Princess Anne reveals the one thing she refuses to do during public engagements

In a documentary, the Princess Royal revealed the very logical reason why she refrains from doing this during Royal walkabouts.

What the Princess Royal believes is ‘absurd’ when on Royal walkabouts
© Finnbarr Webster / Getty Images
What the Princess Royal believes is ‘absurd’ when on Royal walkabouts

Princess Anne revealed in an ITV documentary that she doesn’t shake hands with members of the public whilst on Royal walkabouts despite other members of the Royal Family doing so. And you can’t fault the Princess’s reasoning.

Discover our latest podcast

‘You can’t shake hands with everyone’

Princess Anne undertook her first public engagement in 1969 when she was 18. The Princess Royal opened an educational and training centre in Shropshire.

In the ITV documentary Queen of the World, Princess Anne revealed that there used to be a simple rule to follow while on walkabouts: never to shake hands with members of the public.

She said:

The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start.

According to Her Royal Highness, the rule stuck with her, but she notes that not all family members stick to this unwritten rule.

The Princess says that although it isn’t her place to say whether it is wrong or not, she believes that ‘it was patently absurd to start shaking hands’.

She said:

It seems to me that it's become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout.

Read more: Princess Anne: A rare peek inside her ‘regular’ home in the Cotswolds

Difficulty interacting

In the same documentary, the late Queen’s only daughter also revealed that she found it difficult to interact with the public, especially now with all the technology people use nowadays.

She said:

You had people to talk to, and now you don’t really.

She admitted that as much as she dislikes phones, iPads are far worse because Her Royal Highness literally can’t see whom she is talking to. Although, the Princess revealed her quip to bring people back to the moment:

Look, if you want to ask something, you know, meet somebody, I suggest you put that down.

Princess Anne believed:

People don’t believe they’ve experienced the event unless they’ve taken a photograph. And usually you are standing immediately in front of them.

Princess Anne wasn’t the only Royal to disapprove of the use of technology during Royal walkabouts. US Ambassador Matthew Barzun said the late Queen Elizabeth II believed it was rude for the public to stare at screens when she made public appearances.

Sources used:

-Hello!: The reason why Princess Anne doesn't shake hands with the public

- Woman and Home: Princess Anne avoids shaking hands with members of the public for this wise reason

- The Princess Royal – 70 facts at 70

Read more:

Queen Consort Camilla and Princess Anne had a rocky past, claims royal biographer

Princess Anne inherits Queen Elizabeth's most treasured possession worth £1 million

Princess Anne: Poll reveals the public wants the Princess Royal to be Queen Princess Anne: Poll reveals the public wants the Princess Royal to be Queen