Justin Trudeau’s charm has finally met its match in the form of good old-fashioned British reserve.
The Canadian prime minister was shut down while trying to greet Britain’s Prince George on the runway when the royal family arrived for their tour of British Columbia.
Landing in Canada on Saturday on a week-long official visit with parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the prince simply shook his head when Trudeau squatted down to the toddler’s level to offer a high-five variation, the low-five.
Trudeau then switched his palm for a high-five and subsequently offered a handshake, both of which were seemingly rebuffed, creating an awkward moment at the airport in the western province.
Canadians felt the princely snub acutely, accustomed as they are to seeing their young premier win over millions of fans around the world and attain social media star status.
The prince has a history of unconventional meetings with heads of state. While he shook hands with Barack Obama on his visit to England in April, the prince recieved the US president in his pajamas. Obama later joked that the prince’s attire was “a slap in the face” and a clear breach of protocol.
The prince and his year-old sister, Princess Charlotte, are in Canada for the first time but it is the second trip for their parents, who visited in 2011.
On Sunday, the duke and duchess were to visit the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia to meet staff and volunteers who help recent migrants to the area. The couple also is scheduled to meet young leaders of various industries in Canada and some of Vancouver’s first responders.
Before leaving Canada on 1 October, the couple is expected to have more than more than 30 engagements, including with aboriginal Canadian communities.
William is second in line to succeed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, who has been Canada’s head of state since she ascended to Britain’s throne in 1952.
Reuters contributed to this report