Royal accidents: 17 times they’ve slipped up in public

Photo: © Rex


With all of their poise, grace and seamless public appearances, it's sometimes easy to forget that the royal family are just people! And no matter how well prepared they are, mishaps can still happen – whether it's battling inclement weather or suffering wardrobe malfunctions.

The Duchess of Cambridge nearly tripped up as she left the Troubadour White City Theatre in west London in November 2019. William and Kate were saying goodbye to their hosts after Shout's Crisis Volunteer celebration event, when the Duchess appeared to stumble, as she made her way to the car. Kate kept her compsure as her foot slipped out of her Gianvito Rossi heels and even laughed it off with husband William. We've all been there! 

WATCH: King Felipe forgets to put his face mask back on during royal engagement

In July 2020, King Felipe of Spain accidentally forgot to put his face mask back on after delivering a speech at a state tribute to victims of the coronavirus pandemic at the Royal Palace in Madrid. His daughter Princess Leonor was seen on camera gently reminding her dad to wear his face covering. Felipe appeared to thank his daughter for the reminder as he took his mask out of his jacket pocket.

Photo: © Getty Images


The Duchess of Sussex

During her royal tour in 2018, Meghan Markle was making her much-anticipated arrival in Tonga with Prince Harry. The Duchess looked gorgeous as she disembarked the plane, dressing her baby bump in a red Self-Portrait number. But some eagle-eyed fans noticed that she'd made a small mistake with her outfit, by accidentally leaving the return label on the dress. The label could be seen attached from inside the skirt of her dress, hanging just beneath the hem.

It's happened to the best of us, we say, though we wonder if Meghan planned to return the midi frock – or if she simply forgot to remove the tag.

MORE: Royal rule-breakers! 14 times the Queen and her family bent the rules

Click through our gallery to see these royal slip-ups…

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The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate was caught off-guard when her blue skirt hitched higher than intended under her navy blue coat as she accepted a bouquet of flowers at the Place2Be Forum at the offices of Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf in 2013, showing off her long legs. It happens to the best of us Kate!

Photo: © Rex


The Queen

The Queen might be used to accepting bouquets of flowers, but she struggled to keep control of this arrangement! Her Majesty fumbled with a bouquet while marking the 150th anniversary of the Eton Combined Cadet Force at Eton College in 2010. No doubt one of her aides was quick to retrieve the flowers on her behalf.

MORE: On your bike! 10 brilliant photos of the royals enjoying a cycle ride

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The Queen doesn't often lose her composure, so when she nearly lost her hat in the strong wind while attending a welcoming ceremony with Sultan Qaboos of Oman in Muscatvin in February 1979, it was a moment to remember – particularly when she masterfully caught the escaping headwear and put it back on. Someone fetch her a hat pin!

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Photo: © Rex


Princess Diana

Princess Diana fell up the plane stairs in 1991 during a visit to Pakistan. Having slipped and grabbed the handrail to steady herself, Diana's bad day only got worse when her flight was delayed for an hour because of a rainstorm. The windy weather also caused havoc with her wraparound skirt, so we're guessing she was glad to finally get onboard the plane.

Photo: © Rex


The Duchess of Cambridge

Mistakes happen! The Duchess grinned as she attempted to pull her heel out from a grate while visiting Mons Barracks Aldershot at the St Patrick's Day Parade in 2013. Holding Prince William's hand for support, Kate was quickly able to free her shoe before carrying on with the official visit. 

MORE: 10 times royals ditched their drivers and got behind the steering wheel

Photo: © Getty Images


The Duchess of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall didn't realise how windy it would be when she attended the christening of Princess Charlotte in July 2015. Dressed in a powder blue dress with a matching hat, Camilla clung onto her outfit as she arrived at the Church of St Mary Magdelene on the Sandringham Estate.

Photo: © Rex


The Duchess of Sussex

In June 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the wedding of Princess Diana's niece Celia McCorquodale in Lincolnshire. As they were walking downhill towards the church, Meghan was caught stumbling in her heels, but luckily Prince Harry, who she was holding hands with, was there to save the day! After his wife's near-fall, Harry protectively stopped for a second to make sure she was okay, before they carried on walking to the ceremony. The former Suits actress, who looked elegant and demure in a blue maxi dress, laughed off the near mishap and carried on walking.

MORE: 14 fabulous photos of the Queen and her family enjoying themselves at royal garden parties

Photo: © Getty Images


Queen Sofia of Spain

Floor-length gowns and stairs are never a good mix! Queen Sofia of Spain learnt this the hard way when she tripped up while arriving at a state dinner at the White House in 2000. Hillary Clinton could be spotted looking on in concern as President Bill Clinton and Sofia's husband, King Juan Carlos, swiftly helped her up.


The Countess of Wessex

Just moments before this photo was taken, the Countess of Wessex almost took a tumble as she stepped into the carriage at Royal Ascot in 2017, but luckily the Duchess of Cambridge was quick to react and managed to catch Prince William's aunt. The Cambridges and Wessexes were left in fits of giggles afterwards. 

MORE: Royals and their lookalike relatives – from Princess Charlotte to Princess Diana

Photo: © PA


Princess Mary of Denmark

Princess Mary of Denmark laughed off a blunder at the Design Awards 2018. The royal was on stage to present the Designer of the Year award to architect Lars Vejen, when the award in the box fell out and landed on stage. The award was quickly put back with the help of the princess, and the group presenting the award laughed at the gaffe.

Photo: © Rex


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Heels can be so tricky! Crown Princess Mary of Denmark lost her shoe while visiting the grave site of President John F Kennedy by the Washington Monument at Arlington National Cemetery. The princess, who was accompanied by her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, realised her mistake just a few moments later…

Photo: © Getty Images


The Duchess of Cambridge

While sampling a tomato at the Chelsea Flower Show for BBC Radio 2: Chris Evans' Taste Garden, the Duchess of Cambridge sparked a debate about the 'five second rule' when she promptly ate a tomato that she accidentally dropped in the greenhouse. Speaking about the tomato, she told Chris: "It's delicious and sweet."

Photo: © Rex


Prince Philip

Prince Philip was a keen sportsman in his youth – and sometimes sports can be a little dangerous! The Duke of Edinburgh took a tumble during a competitive game of polo on bicycles at Smith's Lawn back in 1967. Despite his royal status, Philip's fellow players seemed unconcerned by his tumble, and more focused on winning back the ball.

Photo: © Rex


Queen Margrethe of Denmark

Queen Margrethe of Denmark laughed heartily as she lost one of her shoes while greeting the Home Guard in Copenhagen in 2017. Dressed all in blue, the monarch reached forwards for the shoe, with the guards on hand to offer their assistance. Naturally, the queen kept her composure during the mishap.

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