It’s tough to remember to bow ― or even stand still ― in the presence of the queen, especially when you’re young!
When Queen Elizabeth visited the children’s charity Coram to open the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on Thursday, a boy named Nathan Grant was introduced to her by his adoptive parents, former British talent show judges David and Carrie Grant.
The 9-year-old lad, dispensing with protocol, dropped to the floor and crawled away.
“That’s his version of a bow,” his mother, a TV presenter, told the queen as everyone laughed.
Her Majesty handled the moment with grace and a smile, and continued to greet others.
Young Nathan wasn’t done making a major impression on the royal visit, though. He shouted “bye!” as he crawled through a doorway.
It’s a moment his parents will likely never forget, they said in a joint statement emailed to HuffPost.
“Nathan is the most adorable child. He is one of four children, three of our children are birth children and one is adopted, all have special needs including ADHD and/or Autism,” the Grants said.
“Nathan was adopted at the age of 2yrs. Many adopted children struggle with early life trauma and so they have a fight or flight response,” the Grants said. They then explained the reasoning behind Nathan’s exit that’s gotten so much attention.
“Nathan had been waiting for 2 hrs on Wednesday in his itchy suit as he [was] called. He was nervous and didn’t know what to do so did what we always tell him, walk away!” they wrote.
“Not quite what we expected in this context but he was actually doing something we have taught him,” they added, “We are very proud of him for waiting for so long and very proud that he tried his very best to stay put. He actually left with very little fuss! This is definitely a film we will be bringing out at all the appropriate birthday/wedding moments!”
The parents acknowledged the funny moment on Twitter after it began receiving global attention on social media and beyond.
“There’s always one. Why is it always mine?” Carrie Grant tweeted. Later, she added: “This is what we will be playing him at his 21st birthday!”
David Grant also chimed in on Twitter: “The day Nathan met The Queen!!”
People on social media had some funny reactions to Nathan’s exit:
In an ITV documentary called “Queen of the World” that aired earlier this year, Prince Harry joked with visitors that even he has awkward run-ins with his “gran” around the corridors of Buckingham Palace.
“You guys have spent way more time in Buckingham Palace than I ever have – and you’ve only been here two weeks,” he said. “Have you bumped into the queen yet? If you suddenly bump into her in the corridor, don’t panic. I know you will. We all do!”
Sarah Ferguson, who was once married to Prince Andrew, said she also panics ahead of seeing her mother-in-law.
“I always get really nervous before meeting the boss,” Fergie said in an interview with KIIS-FM in Sydney. But that feeling doesn’t last long.
“She makes you feel comfortable within the first five seconds,” Fergie added.
This article has been updated to include the Grants’ statement.
Royal news doesn’t stop at the wedding. Subscribe to HuffPost’s Watching the Royals newsletter for all things Windsor (and beyond).