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Royal PDA alert! Kate Middleton playfully swatted her unsuspecting husband, Prince William, on the behind after he appeared to pull away from holding her hand on the BAFTA’s red carpet. The royal couple, who have been married for 11 years, typically refrain from showing public affection. However, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, the Princess of Wales gave her husband a love tap on his backside as they walked into the star-studded awards show.

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive on the BAFTAs red carpet where Kate playfully patted her husband's behind.
Prince William and Kate Middleton on the red carpet for the BAFTA awards | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Prince William walked the BAFTA’s red carpet for the first time as Prince and Princess of Wales

The Prince of Wales was appointed the head of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts in 2010. Therefore, he regularly attends the yearly event, which honors the best British and international contributions to film. 

In 2021, the couple did not attend the awards due to conflicts in their public diaries. Instead, William recorded a video message ahead of the ceremony. Since their last appearance, the couple was given the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales after Queen Elizabeth’s death.

On Feb. 19, William and Kate supported the monarchy by returning to the red carpet. Kate wore a white, one-shouldered Alexander McQueen gown, the same dress she wore to the 2019 BAFTAs. Per Us Weekly, the Princess of Wales altered the dress by adding draped, cascading fabric from her left shoulder and dramatic, full-length black gloves.

She accessorized with floral statement earrings and a black clutch. Prince William wore a velvet suit jacket with coordinating pants and shoes.

While the couple’s glamourous entrance was statement-making, what surprised royal watchers the most was the playful love tap Kate gave William’s behind in a rare PDA moment between the couple.

Kate Middleton shocked royal fans by giving Prince William a love tap on the behind

As they walked the red carpet, the Princess of Wales tried to hold her husband’s hand, only to find Prince William didn’t reciprocate at the Royal Festival Hall in London. In an uncharacteristic response, Kate patted her husband on the behind in a rare, unguarded PDA moment.

The playful moment was captured on Instagram by Vogue, which also shared in its caption that even the royals “like to cop a feel.” The affectionate tap occurred as the “regular husband and wife” quickly walked the carpet, and Kate had a wide grin during the sweet moment. However, the moment was jarring as the couple doesn’t often show gratuitous affection, especially while on duty.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have known each other for over 20 years. They met as college students at St. Andrews University in Scotland in 2001.

The royal couple became emotional during a BAFTA tribute to Queen Elizabeth


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At the BAFTA awards, actor Helen Mirren led a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II as Prince William, and Kate Middleton looked on from the audience. The actor famously portrayed the monarch in the 2006 movie The Queen and the 2015 Broadway play The Audience. She thanked the queen for her “loyal support” to the British film industry.

“In 2013, it was her turn to be honored with a BAFTA in recognition of the queen’s outstanding patronage of the film and television industry. Cinema at its best does what her majesty does effortlessly: bring us together and unite us,” she added.

The actor concluded, “Your Majesty, you are our nation’s leading star. On behalf of BAFTA, thank you for all you have done for our film and television industry.”

Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died on Sept. 8, 2022, at 96.