Princess Anne Reveals Why She's the Only Royal Who Doesn't Shake Hands During Walkabouts
There’s a good reason why Princess Anne doesn’t shake hands during royal walkabouts — she’s keeping with tradition
“We never shook hands,” the 68-year-old daughter of Queen Elizabeth II explains in a sneak peek from the upcoming HBO documentary Queen of the World.
“The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start. So I kind of stick with that, but I noticed others don’t,” she remarks with a laugh.
Anne then goes on to explain that while “it’s not for me to say that it’s wrong,” royal walkabouts have changed significantly since the Queen began the custom in the 1970s.
“It’s become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout,” she remarks.
In the beginning of the clip, a narrator explains that in earlier days of the monarchy, “the public were lucky to get a fleeting glimpse of the royal family as they drove by.”
“Then in the 1970s, the Queen decided to shake things up. She wanted to say hello to the crowds and the walkabout was born,” the narrator continues.
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Anne went on to explain that nowadays, it can be hard to actually see who you’re interacting with because of all the technology people bring with them to document the moment.
“Phones are bad enough, but the iPads — you can’t even see their heads,” she remarks. “No idea who you’re talking to.”
“I either don’t bother or just say, ‘Look, if you want to ask…I suggest you put that down,'” she adds. “It is weird. People don’t believe they’ve experienced the event unless they’ve taken a photograph.”
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The documentary features members of the royal family speaking about Queen Elizabeth and the Commonwealth — and it will air just before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle head to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga on their first official tour of Commonwealth nations.
Queen of the World premieres Monday, Oct. 1 on HBO at 8 p.m.