Did Prince Charles Ignore Mike Pence at a Holocaust Event?

A video of Prince Charles and Mike Pence seems to show Charles rebuffing VP Pence.

Royal Ascot 2013 Day 1
(Image credit: Stuart C. Wilson)

In what might just be the biggest royal snub since the Queen wore a brooch the Obamas gave her to meet President Donald Trump, Prince Charles appears to flat-out ignore Vice President Mike Pence in a new viral video. The interaction, or lack thereof, occurred at a Holocaust remembrance event in Israel, and although Pence’s team insists that it’s a big misunderstanding, the footage is...telling.

Watch it for yourself:

In the video, originally shared by Twitter user Joshua Phillipson from Holocaust nonprofit Yad Vashem’s live feed of the event, Prince Charles seems to spot Pence, look him in the eye, allow his gaze to pass over him, and moves on to shake the hand of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the camera passes by Pence, you can see that he’s already raised his hand to shake Charles’, and has to subtly withdraw his hand; audio shows that Charles acknowledges him, saying “Mr. Pence,” but then moves straight on.

Charles wouldn’t be the first royal to snub the Trump administration in recent months. Though the Queen, who is technically apolitical, has been cordial to Trump in an effort to maintain strong U.S.-U.K. relations, Princess Anne was caught on camera in December seemingly being told off by her mother for not being particularly friendly to the Trumps. And Meghan Markle, though no longer a “senior” royal, once said that she would move to Canada if Trump were elected. (Which, now that I think about it, was weirdly prescient?!)

Pence’s press secretary Katie Waldman jumped into the fray as the video started to go viral, writing: “This is not true. VP and Prince Charles spoke prior to entering the event floor and after his remarks as well,” and sharing a photo of the two of them laughing together.

However, I must point out:

In an election year that’s already proving to be contentious on both sides, the one thing everyone can agree on is that, yeah, this happened. Both Pence’s supporters and detractors are pointing out how much it looks like Charles...just ignored him.

Snopes has its own take, however:

Neither of the Pences extended their hands for a handshake, either. The claim that Charles “snubbed” them would require an interaction in which he turned down a greeting or handshake that was offered to him. That was not the case in the instance shown in the videos. In fact, both Pences stood with their fingers interlaced or hands folded as Charles walked past, meaning their hands were not readily available for a handshake in the first place.

Finally, there is a simple explanation for the absence of a mutual handshake between Charles and each of the Pences — they had already met, greeted one another, and shaken hands before the moment shown in the widely shared video clips.

Decide for yourself! Either way, I hope you enjoyed that video as much as I did today.

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Jenny Hollander
Digital Director

Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. A graduate of Leeds University, and a native of London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was the first intern at Bustle when it launched in 2013, and spent five years building out its news and politics department. In 2018 she joined Marie Claire, where she held the roles of Deputy Digital Editor and Director of Content Strategy before becoming Digital Director. Working closely with Marie Claire's exceptional editorial, audience, commercial, and e-commerce teams, Jenny oversees the brand's digital arm, with an emphasis on driving readership. When she isn't editing or knee-deep in Google Analytics, you can find Jenny writing about television, celebrities, her lifelong hate of umbrellas, or (most likely) her dog, Captain. In her spare time, she also writes fiction: her first novel, the thriller EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, was published with Minotaur Books (UK) and Little, Brown (US) in February 2024 and became a USA Today bestseller. She has also written extensively about developmental coordination disorder, or dyspraxia, which she was diagnosed with when she was nine. She is currently working on her second novel.