Princess Anne doesn’t have the time nor the desire to shake your hand

Day One of Cheltenham Festival 2018

HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is a woman who knows her own mind. She loves horses and dogs. She loves hats and military regalia. She despises superfluity and fashion. She adores her mother, the Queen, and she’s always been her father’s favorite child. Princess Anne has never been one for the touchy-feely business of being royal. She would prefer to just nod stoically at peasants. It’s not that Anne dislikes the peasants, it’s just that she has better things to do than shake hands or pose for photos or hug anyone.

There’s a good reason why Princess Anne doesn’t shake hands during royal walkabouts — she’s keeping with tradition!

“We never shook hands,” the 68-year-old daughter of Queen Elizabeth II explains in a sneak peek from the upcoming HBO documentary 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 remarks with a laugh. Anne then goes on to explain that while “it’s not for me to say that it’s wrong,” royal walkabouts have changed significantly since the Queen began the custom in the 1970s.

“It’s become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout,” she remarks. Anne went on to explain that nowadays, it can be hard to actually see who you’re interacting with because of all the technology people bring with them to document the moment.

“Phones are bad enough, but the iPads — you can’t even see their heads,” she remarks. “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.”

[From People]

The younger royals have complained about the phones and fan-photos as well – Harry has repeatedly asked people not to be so obsessed with taking photos of him or with him, and I think he refuses to pose for most fan-photos these days. As for Anne’s refusal to shake hands… well, it’s classic Princess Royal. She doesn’t have time for your bullsh-t handshake.

100-year commemoration of WW1 US ships sinking at Islay

Thistle service during royal week

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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79 Responses to “Princess Anne doesn’t have the time nor the desire to shake your hand”

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  1. Janet says:

    Her character on The Windsors is the funniest, and apparently not far from the truth.

    • Snap Happy says:

      Her and Camilla are my favs.

      • Susannah says:

        I love conniving, jealous, greedy Pippa who places “gypsy” curses on Kate and tries to seduce William just for fun. It almost makes me interested in real life Pippa.

    • Still_Sarah says:

      I had Netflix for a month (free intro offer) and The Windsors was one of my guilty pleasures. I personally thought it made Will and Kate look pretty good by comparison to the real life versions. I loved the sniping between Theresa May and Prince Charles!

      • funfactor says:

        Thank you so much for the tip on The Windsors! I watched the first 4 episodes, shrieking with laughter so hard, I woke up the cats. Dying…!

  2. Lucy says:

    Baddest b*tch around. But seriously, at first I thought this was gonna be about her being rude to someone. Her explanation does kinda make sense, though.

    • Des says:

      She’s the very opposite of rude. I was at an event where she was the patron and she made sure to meet every single person and exchange a few words with them (without shaking hands). I was exhausted just looking at her and I’m not even half her age.

      • Gee says:

        I worked many Royal events as a waiter when I first moved to London a few years ago. Never with Anne but plenty with the Queen and she shakes everyones hand she speaks. I get Anne’s point but this folk all refuse to change with the times.

        Working these events exposed this and the real wealth of London – the pearl clutching type who probably revered princess Michael of Kent’s wearing of that racist broach. If there was ever a #TimesUp movement needed, it’s in this type of events industries where hospo managers just turn a blind eye cause everything needs to keep running smoothly!

        The monarch wouldn’t exist if people weren’t blindly wanting to shake their hands. Little do the pearl clutchers know that MM is currently their only hope for relevancy. Or they know this and are salty for it.

    • Philo says:

      This post has cut out her most important comments… I watched the show. Her point was that the walkabout was about TALKING to the people. Handshakes took up too much time and interfered with talking, as does the introduction of mobile phones in your face. Her whole point was that she preferred having a chat with them.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I know people will say she is a dead ringer for Liz, but I think she looks just like Philip.

  4. Anastasia says:

    She’s totally my spirit animal. I love horses and dogs (but not hunting, and I suspect she likes/supports hunting). And I’m Team Anne on the shaking hands. It’s a wonderful way to spread germs and get sick!

    Thinking about it a bit more, I wish SHE could become Queen after TQ dies.

    • toro says:

      in my country we are used to kiss everyone, even when you meet someone for the first time. yuo would be considered rude if you just nod or pretensious if you would just shake hands. personally, it is exhausting. i feel more comfortable when im travelling abroad and the hand shake is the normal way to greet people

    • Susannah says:

      I think most monarchies would be better if they bypassed giving the throne to the firstborn or first male child and just gave it to the daughters!

  5. Maddie23 says:

    She’s got a point. Most times I go on vacation people are pushing and shoving each other to take a photo as opposed to just enjoying what they are seeing and where they are looking. Gotta be awful at a royal event.

