Footage from the World Holocaust Forum showed the prince of Wales taking the time to greet dignitaries attending the event. However, when it came time to shake Pence’s extended hand, Charles appeared to not just refuse his handshake, but also briefly make eye contact with the vice president before proceeding to engage with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
With speculation concerning the apparent royal snub mounting on social media, Katie Waldman, Pence’s press secretary, attempted to come to her boss’s rescue via tweet and insisted that the exchange was not representative of the relationship between the two officials.
She went on to post a video of the two speaking backstage at the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday.
Nevertheless, netizens dragged Pence over the purported snub and created their own narrative surrounding the situation.
Prince Charles Translation: kiss my entire Royal ass, Mike Pence.— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) January 23, 2020
He is all of us here: pic.twitter.com/qdvcLeLwD0
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snub so blatant as Prince Charles taking half a glance at Mike Pence and being like: “Not today, Satan.” pic.twitter.com/9hZhj7UbEm— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 23, 2020
Love it! But next time, skip Netanyahu too.— Theresa M. (@TheraVM) January 23, 2020
I've seen this move before pic.twitter.com/8Z02HhKpt2— Jen Westphal (@JennniferWest) January 23, 2020
He skipped Mother, too.— DanMeuserDoesn'tRepresentMe (@Widowbird17) January 23, 2020
That speaks volumes. trump and Pence don't realize how easily others see through them. They're both rotten to the core and anyone not drinking their koolaid can smell it a mile away. Good on Charles. 😊— Cheryl (@chuerta1) January 23, 2020
Many social media users theorized that Charles’ seeming snub of the vice president had to do with his stance on climate change, support of 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and/or US President Donald Trump’s treatment of the environmental advocate.
“Global warming, climate change, the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats that humanity has ever faced and one largely of our own creation,” the prince of Wales said during the World Economic Forum earlier this week, as reported by Reuters. He also spoke glowingly of Thunberg after meeting her at the forum, telling reporters that “she represents one of the main reasons why I've been trying to make all this effort all these years … I didn't want my grandchildren to accuse me of not doing something about this in time,” according to EuroNews.
Looks like Prince Charles isn't a fan of how the Trump administration is attacking Greta Thunberg, either. Watch as he passes over Mike Pence in the recieving line. pic.twitter.com/afOtYTrr9Y— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 23, 2020
Prince Charles is very environmental. Mike Pence is very mental. Charles has no time for climate change deniers. pic.twitter.com/nnDVYH5CGm— Tommy Campbell (@MrTommyCampbell) January 23, 2020
Prince Charles is devoted to climate change and Pence thinks it's a hoax. That's only part of it.— Ilene (@IleneMann20) January 23, 2020
Sorry to break it to you all, but there are many many many people out there who deeply dislike the current US administration. Prince Charles has strong feelings on the environment - if your government is pulling out of global climate accords, why would you expect a handshake?— ALDmufc #GlazersOut (@ALDMUFC) January 23, 2020
At the same time, many supporters of Pence and the Trump administration came to the vice president’s defense.
Not quite. Pence was holding his hands together until after Charles passed then Pence reached out to pat Charles on the back, which is where you see Pence’s hand drop, making it look as though Charles has snubbed his outstretched hand.— newznewznewz (@newzandsuch) January 23, 2020
An absolute National disgrace skipping Pence— Paul’s Point. (@MyPoint63442925) January 23, 2020
British people are the meanest people.— CindyinEncinitas (@CindynEncinitas) January 23, 2020
Mike Pence didn't offer his hand. He held them together. Charles stopped and looked like he was going to shake hands with him but then saw the hands not extended and moved on, awkwardly.— Nefertiti (@Wife_Of_Steve95) January 23, 2020