The U.K.’s Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, surprised many by coming to the Barclay’s Center during a visit to New York to sit courtside and watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the royal couple received a bit of a surprise after the game when superstar LeBron James broke royal protocol with an innocent gesture.

After the Cavaliers’ 110-88 victory, LeBron James spoke to the royal couple and posed for a picture with them. When the photo was taken, James put his arm around the Duchess of Cambridge’s shoulders.

However, according to protocol in Britain, a commoner is not supposed to touch members of the royal family, even if it’s accidental.


Etiquette expert William Hanson told The Daily Mail, “A shower would have been preferable, but he had just finished a game, so even more reason for him not to have opened his pits by lifting his arm and placing it around Her Royal Highness.”

Before the picture was taken, James gave the royal couple two Cleveland jerseys. One was yellow and had the name “Cambridge” on the back with the No. 7 under it, and the other was red and much smaller with “George” printed over the No. 1 for their 1-year-old son, Prince George.

James uploaded a photograph with the royals to Instagram, writing in the caption: “This very moment will be forever remembered and put up in my house. It’s all good and all smiles on this side.”