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

      Yesss! I have annual passes to a certain theme park (which shall remain nameless but a mouse lives there). We go all the time and it always amazes me how many tourists spend their entire time on an attraction taking photos and video. Like, isn’t enjoying that 3-5 minutes the entire reason you spent $100 just to get in the park?

    • MaryContrary says:

      Jeez-I was just at a concert and it was the same thing. I could barely see the performer because everyone was holding up their phones and iPads to film it. I don’t get that you don’t want to just ENJOY it?!

      • Jan90067 says:

        Adele actually stopped one of her concerts (when one person was in the aisle blocking people) and said to the audience to stop filming and just ENJOY the concert. Gee…whadda concept!

  6. A says:

    There was a picture of Letizia (Queen of Spain) taken at one of her engagements during which she’d shaken a whole bunch of hands. Her hand was red and swollen afterwards. It was a good explanation as to why she doesn’t wear rings on her right hand that often–imagine having to shake all of those hands while wearing bling!

    I like to shake hands. Others might not for whatever reason, but if someone offers then I’ll do it. I don’t think you need to be particularly touchy-feely to be able to connect with people though. It’s what you say and how you listen and respond that counts. And I think Anne would give you her absolute attention for the brief moment you meet her, and she’s not wrong to expect it in return.

    • Nikki says:

      I have arthritis in my fingers, and during a “pass the peace” in church, a man shook my hand so hard I almost cried from the pain. Now I wear a finger splint and smile instead! Poor Letitizia!

      • MaryContrary says:

        My grandmother used to just hold her hands clasped in front of her and nod and smile when people would do the “pass the peace.” She was no way going to get other people’s germs!

      • Mego says:

        I don’t have arthritis and a man shook my hands, squeezed my fingers so hard I cried out in pain. I was very angry.

      • Cee says:

        In Argentina you’re supposed to kiss everyone around you. I’d much rather shake hands. I don’t like kissing strangers but if I don’t then I’m rude and standoffish.

      • Chatty Cath says:

        I too have arthritis. I was wearing splints on a Pilgrimage to Lourdes and people especially men continued to ‘Peace’ even though it was agony. Arthritis or not shaking hands in quantity can’t be good for anyone’s hands, I think the Princess Royal is very sensible

    • Alissa says:

      I just read that Obama used to discreetly remove his wedding ring during times when he’d go out and meet the crowd, because people shook his hand so hard the ring would cut into his finger.

    • C. Remm says:

      You are supposed to touch their hand just lightly, not cover it and definitely not squeeze it. You leave your hand open and just the palm touches the other palm. That’s what we were told before we met Lady Di and Prince Charles.

  7. HRH says:

    I always thought Anne would be a better Queen than Charles a King.

    • Anastasia says:


    • Jessica says:

      I strongly disagree. She can’t keep up with a changing world she’s too old guard. Charles is the most progressive and forward thinking out of Anne and Andrew. He’s the best fit for a monarchy in the 21st century.

      • soapboxpudding says:

        I’m 100% with you Jessica. I think Charles will make a great king. He cares about the world and people and he’s willing to work. He’s relatively progressive – his interests (e.g. organic farming, the Prince’s Trust) got a lot of derision in the beginning for being eccentric but really he was just forward thinking. It must be very hard to live in his mother’s shadow and have a job but not really for 70 years.

      • MaryContrary says:

        I agree!

      • Mego says:

        Yes it’s surprising that at this juncture I think Charles will be fine. Wish I liked William more.

      • Cerys says:

        I agree. Charles has many fine qualities that are often over-looked by the media. Anne seems a bit stand-of fish to me but I totally get why she wouldn’t want to shake hands with loads of people. She would pick up every imaginable germ. Her portrayal in The Windsors is hilarious.

    • Gigi La Moore says:

      I have grown to like Charles. I think he will do a good job.

    • Princessk says:

      Anne can be very rude. I remember one occasion when she almost slipped and fell, and a man standing close to her tried to assist and she deliberately shoved him away.

      There is a reason her face looks so hard. If she became monarch that would be the end of the RF.

  8. Really? She looks so……welcoming.

  9. Lala11_7 says:

    That episode of “Patrick Melrose” that highlighted her at a party…in the late 70s or early 80s…was one of the FUNNIEST and TRUEST thangs I’ve ever seen about Princess Anne…IN MY LIFE!!! She was…SCATHING…and It was….HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Sage says:

    She is so creepy looking and weird.

  11. Masamf says:

    LOL 😁😁😁😁 I like her take no prisoners attitude.

