The Surprising Ways Prince William and Kate Middleton Broke Royal Protocol at Their Wedding

It seems like Prince William and Kate Middleton play by the rules for the most part, but fans are surprised to hear that they actually broke royal protocol for a huge event — their 2011 wedding. There were two ways the couple dodged the rules… but, as royal watchers know, they had a beautiful wedding despite breaking protocol.

The Wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton - Buckingham Palace Balcony
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Getty Images

The balcony kiss at Buckingham Palace

Prince William and Middleton, of course, famously kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, but did you know they broke a rule in doing so?

According to the documentary Prince William at Thirty, royal experts pointed to a big way the couple broke protocol — they kissed twice!

Royal reporter Victoria Murphy noted in the documentary: “Everyone kind of went ‘Oh, that was it?’ So later he went back in for another one, so we got two kisses on that day.”

Additonally, TV Presenter Phillip Schofield noted, “Now we’ve all had a fit of a fumbling kiss here and there. Beautiful kiss, worked really well. Huh! Oh, you’re going in for it again!”

He added: “Once again, you know, the perfect break with tradition.”

The Sun’s royal photographer, Arthur Edward, also shared how he captured the moment, explaining: “That was the page one picture and of course it happened and I not only got the kiss, I got the lips coming closer and closer and then the kiss.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding kiss
Prince William and Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Their wedding guest list

Prince William and Middleton’s wedding was to be no small affair, with a lengthy guest list filled with VIPs such as heads of state and kings and queens, but the couple wasn’t comfortable with the idea. They got the Queen’s approval on modifying the guest list, as royal expert Katie Nicholl said: “Initially Buckingham Palace had drawn up a very extensive guest list of, I think, over 700 names of heads of state, kings and queens from around the world.”

Royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah further explained: “He then went to the Queen and said ‘Is this really how it’s going to be?’ and she said ‘No, rip that up, invite who you want.’”

Schofield explained how the Queen was on fully on board, remarking: “Let’s do it your way, you invite your friends.”

William and Middleton wanted to make their wedding their own and “break with tradition and do things their own way” with a formal affair that included small details that were personal to the couple, such as the choices of the hymns, the prayers and the flowers.

The icing on the cake, of course, was when they drove away in Prince Charles’ Aston Martin with “Just Wed” on the back.

Prince William and Kate Middleton The Royal Wedding
Prince William and Kate Middleton | John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

Middleton has broken protocol before

While Prince William and Middleton generally don’t break the royal rules, they do occasionally stray ever so slightly.

Middleton, for example, has worn dresses that expose her legs and gone without wearing tights, with royal expert Victoria Arbiter sharing that is the “only steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires.”

Celebrity journalist Ashley Pearson noted that “Kate Middleton has a whole other set of rules and restrictions because she’s going to be Queen,” adding, “Kate Middleton has to wear her skirts at a certain length. The Queen is regularly, allegedly, giving notes if she doesn’t like a certain hem or a certain outfit on Kate, or certain color tights.”