The Major Faux Pas Prince William And Kate Middleton Made At King Charles' Coronation

When King Charles III was crowned king on May 6, 2023, it was the first U.K. coronation in over 70 years, and at such an important ceremony, royals were expected to follow a number of rules. However, one unwritten rule for any major event is to show up on time, and that's the rule that William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales violated on the big day. Add that to all of the drama surrounding King Charles' coronation.

As befits such a momentous occasion, there were a number of rehearsals behind the scenes before the big day, and the arrival of guests to Westminster Abbey was apparently coordinated down to the minute. William and Kate and their children arrived 90 seconds after they were supposed to, according to Robert Hardman, who wrote the book "The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy," (via People). This by itself wouldn't seem like it was such a major issue, but while they were running late, King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived seven minutes early. That combination seems to have caused some chaos behind the scenes.

King Charles III was apparently annoyed at the timing mix up

It seems like King Charles III was going to keep with his timing no matter what, and he walked in, presumably at his scheduled time, which left William, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte to enter after him — Prince George was one of the Pages of Honour for King Charles' coronation, and he helped carry his grandfather's long ceremonial robe as he walked into Westminster Abbey.

"It is unusual for the two most important arrivals at such a significant event, and over such a well-trodden route, to be so unpunctual. The result is some frantic rewriting of the running order," Robert Hardman wrote, according to People. "There isn't time for the Waleses and their two younger children to enter ahead of the King and Queen. They must now follow behind and bring up the rear."

While King Charles walked down the aisle, he didn't seem to be annoyed that his son was out of place in the procession behind him, but he apparently was not pleased with having had to wait. As he and Queen Camilla arrived at the Abbey early, they waited for a bit in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, and a Sky News lip reader determined that the king had some thoughts about the unexpected pause. "We can never be on time," the king allegedly said, per The Guardian. "This is a negative. There's always something."

The palace hasn't confirmed why William and Kate were late

As for why William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales were late, there are conflicting theories. It may have been that the king's early arrival to the Abbey ended up cutting off the Wales family's car path — there's not really any way to cut through traffic when that traffic involves a horse-drawn royal carriage. Some say that it was because William and Kate were filming for an Instagram behind the scenes video that made them late, or it could have been the chaos that any parent knows of trying to get out of the house on time when you have to get yourself ready along with three young kids.

While they may not have meant to arrive late and we may never know what really happened, we do know that William and Kate certainly arrived in style. They both looked resplendent in their regalia, and Kate's striking coronation headpiece even paid special tribute to Queen Elizabeth.