  12. BW says:

    I know an old British lady who actually met QEII. She was instructed that that Queen does not shake hands. The Queen will put out her hand and the lady was to touch the hand palm to palm, but not clasp the hand. So in photos, it looks like the moment before shaking hands, but no shake actually happens.

    I’ve shaken a lot of people’s hands, and most people are really bad at it. They either give the dead fish, limp wrist, or the try to crush you. I’d rather give up on the idea of shaking hands completely. I read that Ringo Starr will only bump elbows, but he needs to protect his hands.

    • Anastasia says:

      There’s a trend right now in public education to shake every kids’ hand before they come into your classroom. Every day. All year long. The first year this started, I shook every hand, every class period, every day, and I got sick three times that year. Never again. We elbow bump. It’s my thing with them now. We’re still building relationships and greeting each other, but this idea of touching every kids’ hand every single day is CRAZY. The school nurse agrees.

      • Nikki says:

        Anastasia, I’m with you! After seeing my primary students licking their desks, picking their noses, etc., I became a germaphobe who NEVER touches a public doorknob or stairway!!

      • Nikki says:

        Anastasia, I have to tell you: I love the name Anastasia SO much, I picked it for my confirmation name after reading about the Russian czar’s I’ll fated family. My parish priest was uncertain- every name was supposed to have spiritual significance/ so with a straight, earnest face I LIED and said, “Yes, Father, after Saint Anastasia, patron saint of..gardens!” and he mumbled an OK and went to the next kid. Not the greatest indication for a pious beginning, but I still love your name!

      • indian says:

        Which is why I think a namaste is genius:-) you acknowledge the other person, bow to them, but you don’t have to shake hands. I think that’s the reasoning behind the namaste and the bow. It’s culture neutral, you don’t have to worry about how to greet someone of another gender or culture and you don’t have to worry about germs.

      • Mego says:

        Sounds like an excellent modern compromise to me.

    • Dara says:

      Shook hands with someone the other day, but instead of the usual procedure, they grabbed my fingers in their hand and squeezed, hard. I swear each knuckle in every finger made an audible pop. I thought the clammy dead fish was the worst, but no longer. Who shakes hands that way?

  13. Nancypants says:

    I’m with her.
    I know she comes across as cold but I’m a partner in a retail business now and people are always touching me or trying to.
    They get too close and it’s not like I’m being groped but I don’t want strangers touching my arm or back or whatever. I’ll shake hands if they offer but I use hand sanitizer afterward.

    “THIS is my bubble! Stay out of it!”

    We’ve been living in Colorado for some years now and when we first moved here, my older daughter and I would talk about how everybody likes to hug.
    These are a huggy bunch of people (Probably high; kidding!) and we didn’t like it and still don’t but we’ve adapted a little to our close friends and co-workers.

    BTW, it would never cross my mind to take a selfie with a royal or ask to shake their hand.
    That’s not appropriate but I’ll also never curtsy. 🙂

    • Anastasia says:

      You’d LOVE Seattle. There’s none of that, LOL.

      • Nancypants says:

        I used to love Seattle.
        I’ve been there many, many times. We went back twice in the past 2 years and it’s changed.

        Okay, first of all it was HOT at the end of May and not a cloud in sight but once on the ferry out to the islands it was nice.

        Secondly – and not to be an elitist turd or anything – but when did all the homeless tents pop up? They are EVERYWHERE and crowds??

        We still fly through on our way back to Alaska and still get a kick out of the Greek festival and Space Needle and stuff but we prefer the islands.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Ha-we live in SoCal and everybody here is a hugger and kisser-it took me a while to get used to it.

  14. Astrid says:

    Not that she should be pawed until swelling and bleeding but she is a royal and lives off the largess. She seems a bit bitchy if all you have to do for your livelihood is meet and great people.

    • Jessica says:

      I know Princess Anne is hard working but the overt love she gets on here is baffling. She’s very snobby and has little to no charm. She has a icy reputation for a reason. I think Charles is best suited for future monarch out of his siblings.

      • Tina says:

        She’s honestly very impressive. She met my father-in-law twice and remembered him from the first time, making reference to their previous meeting (she may have been briefed but I don’t think so, his position was not that high up). She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, that’s for sure, but not everyone is warm and fuzzy. I’d take her hard work any day over William and Kate.

      • Addie says:

        That is impressive. It meant she was actually paying attention and really listening. It seems some people prefer the once over lightly approach with hugs, pics and over-emoting smiles of the ‘younger’ royals, seeing it as approachable. I see it as pretty fake all up; i doubt they could recall who they interacted with. The opposite end of the spectrum is Anne who is more substantial. At the end of the day i prefer substance over style.

