Princess Anne explains why she's the only royal who doesn't shake hands during walkabouts

Naomi Gordon
Photo credit: ITV

From Harper's BAZAAR

Princess Anne has revealed why she seldom shakes hands during royal walkabouts, and how the Queen introduced the interaction with members of public in the 1970s.

"We never shook hands," Princess Anne explains in a clip from ITV's 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 added with a laugh.

Photo credit: Getty Images

The 68-year-old royal said that Her Majesty introduced greeting and shaking hands with well-wishers during royal engagements in the '70s, as the royal family had previously seemed too elusive. She added that "it's not for me to say that it's wrong."

A narrator in the clip noted that in the 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 continued.

Princess Anne remarked: "It's become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout."

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

She also discussed the challenges that the rise of social media presents in terms of public interaction. The royal says that it's become difficult to engage with people because they're so keen to capture the moment on iPhones and iPads.

"Phones are bad enough, but the iPads - you can't even see their heads," Anne reflected. "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'.

"It is weird. People don't believe they've experienced the event unless they've taken a photograph."

Photo credit: ITV

Princess Anne is the mother to Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, and the only daughter of the Queen.

Behind-the-scene moments with the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also feature in the two-part ITV series.

Queen of the World begins on Tuesday, 25 September on ITV.

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