Princess Anne reveals why she never shakes hands during walkabouts

By Meaghan Wray

As one of the Royal Family’s busiest women, Princess Anne has been part of more than a walkabout or two in her time. But there’s one thing you won’t see her do, and that’s shake hands with the public. In the highly anticipated ITV documentary Queen of the World , the Queen ’s daughter reveals the true reason behind why she forgoes the traditional greeting – and it’s a pretty simple explanation!

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In one of the few sneak peeks at the documentary, an interview with the 68-year-old princess tells all about her choice. “We never shook hands. 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 explained with a laugh, noting that the royal walkabout has changed a lot since Her Majesty first introduced the custom back in 1970, just over 20 years after becoming the monarch. She said that while “it’s not for me to say that it’s wrong … It’s become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout,” she said.

The Queen and her daughter attended the 2018 Braemar Highland Gathering. Photo: © Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Spotting a royal in person was a rarity in the early days of the British monarchy, but the Queen changed that, as she wanted more face-to-face time with her fans. But with the advent of technology, like phones and iPads, it’s becoming harder for royals to actually see who they are speaking to. “Phones are bad enough, but the iPads – you can’t even see their heads. No idea who you’re talking to,” she explained. “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.”

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The documentary is scheduled to air in the UK on Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 on HBO and explores the way the Queen is passing her dedication to the Commonwealth down to the younger generation. Some of the moments fans can look forward to include Meghan being reunited with her gorgeous wedding gown and veil, Prince Harry joking around with Caribbean hospitality workers about running into Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace and Kate’s special appearance with Sophie Wessex at a Commonwealth fashion event. The doc is set to air right before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex head out on their overseas royal tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga – their first major undertaking with Prince Harry in his new role as Commonwealth youth ambassador.

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