Prince Charles Embraces Namaste Greeting In Place Of Handshakes For Social Distancing Era
This week, Prince Charles returned to public duties with the royal family. He's also been seen performing a namaste greeting at these events. See the pictures and learn the fully story here.
Prince Charles is leading the way with a social distancing-friendly greeting in his first post-lockdown public appearances.
At royal engagements held this week on Tuesday and Thursday, the 71-year-old and his wife Duchess Camilla were photographed using the namaste gesture to welcome and bid farewell to politicians and healthcare workers.
They've adopted the traditional Hindu greeting as a means of adhering to social distancing guidelines, which prohibit the contact and close proximity of a handshake.
In the above photograph, taken on Tuesday, Charles is seen sharing in a namaste greeting with hospital staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. He and the Duchess of Cornwall attended to thank healthcare workers at the hospital.
A namaste consists of pressing one's palms together at face or chest level and slightly bowing. Some also say the word "namaste" during the exchange.
Prince Charles, Camilla, and Emmanuel Macron say namaste
The Prince of Wales once again performed the gesture along with French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Clarence House on Thursday — though it appears he may have instinctually gone for the handshake to start with.
The trio was also photographed exchanging the gesture upon the French president's departure.
Prince Charles debuted the namaste in March
The Prince of Wales actually first embraced the greeting in early March, when concerns about the spread of COVID-19 were first on the rise. He debuted the namaste at Commonwealth Day service on March 11.
It wasn't an easy adjustment for Charles though, as, according to People, he reflected on mistakenly going in for a handshake a few days later. "It's just so hard to remember not to," he said at the time.
Nevertheless, he still contracted the disease in mid-March after arriving in Scotland. Fortunately, he dealt with only "mild symptoms," though he referenced still dealing with taste and smell-related aftereffects during his visit to Gloucestershire on Tuesday.
Royals regularly perform namaste while visiting India
The namaste isn't entirely foreign to the royals, however.
Prince Charles and other royal family members have also been photographed performing the gesture during visits to India, such as in the 2017 image seen below.