  15. Harrierjet says:

    I remember a royal photographer who had followed her and Diana before, and she commented that Anne once refused to sit and pose with little children in her arms (unlike Diana) because the focus was on the children and the cause and not on her posing with children. I respect that.

    • mynameispearl says:

      The pics of Diana with the kids probably generated way more publicity for the cause though. Anne nodding and listening is all very well and good, but these people are literally only there to raise attention, so Diana probably did a much better job of it.

      • Addie says:

        The royal should be taking those stories back to whoever and getting some action underway. That’s the point of them, not just the photo ops. Today, it seems it’s ALL bout photo ops and short slam-bam let’s get outta here visits but no follow up.

  16. Lala11_7 says:

    I was raised…you keep your sweat and personal bacteria to yourself!!! LOL!!!!

  17. RBC says:

    Still wish Anne had met 45 on his trip to England instead of him meeting the Queen.
    She would have put him in his place!
    Come to think about maybe put Anne and Meghan’s messy relatives in a room together instead….

  18. babco says:

    Princess Ann is hard working

    “According to the Times, in 2017, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter carried out 455 official appearances at events, dinners, and receptions at home, with an additional 85 engagements overseas.”

    540 appearances a year, every one counting from a dozen to hundreds of people in attendance.

  19. Mikaela says:

    So I met her last year at an event. I’m from an overseas territory. Anyways, we were instructed not to put our hand out to shake hers as it was against protocol. One of my coworkers who’s a bit dim didn’t pay attention and put her hand out and Anne was soo perturbed, but shook her hand. Afterward, I alerted coworker to her faux pas and she was mortified. I will say, Anne was lovely and seemed very interested in the work we were doing.

  20. Emmy says:

    Well these commoners who show up to walkabouts, take pictures and try to shake her hand are the sole reason she can call herself Princess and live a charmed life on the back of other people’s hard work. The photos that are being taken will be spread on social media, and are basically advertisement for the RF. They don’t hold any real power these days, they are glorified celebs, and celebs need exposure to stay relevant.

    The moment public interest dies down, that will be the beginning of the end for the monarchy. I’m not sure the older generation of royals understand that. They have lived their whole lives in a privileged, pampered bubble and probably still think aristocracy has some natural, god-given relevance in society.

    I don’t love shaking people’s hands either, but if I get castles, butlers, expensive horses and financial security for my children and grandchildren in return, sign me up!

    • Addie says:

      Oh, I think the older generation of royals DO get that they are there courtesy of the public and simply get on and do the work. It’s the younger royals – specifically Harry and William – who have an incredibly entitled attitude, almost a throwback to pre-Edwardian times. and think it will go on forever. They throw their weight around a lot, threatening to sue etc. It is they who are leading the charge to turn monarchy into celebrity as their way of modernising the monarchy. But they won’t. Neither has the ticker for hard work – never have – and people will tire of having to support their celebrity ways. No-one is especially keen in the UK to keep on paying for their lavish upkeep. It’s not just value for money.

  21. livealot says:

    Sorry the title of that doc just bugs me

  22. Murphy says:

    Prince Philip’s favorite child is Edward.

    I love Princess Anne, she’s the best. And I totally get why she doesn’t shake hands. She’s all business.

    • Anastasia says:

      Who do you think is the Queen’s favorite child? Anne?

      And I’ve always wondered who is her favorite grandchild. You know she has one or two. I suspect Harry is one. Will is not.

      • Tina says:

        I agree about Harry, and think Zara is probably up there as well.

      • Emmy says:

        I can see TQ being close to Harry, but I actually think she is even closer to Zara, considering their mutual passion for horses. Same with Edward and Sophie’s kids, who are said to spend every weekend riding at Windsor. I can imagine the Queen not being the most affectionate or talkative mother/grandmother, but rather bonding with her family members over shared interests and hobbies.

        Also, Charles and Philip have had a somewhat tumultuous relationship over the years. That tends to affect the amount of time you spend with the grandkids. Philip is known to be the head of the family in private, and the Queen has often refrained from interfering in conflicts.

      • Montréalaise says:

        Her favourite child has always been Andrew, although I suspect she’s not that fond of some of his antics.

      • aaa says:

        My understanding:
        Andrew is the Queen’s favorite but she is also close to Edward and Anne.

        Anne is Philip’s favorite but he is also close to Edward.

        Charles was the Queen Mother’s favorite.

        Peter Phillips is the Queen’s favorite grandchild.

  23. Velvet Elvis says:

    I really look forward to seeing that movie.

  24. violet says:

    I never can make up my mind about her. On one side, she is so incredibly privileged, on the other, I like her lack of pretense.