by Christos Zambounis
The jacket. The left hand. That’s what his father used to do. Until he stopped. William doesn’t. In the chapter “A handy guide to social interaction”, loosely translated as “What we do with our hands in a social interface”, the author of the British savoir vivre guide “Debretts” is clear. ‘Hands in pockets is considered by many cultures to be rude and disrespectful’. But to stand at attention with hands touching the body, as military personnel usually do, may mark us as aloof. Crossing them in front of you is also a sign of embarrassment, so what is left? Style. Yes, the gentleman may choose, regardless of the rules, his own stylistic views, like Gianni Agnelli who wore two watches on the same wrist. The new King of England, though his proper name is United Kingdom, has imposed this controversial attitude whether he is standing still or conversing with someone.
No relation to the well-remembered Finance Minister Yanis, with an ‘n’, Varoufakis when he was photographed with his hands inside his leather overcoat with his British counterpart George Osbone at 11 Downing Street in 2015. No relation, either, to other politicians who regularly place their hands inside their trouser pockets, even in official meetings. We all recall Constantine Karamanlis’s poses of the elder with his left hand in his trouser pocket. He had style too, but I am sure that when he needed to greet someone he would hold out his right hand and release his left. We never, ever salute with the hand inside the pocket. Neither Charles nor any nobleman.
P.S. “Cracking” the fingers, a propos, according to Dr. Karl Kruszeinicki, is equivalent to losing up to 75% of the grip strength of our hands.