See How Kate Middleton Conducted Herself While Being Heckled During a Royal Walkabout

While Kate Middleton was meeting and greeting a crowd on a royal tour of Ireland, she encountered a person who heckled her right to her face.

Was the Princess of Wales able to keep her famous composure, or did the remarks elicit a reaction? And why might someone from Ireland feel compelled to confront Kate? Read on to find out.

Kate Middleton meeting well-wishers, including a person who heckled her.
Kate Middleton | Liam McBurney/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

A heckler confronted Kate Middleton and told her ‘Ireland belongs to the Irish’

While in Northern Ireland with Prince William, meeting well-wishers during a walkabout, someone heckled Kate. As reported by People, the princess shook the individual’s hand, and they told her, “Nice to meet you, but it would be better if it was when you were in your own country.”

If the interaction bothered the royal, she didn’t show it to the untrained eye. Kate laughed graciously and continued shaking hands while the person, who was also recording the interaction, added, “Ireland belongs to the Irish.”

But Kate didn’t respond further, moving on to greet others with a smile. It’s easy to believe that she followed some well-established royal protocol for graceful etiquette in uncomfortable situations.

Someone heckled Kate Middleton after 800 years of conflict over Irish independence

According to Smithsonian Associates, “Ireland and Britain share a troubled past. Since England first invaded the country more than eight centuries ago, Ireland has suffered from war, religious conflict, and political division.”

Furthermore, “the encounter between the English and the Irish has also left a profound legacy in Irish culture and even in the landscape itself.”

After centuries of conflict, Ireland eventually split into two factions: Northern Ireland, which is still part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an independent country. But through the years, voices like Sir Paul McCartney have called to “Give Ireland Back to the Irish.”

And that history might have motivated Kate’s heckler.

Queen Elizabeth II once expressed her ‘deep sympathy’ for the ‘sad and regrettable’ history between the U.K. and Ireland.

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As reported by the Guardian, the late Queen Elizabeth II broke her tradition of living by the family motto of “never complain, never explain” when she made the closest thing to a public apology Ireland had seen. She expressed her “deep sympathy” in 2011.

“It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence, and loss …,” she said at a dinner at Dublin Castle. “With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we wish had been done differently, or not at all.”

She added, “To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past, I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy.”

Notably, those who “suffered” included her family, as a member of the Irish Republican Army assassinated her husband’s uncle in 1979. To honor what had been lost, she said she wanted to “bow to the past but not to be bound by it.”

The beloved monarch explained, “The lessons of the peace process are clear: whatever life throws at us, our individual responsibilities will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load ….”