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The Bad Touch: Canada's Governor General Broke Protocol by Touching the Queen

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by Mack Lamoureux
Jul 19 2017, 5:55pm

Photo by A Davidson/Shutterstock and Screenshot

Look, the monarchy is dumb and it has dumb rules and for some reason, here in Canada, we still pretend that it matters to us.

Case in point: the 91-year-old Queen was at Canada House in London to celebrate the colony's 150th and was helped down the stairs by David Johnston, Canada's Governor General. It was slippery and Johnston held the Queen by the arm as she went down the stairs.

According to other outlets this touch was, and I'm paraphrasing here, NOT A GOOD TOUCH! THIS WAS A BAD TOUCH! BAD TOUCH, MR. GOVERNOR GENERAL, BAD TOUCH!!!!

Recommended reading music for the rest of this story.

The British media caught a sight of Johnston pulling this stunt and wrote way too many stories about, essentially, an official helping an old lady walk down some stairs. Apparently royal etiquette states that officials aren't to touch the Queen and this is a big deal because, I dunno, the Brits are weird. Now, because we're a good little colony, this story has made its way to Canada and the CBC called up David Johnston for comment. Johnston told the national broadcaster that he's "certainly conscious of the protocol."

"I was just anxious to be sure there was no stumbling on the steps," he said. "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."

When you meet a member of the royalty there is apparently protocol for how to speak, sit, stand, address them and probably a whole bunch of other bullshit. This essentially comes from the initial idea that the royals are divine—that they should be treated in a god-like manner. Dr Kate Williams, a historian at London's Royal Holloway university, told the Express that "they are treated as people set apart from the rest of us, so primarily what it is creating is distance and grandeur."

"You don't kiss them, you don't touch them, you bow—over and over again."

So I guess, next time let's just be good little subjects, follow the rules, and let her fall.

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