
The King Meets The Royals これは洒落が効いてますな♪笑 NBAの王様が英国王室の皇太子夫婦と面会する！ http://t.co/bQWiznXZBL #nba #lebron
— スー @ 相互フォロー募集中♪ (@scrBasketBlog) December 9, 2014
A lot of harrumphs were sounded in 2012 when centuries-long protocol was broken by Michelle Obama putting her arm around the Queen at a Buckingham Palace G20 reception.
And everyone got over that.