Iranian athlete Mehrdad Karam Zadeh, silver discus medalist, refused to shake Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s hand during the medal presentation at the paralympics.
A spokesman for St. James’s Palace has revealed the Duchess was briefed beforehand and was warned not to offer a handshake to Zadeh, and instead, he clasped his hands to his chest in gratitude.
The Dutchess showed no outwardly emotion, except for a smile, as she walked away and waited to present the next medal.
“Many male athletes from Islamic countries do not shake hands in public with women they are not related to for cultural and religious reasons,” revealed a palace representative.
Apparently, if the medal had been presented to Zadeh by the Prince instead of the Dutchess, Zadeh would have offered his hand in thanks.
The gesture did indeed provoke negetive attention and Iran’s media described Zadeh’s behavior as “stunning and inappropriate.”