Prince Charles has a special way of greeting royal women

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal greetings are a minefield, with rank and company often determining who bows and curtsies to who.

Someone who is known for putting their own personal spin on a royal greeting is Prince Charles.

Yes, the Prince of Wales is renowned for his unique greetings, from the double royal wave to the namaste bow.

It is his special greeting for royal women that made headlines this week, as photographs of Prince Charles greeting Queen Letizia of Spain went viral.

The future King greeted Queen Letizia with a kiss on each cheek, followed by a light kiss on the hand.

And while the gesture set the internet alight this week, on closer inspection Prince Charles has been practicing it for years, particularly with royal women of high rank.

This, according to royal experts, is a sign of respect.

Getty Images

Other recipients of the special greeting include Princess Mary of Denmark, Queen Mathilde of Belgium and of course Queen Elizabeth herself.

Getty Images

Getty Images

In fact, the greeting appears to date back through history, with Queen Victoria reportedly speaking about the gesture during her reign.

According to The Mirror, Queen Victoria once praised the then-Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli for the special greeting.

"He is full of poetry, romance and chivalry," she reportedly announced. "When he knelt down to kiss my hand, he said 'In loving loyalty and faith'."

Well, that's that.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.