We all remember the Spice Girls’ special individual qualities. Posh was silent and sultry, Baby was cute and delightful, Scary was brazen and tough, Sporty was playful and free-spirited, and Ginger… well, let’s just say the words ‘daring’ and ‘cheeky’ aptly come to mind.
And it seems like her reputation preceded her, because when Geri Halliwell was dared by her fellow bandmates to kiss the cheek of none other than Prince Charles, she more than rose to the challenge.
Karin Darnell, the quintet’s makeup artist back in the ‘90s, dished on what it was like making up the world’s biggest girl band (at least at the time). As we well remember from her signature looks, Darnell confirmed that Geri was “all about a red lip”… and it seems it was exactly this that got her into trouble.
So at a Royal Gala performance at London’s Royal Opera House in 1997, when she got the chance to make her mark on the senior Royal, did she go for it? Absolutely she did. In fact, we dimly recall photographs of a very red-faced Prince Charles, complete with pucker marks on his cheek. Doesn’t he look coy and embarrassed?
Now, we all know by now – royal protocol is oh-so-strict (just look at the continual scrutiny facing the Duchess of Sussex), so this presumably was way off limits. In fact, when it comes to formally meeting and greeting royals, contact is limited to a polite handshake. So a cheeky kiss from a pop star surely had the Royal Palace aghast. But hey, Spice Girl is as Spice Girl does, right?
And apparently Ginger Spice set a precedent for some serious closeness with the future King (Darnell didn’t call it a “king dare” for nothing), because in the next few years various Spice Girls were spotted going in for a peck on the cheek (or if you’re Mel C, wiping away the evidence). In fact, the group was invited back to many events with Prince Charles over the years, so clearly no lasting damage was done.
Later that same year, Posh, also known as Victoria Beckham, goes in for the kill, seemingly sparing him a lipstick mark:
And Sporty wiping away something, at the same event (maybe he wasn’t spared after all):
And with Emma Bunton (forever Baby Spice to us) in 2006:
So it seems like both sides played the cheeky encounters to their PR advantage… and who can blame them? We all need to spice up our lives now and then, after all.