Did Princess Diana Change The Way Royals Greet The Public?

Recently, a body language expert, Judi James, discussed how the royals greet and are greeted in public, suggesting that Princess Diana had an effect on these behaviors.

"Royals of the Queen's generation and before saw the depiction of defined and exaggerated space around them as part of the ritual of their high office," James told the Daily Mail. "This meant touch was also off the menu. Tactile rituals were confined to occasional handshakes, and anyone who has met the Queen will know that her handshakes involve offered fingers, rather than any pressing of palms. The rule applied to family members, too ... One famous photo of a very small Charles greeting his mother with a handshake after she returned from one of her tours abroad illustrates the 'no-touch' rule that was part of the basic fabric of what being royal was all about."

However, photographs have shown the Duchess of Cornwall hugging Spice Girl Geri Horner as well as Carrie Johnson, the wife of Prime Minister Bori Johnson. Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate Middleton have been snapped hugging actress Emma Thompson. These are just a few of the examples that James says could be done to make the royals seem more relatable and approachable.

Princess Diana 'was always open to hugging people,' royal expert says

Body language expert Judi James went on to bring Princess Diana into the conversation, telling the Daily Mail, "Even after her gloriously spontaneous PDAs, it has taken several more decades, plus some nudging from Harry and Meghan, to get things to where they are today."

Royal expert Robert Jobson agrees that Diana had an impact on the way royals interact with people. "Yes, the young royal are perhaps more open and expressive ... Certainly Harry and Meghan were very much into hugs in their time as a working royal couple, just like Diana," he said. "It was perhaps Diana, more than anyone else, that changed that. She was always open to hugging people and famously shook hands with a man with HIV/AIDS, almost ending the stigma associated with touching somebody with that disease overnight."

Of course, Princess Di was known as the people's princess, and she earned this title due to more than just this one handshake. For instance, she discussed hugging a bed-bound patient with Andrew Morton, author of "Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words. "I had always wanted to hug people in hospital beds ... It was just so touching, because he clung to me, and he cried," she told him (via Elle). Later, when giving a speech at the Children and AIDS Conference, she shared, "HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it."