The moment Prince William and Kate Middleton suffered a royal engagement “nightmare” has gone viral on social media after fans uploaded the footage to video sharing platform TikTok.
The clip has resurfaced online, after being originally filmed in 2014 during the royal couple’s first official visit to Australia and New Zealand, the clip shows the pair unveiling a memorial plaque at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram in Christchurch.
As William and Kate each pulled a cord to part a velvet curtain, the pair suffered an awkward exchange as repeated attempts failed to reveal the plaque to the waiting crowd.
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Both royals laughed and a member of the delegation accompanying their visit came to the rescue by moving the curtain himself.
Uploaded to TikTok by user the.royal.watcher, with the accompanying caption reads: “William and Kate have a nightmare unveiling a plaque!”
The clip of the incident has been viewed over one million times on the platform and has received more than 30,000 likes and 400 comments, many of which questioned why the royals didn’t think to move the curtain themselves.
“They would have kept pulling that string until one of them won,” wrote one user. “They are so competitive.”
“Well at least all the royals are having their own awkward moments,” posted another, with a further comment reading: “Technically then, they didn’t unveil anything lol. One of them just had to let go.”
Another user noted: “Well that’s embarrassing. Lol. 😂 They laughed it off though.”
The 2014 tour of Australia and New Zealand marked an important milestone for William and Kate as they were accompanied for the first time by their eldest son, Prince George, who was just eight-months-old at the time.
Though the family has not returned to the countries—which have King Charles III as their head of state—in the years since welcoming their subsequent children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signaled that a future visit may be forthcoming.
In an interview given to British TV at the time of Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022, Albanese said that there had been “preliminary discussions about the now Prince and Princess of Wales visiting Australia.”
He added: “I would hope that if they visit they would bring their children with them.”
At the time of King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation earlier in May, William appeared to confirm that a visit would not be far off.
Asked by a member of the crowd during an engagement with Kate in London’s Soho when he would be making a trip to Australia, he said: “Oh, very soon.”
Any future overseas tours for the prince and princess have yet to be announced. Their last large-scale visit was to the Caribbean in 2022 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The tour faced protests from anti-monarchy and pro-reparations activists, calling for the British royals to address the role of the royal family in the transatlantic slave trade.
William and Kate’s tour was criticized for its failure to address the issue along with a number of PR blunders that included a poorly chosen photo opportunity with locals shaking hands with the royals through a chain link fence.
So far, King Charles III has undertaken one major overseas tour during his reign, travelling to Germany accompanied by Queen Camilla.
The trip was scheduled to include a visit to France where the king and queen were due to be hosted by President Emanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles.
However, this was postponed after riots in Paris against Macron’s proposed change to the French retirement age.