Canada’s out-going Governor General David Johnston caused quite a stir on social media when he broke royal protocol by touching the Queen’s elbow during a meeting outside Canada House in London on Wednesday (July 19). The 76-year-old was quick to address the chatter by explaining that he was simply helping Her Majesty navigate some slippery stairs.
"I was just anxious to be sure there was no stumbling on the steps. It's a little bit awkward, that descent from Canada House to Trafalgar Square, and there was carpet that was a little slippy, and so I thought perhaps it was appropriate to breach protocol just to be sure that there was no stumble,” he told the CBC, adding that he’s “certainly conscious of the protocol.”
The Queen didn’t appear bothered by her Governor General’s kind gesture as she gladly accepted his arm for support. The duo has become quite friendly over the years since David was appointed Her Majesty’s representative in Canada back in 2010.
During her visit to Canada House, the Queen toured the National Maritime Museum where she saw some special hockey memorabilia and select artifacts from the Royal Archive. She also didn’t go home empty handed. To commemorate the monarch’s 65-year reign, and to show his own appreciation for her support, David presented the Queen with a Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch. The stunning piece features 48 Canadian sapphires from Baffin Island and celebrates the chilly landscape of the Arctic.
— David Johnston (@GGDavidJohnston) July 19, 2017
David will step down from his posting this fall after seven years of service. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Canadian astronaut Julie Payette as the country’s 29 th Governor General.