Prince William Hugged a Grandfather in Glasgow: "It Felt Like a Son Hugging a Father"

Oh great, now I'm sobbing.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge reacts during his visit to Heart of Midlothian Football Club in Edinburgh on May 12, 2022, where he learned about 'The Changing Room' programme launched by SAMH
(Image credit: Getty/Jane Barlow)

Prince William sees your royal protocol, and raises you tender cuddles.

In most joyous news for your Friday morning, the Duke of Cambridge was photographed hugging a grandfather in Glasgow, on the first day of his and the duchess' Scotland visit.

While visiting the Wheatley Group, which helps those at risk for homelessness, the Cambridges interacted with local residents gathered outside, including 66-year-old William Burns, a father of six and grandfather of 25.

Burns was briefly homeless after being evicted amid a fight with one of his sons, so when Prince William ditched his usual formal handshakes to warmly embrace Burns, it was an intensely emotional moment for him.

"I am a grandfather. It felt like a son hugging a father," Burns explained to the Daily Mail. That's just fantastic, because now I'm sobbing, which makes writing articles a total walk in the park.

"It was the way he hugged me," Burns continued. "I didn't expect that really, to be honest. It was a boost. I've never felt anything like it in my entire life before and my existence as a human being."

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Scotland - Day 1

(Image credit: Getty/WPA Pool)

Explaining how the hug came about, Burns told the Mail, "I saw Kate and thought, that lady is wonderful. She is beautiful and clearly a beautiful person. I was standing with my wife when William came over to the crowd.

"I decided to meet the chap and I went to shake the man's hand when he asked my name.

"When I told him my name was William, he said, 'My name is William too.' I said, 'I know that' and he laughed. He had his hand on my shoulder.

"He had his hand on my shoulder and then hugged me. I was quite emotional. I was overjoyed."

As for William—Prince William that is (I know, I should do standup)—body language expert Darren Stanton tells Marie Claire this was a really genuine gesture.

"Such a moment marks an unprecedented demonstration of just how authentic, empathetic and open Kate and William are," Stanton comments on behalf of Slingo.

"As per royal protocol, the Queen will never shake hands with anyone with bare hands.

"William embracing the elderly man is a rare outpouring of genuine emotion from a senior royal and you can tell from the man’s face it was one of true elation, with the moment sure to stick with him for the rest of his days."

For Stanton, the interaction was reminiscent of the duke's mother's warm manner, which made her so popular. "We have never seen such an outpouring of love from the public too, when it comes to senior royals, since Diana," he says. "It’s clear the public have very much taken William and Kate into their hearts and demonstrations such as this one will no doubt cement the nation’s affection for them."

:) :) :)

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.