Kate Middleton Explains Why Shes Not Allowed to Sign Autographs
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A kind alternative. Princess Kate can’t sign autographs as a member of the royal family — but she had a better idea for a souvenir during a recent appearance.

The Princess of Wales, 41, made a surprise visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London on Monday, May 22, when she was asked by a young fan to sign something. “I can’t write my name, but I can draw,” the Duchess of Cambridge was overheard saying, according to People.

The U.K. native then reportedly drew a flower for a 7-year-old girl named Ruby, followed by a tree and a pond for two other children. When asked again why she couldn’t sign any autographs, the Duchess of Cornwall replied, “My name’s Catherine. I’m not allowed to write my signature, it’s just one of those rules.”

Members of the royal family aren’t supposed to sign autographs for fans because of the risk of their signatures being forged. They occasionally pose for selfies as an alternative, though such photos are still relatively rare.

In January, the princess posed for selfies during a visit in Luton, England, snapping a photo with two onlookers. That same month, Kate and her husband, Prince William, took pictures with around 20 staff members and visitors at the Liverpool University Hospital during their first joint appearance of the year.

According to the royal family’s website, “there are no obligatory codes of behavior” for meeting a member of The Firm, but “many people wish to observe the traditional forms.” The site then goes on to list the protocol for bowing and curtsying as well as the proper means of address.

While Kate’s in-laws, King Charles III and Queen Camilla, aren’t known for snapping selfies on greeting lines, they have been known to joke around with fans at their various appearances. Earlier this year, Camilla, 75, thanked an onlooker who presented her with a Burger King crown during a March visit to Colchester.

As a fan gave the queen the paper crown, she replied, “Oh, lovely, that’s very nice of you. Burger King!”

Weeks later, another passerby tried to give the king, 74, his own Burger King crown, but the monarch declined to accept. “That’s for you, if you want it,” the fan said after shaking Charles’ hand.

“I’m alright,” the former Prince of Wales said with a smile as he continued down the line.

Earlier this month, Charles was officially crowned king in a coronation ceremony held at Westminster Abbey on May 6. Kate and William, 40, were both in attendance with their three children: Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

After the celebration weekend wrapped up, the sovereign took to social media to share a message of gratitude. “As the Coronation weekend draws to a close, my wife and I just wanted to share our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion,” he wrote on May 8. “We pay particular tribute to the countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible.”