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Prince William’s embarrassing moment with Queen Elizabeth goes viral

Archive footage of the moment Queen Elizabeth II humorously embarrassed Prince William during his graduation from military academy in England in 2006 has been widely shared by fans online.

William undertook a course at the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy after graduating from the University of St Andrews in 2005 in Scotland. The latter place is where the prince met and began a relationship with his future wife, Kate Middleton.

Sandhurst’s graduating cadets take part in what is known as the sovereign’s parade. This is their final parade in training, attended by members of their family and high-ranking dignitaries. Often, these include members of the royal family, or in some cases, the sovereign themselves.

In Sandhurst’s tradition, graduating is known as “passing out.” Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the then-Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Philip, attended both William and Prince Harry’s passing-out sovereign’s parades in the same year. Harry passed out in April 2006, and William in December.

Uploaded to TikTok by user ladydianafrancis, archive footage of Elizabeth reviewing the passing-out cadets that included William has been viewed over 200,000 times. It has received more than 20,000 likes and 100 comments.

The monarch walks along a line of cadets and pauses when she reaches the serious-faced William, in keeping with the demeanor of the other servicemen on parade. The queen then uttered a few unknown words to her grandson, which made him break into a flushed smile.

“[The] way she knew he’d break and she’d embarrass him. She loved him,” commented one TikTok user of the clip.

“Her late majesty was like ‘I know him.’ Prince William probably wants to break from his composition and say ‘Hello Granny,'” wrote another.

“She had a very cheeky sense of humor,” posted one commenter, with a second writing: “I’m not a fan of the monarchy but this is very sweet. William always had a special place in her heart. You can see how proud she is.”

As well as members of the royal family, Prince William also invited another family to which he was close to watch his passing-out—the Middleton family, including his then-girlfriend, Kate.

Earlier in 2006, the queen made a similar impression on Prince Harry at his passing-out parade. Elizabeth paused on reaching him in the line-up, causing both to break out in smiles, caught by the assembled press cameras.

Since her death in September 2022, Prince William has paid a number of tributes to his grandmother. Most notably, he released a heartfelt statement from Kensington Palace in London before Elizabeth’s state funeral.

Of her death at the age of 96, the prince said “the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the realms and the Commonwealth was absolute. So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign I, however, have lost a grandmother.

“She was by my side at my happiest moments,” William added. “And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life. I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.”

He concluded: “My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email We’d love to hear from you.

Archive footage of the moment Queen Elizabeth II humorously embarrassed Prince William during his graduation from military academy in England in 2006 has been widely shared by fans online.

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