US President Joe Biden met King Charles III at Windsor Castle, west of London
US President Joe Biden met King Charles III at Windsor Castle, west of London on Monday, July 10, 2023. AFP News

King Charles III welcomed United States President Joe Biden at Windsor Castle on Monday. Their meeting had many wondering if the president broke royal protocol by placing his hand on the monarch's back.

His Majesty greeted his guest with a handshake before they made their way up a few stairs to a platform where they watched a band play both their countries' national anthems. While going there, the president casually placed his hand on the monarch's back as they spoke, stirring speculations about royal decorum.

Over at Twitter, one user claimed the back touch is not the only time President Biden broke protocol writing, "As expected, Joe Biden broke all Royal protocol, by repeatedly touching, King Charles, & placing his hand on the King's back."

Others commented on the post with one writing, "Universally, an embarrassment. I bet K.C. Was mad" and another chimed in, "National embarrassment!"

Meanwhile, the others pointed out how King Charles III seemed to be guiding President Biden as they walked. One tweeted, "Charles is leading him around, telling him where to go and where to look just like he was a child. It's so humiliating to have this decrepit old useless man as POTUS."

A second wrote, "Joe needs a walker. He grabs onto people to steady himself as he has no balance anymore."

But the 74-year-old monarch was reportedly not offended nor did he mind the president's gesture. People cited a Buckingham Palace source who said that he was "entirely comfortable" with President Biden touching his back.

"What a wonderful symbol of warmth and affection it was between both the individuals and their nations," the insider said.

Moreover, royal author Robert Jobson, who co-authored the 2002 book "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret," blasted claims the U.S. president broke royal protocol as "baloney." He wrote in his piece for the Daily Mail, "You can almost hear the indignant screams about breaches of protocol because Joe Biden touched the monarch's back or went first when inspecting the Guard of Honour - even though, as guest of honour, that's what he's supposed to do."

President Biden kept with royal protocol during the inspection of the Guard of Honour, when he walked in front of the King. Jobson pointed out, "This is a different time and a different monarch - and everyone was happy with the warmth and manner of the tactile greeting. Perhaps some commentators remain lost in Edwardian traditions."

Jobson noted that when President Biden "extended his hand of friendship to the King - repeatedly it seemed - our King was relaxed." He pointed out that King Charles III was "unfazed by physical contact and has even hugged random strangers in crowds on engagements."

The British journalist called it "a sign of his tactile nature the president had reached out his hand to touch King Charles several times during the ten minutes of his formal welcome to the castle." He also pointed out that "reporters from the White House press corps confirmed that such behaviour was entirely predictable - and is exactly what Joe Biden did."

The meeting between President Biden and King Charles III comes two months after the monarch's coronation in May. Biden was not able to attend but sent his wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden instead, who went to the ceremony with her granddaughter Finnegan Biden.

President Biden's visit was reportedly low-key compared to other presidential visits in the past. This was because he was there for work and not on a state visit which would normally call for a palace banquet with other royal family members involved. But the White House in a press briefing in April confirmed that Biden has already accepted King Charles III's invitation for a state visit during a phone call.