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When The Spice Girls Met Prince Charles, They Broke Royal Protocol In The Cheekiest Way

It wasn’t a combination you’d expect to see — the sizzling Spice Girls standing alongside the very proper then-Prince Charles. But the five-member girl band had a chance to meet the royal in 1997, and their behavior quickly veered away from protocol. In fact, what happened nearly caused the Prince of Wales to crack! The whole debacle has cemented itself in pop culture history as one of the most unbelievable red-carpet moments to have actually happened. So much so, that members of the band are still talking about it to this day. And now that Charles is King, the whole thing seems even more scandalous than before.

A once-in-a-lifetime job

The unlikely meeting between the Spice Girls and Charles took place when the band got invited to perform in a royal variety show. That didn’t mean they hit the stage together to play a few songs, though. Instead, the group was tasked with acting a whole scene alongside their future monarch. And perhaps it was this unusual set of circumstances that had the girls feeling mischievous from the get-go.

Getting up close and personal

Judging by their brazen behavior that night, the unprecedented access to the royal must have made the Spice Girls feel comfortable enough to joke around with their future king. Things went beyond fooling around, though, as the British stars ended up breaking multiple taboos on the list of royal rules. And Charles didn’t hide the fact that he had felt strongly about their actions, either.

The proper way

According to the royal family’s official website, there is no obligation for members of the public to behave in a particular way when they meet a member of the monarchy. That said, most people want to follow the age-old traditions of the British throne. An audience with Prince Charles, then, would require guests to call him “Your Royal Highness” upon their first introduction and “Sir” in follow-up interactions.

Look but don't touch

There aren’t repercussions for flubbing a greeting, per se. Yet people who make a misstep may be subject to the court of public opinion. For instance, Canada’s governor general David Johnston got into trouble after grazing the Queen’s elbow in an effort to guide her down a slippery set of stairs in 2017. So much for offering a helping hand.