King Charles' meeting with EU chief is being criticized. Here's why

King Charles III receives European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during an audience at Windsor Castle on February 27.
A version of this story appeared in the March 3 edition of CNN's Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on Britain's royal family. Sign up here.

London (CNN)Royals speak through actions more than words, which often leaves royal commentators reading into what they do without the benefit of an explanation. This week, it came down to a handshake.

King Charles III extended a warm welcome to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at Windsor on Monday. The pair chatted over a cup of tea and, according to a royal source, the meeting was an opportunity for the British sovereign to discuss the war in Ukraine and climate change with the visiting dignitary. Looking at the photograph of the moment, you may not see anything controversial, but it sparked this response from former BBC Royal Correspondent Peter Hunt, who tweeted:
"This is a very serious error of judgement by King Charles and his advisors. He's abandoned his unifying role and entered the political fray, in a foolish bid to be seen as statesmanlike. History won't be kind. Someone's head will roll."
    For context, Von der Leyen is not a head of state. Her counterpart in the UK is Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. An audience with the King was therefore a special privilege and falls under the category of "rolling out the red carpet" -- which the British government often leans on when VIPs fly into town.