Princess Anne revealed why she doesn’t shake hands with royal fans during her walkabouts.
Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, said in the upcoming HBO documentary “Queen of the World” that she’s keeping with tradition when it comes to the royal walkabouts.
“We never shook hands,” Anne, 68, said in a preview clip posted by People. “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.”
The princess said walkabouts have turned into a “shaking hands exercise” since the queen began the tradition in the 1970s. Queen Elizabeth was the first of the royal family to start greeting crowds of fans outside events. Prior to the tradition, “the public were lucky to get a fleeting glimpse of the royal family as they drove by.”
Queen Elizabeth began the tradition of walkabouts in the 1970s. (Getty Images)
Anne said technology has made walkabouts difficult.
“Phones are bad enough, but the iPads, you can’t even see their heads,” Anne said about meeting fans. “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 added. “It is weird. People don’t believe they’ve experienced the event unless they’ve taken a photograph.”
Other members of the royal family, including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have been known to stop and greet fans. Middleton has been spotted many occasions chatting with the public during walkabouts.
In July, Harry and Markle spent more than 20 minutes shaking hands and meeting people during their stop at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.