Watch as Kate Middleton suffers a rare awkward moment as she reaches out to shake hands with Muslim community leader – who offers a polite traditional greeting instead
- Kate Middleton, 41, suffered a rare awkward moment earlier today in London
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The Princess of Wales suffered a rare awkward moment today as she reached out to shake hands with Muslim community leader – who offered a polite traditional greeting instead.
Kate Middleton, 41, appeared in high spirits as she arrived alongside Prince William, 40, for the outing at Hayes Muslim Centre in London today.
The awkward moment occurred as the Prince and Princess were introduced to a number of leaders at the centre, including Iman Sufyan Iqbal.
While Prince William shook hands with each of the leaders in turn, one of the gentlemen also reached out to shake hands with the Princess.
However Kate then reached out to shake hands with Iman Sufyan, who pressed his hand to his heart instead, bowing his head.
The Princess of Wales suffered a rare awkward moment today as she reached out to shake hands with Muslim community leader – who offered a polite traditional greeting instead
Kate reached out to shake hands with Iman Sufyan, who pressed his hand to his heart instead, bowing his head
The Princess quickly withdrew her hand, mirroring his bowing head and smiling at him as she greeted him.
Placing a hand on the heart with a nod or slight bow is considered a polite way for a man to greet a woman in some Muslim countries.
According to some codes of conduct, a man and a woman won’t shake hands unless the woman extends her hand out first and the man is willing to reciprocate the gesture.
Others describe the idea of making physical contact with a female who isn’t his wife as ‘haram’, the Arabic word for a sin.
Kate opted to recycle an Alexander McQueen black pleated dress, which she first wore to meet with well-wishers in Sandringham after the Queen’s death, for the outing.
As a mark of respect the couple removed their shoes and Kate covered her head with a scarf, a black and white veil by Pakistani brand Élan, which is part of a set worn by the mother-of-three when she visited the country in 2019.
During today’s engagement, the couple met with representatives from the centre who, through bucket collections and other donations after prayers, have raised over £25,000 for the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal.
The Prince and Princess also joined two pupils from Waldegrave School; Dila Kaya, 14, Lina Alkutubi, 15, and their teacher Natasha Rustam to help make an origami crane, a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
Once inside the centre in London, Kate and William were welcomed by Iman Sufyan Iqbal before meeting with other worshippers
The two schoolgirls, Dila Kaya, 14 and Lina Alkutubi, 15, showed the royal couple how to craft the cranes
During the outing today, Kate met with Jess Jorden, six, as well as Inma Lopez from the Red Cross and Jess’s mum Esther
Today, the couple heard harrowing stories with aid workers who have recently returned from the crisis zone in Turkey and described desperate scenes of rescuers trying to free trapped people with just hammers.
Kate said: ‘It’s sad that there’s a need to do funding – it’s amazing there are communities like this here raising (funds).’
Salah Aboulgasem, from Islamic Relief’s Emergency Response Team said: ‘I arrived in Turkey to the worst scenes of destruction I’ve ever witnessed.
‘I met with so many families whose lives were destroyed in an instant. From the onset of the disaster, Islamic Relief teams were on the ground providing instant support, including cash vouchers which are crucial in enabling families to make basic purchases, with dignity.’
Other aid workers who met with The Prince and Princess of Wales included Dan Stewart from Save The Children, recently returned from Hatay in Turkey, plus aid experts Alison McNulty, Operations Director from Action Against Hunger, Mazen Alhousseiny, from Help Age, the local partner of DEC member charity Age International and Inma Lopez De La Cova Pena from the British Red Cross.
Together they discussed with the couple the impact of the disaster on vulnerable groups, such as children and older people and thefcra importance of the incoming aid that is being provided including shelter, food and vital trauma care.
Finally, the couple met with other communities who have made considerable efforts to fundraise as part of the appeal.
This included the Turkish Women’s Association, an organisation based in Richmond, who partnered with a number of Richmond schools to raise more than £10,000 for the appeal with an event at St Stephen’s Church Primary School at the end of February.
The Princess of Wales wore a floral headscarf as she joined Prince William to meet with volunteers who had fundraised to help communities in Turkey and Syria this morning
Stalls included Turkish coffee, homemade bakes and origami crane making run by pupils from Waldebridge School, which is a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
Dr Yeliz Atik, one of the organisers from the Turkish Families in Richmond said: ‘When we heard about the devastating earthquake, we felt compelled to assist those affected.
‘We started to collect aid to dispatch to Türkiye via trucks and planes, but logistical challenges in the earthquake zone forced us to discontinue sending goods.
‘One of our team, Fulya Sensu, inspired us by saying ‘If you can’t send it, you can sell it,’ which motivated us to involve the local community, schools, and businesses and fundraise.
‘With DEC’s collaboration, we have been able to reach and provide aid to those impacted by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria and we plan to hold more fundraising events in Richmond in the future.’
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