What Exactly Did Prince William Whisper to Kate Middleton on the Buckingham Palace Balcony on Their Wedding Day?

That unplanned second kiss still lives in our hearts and minds 12-plus years later.

Royal Wedding - Carriage Procession To Buckingham Palace And Departures
(Image credit: Getty/Chris Jackson)

That first Buckingham Palace balcony kiss on their wedding day was so nice, the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had to do it twice (yes, actually, I would like some wine with my cheese). It was an unprecedented second public display of affection from members of the royal family that, at least in 2011, so rarely showed any. April 29, 2011, was the first large-scale royal wedding of the modern era, when two college sweethearts tied the knot in front of the world’s watching eyes.

Prince William, Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty)

Although it happened over 12 years ago, a whole new slew of royal fans are rediscovering the moment via TikTok, where a clip of the second kiss is taking the platform by storm. People reports that a clip shared by the account Royalfancams has been viewed over 6.5 million times, and you can see William whisper something in Kate’s ear. What did he say?

Kate and WIlliam wave to the crowd on their wedding day.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the newlyweds rode through the streets of London and eventually made the requisite Buckingham Palace balcony appearance to wave at the crowds assembled below. In a tradition accidentally started by William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, on their own wedding day in 1981, the crowd was anticipating a kiss from the bride and groom. (Charles and Diana kissed on the Buckingham Palace balcony because they forgot to kiss at the Abbey, they were so nervous.) So, William and Kate gave the people what they wanted, sharing their first public kiss as husband and wife. The crowd roared and begged the couple for another one. Responding to their requests, William asked Kate, “Shall we do one more?” before they kissed for a second time to thunderous cheers, and an iconic moment in royal lore was born.

After the spontaneous second kiss, Kate giggled, and William waved.

Prince William and Kate Middleton kissing at polo

(Image credit: Getty)

And, while folks think there is royal protocol around everything—including PDA—royal etiquette expert and Beaumont Etiquette founder Myka Meier tells People that there are actually no formal rules around royal couples and public displays of affection; rather, it’s at their own discretion.

Prince William and Kate Middleton kiss at a polo match

(Image credit: Getty)

“Senior members of the royal family would likely not be told how to interact or when they can or cannot show PDA and would be trusted to use their better judgment as to when it’s appropriate,” she said. “The royals often adjust PDA to mirror the formality of the event they are attending. At a somber or more formal event, we are less likely to see PDA than at a casual event where it would be deemed more fitting.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.