Why Princess Anne is the only royal who doesn't shake hands with fans.


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Ever since Queen Elizabeth II introduced the practice in the 1970s, the ‘walkabout’ has been an important fixture in royal life.

Although in the past, royal fans only caught a glimpse of the British royal family on royal tours and visits, the walkabout gave members of the royal family a chance to meet and greet with loyal fans.

But while things have changed over the years when it comes to the walkabout, Princess Anne is still sticking to royal tradition.

Speaking in a preview for upcoming HBO documentary Queen of the World, the Queen’s daughter criticised how the practice has changed over the years.

“We never shook hands,” she said.

Meghan markle
Meghan Markle shakes hands with fans on walkabout. Image: Getty.

"The theory was that you couldn't shake hands with everybody, so don't start," she added.

"So I kind of stick with that, but I noticed other don't. It's not for me to say that it's wrong, but I think the initial concept was that it was patently absurd to start shaking hands. And it seems to me that it's become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout if you see what I mean, so that it has changed."

The 68-year-old also spoke about how it's difficult to interact with fans with the growing popularity of selfies.

"Phone are bad enough, but the iPads – you can't even see their heads," she said. "No idea who you're talking to."

"I either don't bother or just say, 'Look, if you want to ask me something, I suggest you put that down.' It is weird. People don't believe they've experienced the event unless they've taken a photograph."

According to royal rules, selfies are a no-go zone for the British royal family.


Back in December last year, Meghan Markle told one couple that "we're not allowed to do selfies".

While the rules are occasionally broken, selfies are against royal protocol while autographs are reserved for special occasions only.

Princess Anne's older brother, Prince Charles, notably broke the rule back in 2010 when a victim of the Cornwall floods asked him for an autograph.

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