A "human moment" between the new King and the new Prime Minister was actually a strict breach of major protocol, according to an expert.
After he returned on Friday from being at his mother's side in Balmoral, King Charles had a meeting with Liz Truss in which she gripped his arm.
In their meeting, she expressed her 'very, very sincere condolences' and the King confided that his mother's death had been 'the moment I've been dreading'.
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And whilst the 'human moment,' as Downing Street called it, was apparently welcomed by the King – it was actually a breach of the rules, according to Royal biographer and historian Hugo Vickers.
He told the Mail on Sunday: "On a very strict interpretation of Royal protocol rules, the PM should not have held the King's arm in this way.
"The rules are that you leave it to the King to do the arm touching. The Royal Family is supposed to initiate the contact. You don't do anything – you keep yourself to yourself."
But he thought Ms Truss's kind gesture wouldn't have bothered the King, adding: "On this occasion, I would give her [Ms Truss] the benefit of the doubt and being sympathetic to the King at this very emotional moment.
"It was probably the point where King Charles said that he had been dreading this moment. He certainly wouldn't have minded in the least and that's what it comes down to."
As she met King Charles at Buckingham Palace, the PM curtsied after being announced, before the pair shared a handshake.
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As she offered her condolences, Charles thanked her, saying: “You are very kind for coming – I know how busy you are.”
He added: "But it’s been so touching this afternoon when we arrived here, all those people come to give their condolences.”
Ms Truss again repeated: "Your Majesty, my very greatest sympathies.”
He replied: "You are very kind. It was the moment I have been dreading, as I know a lot of people have. We’ll try keep everything going. Come, come have a seat.”
Last night, a Number 10 source defended the PM's gesture, saying:"'It was a very human moment – Liz wanted to express her deepest condolences to a son who had lost his mother."
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