It cannot be denied that there has been a fresher wind in the British royal family in recent decades. With newer generations, old rules also become increasingly old-fashioned. Until Queen Elizabeth II's (95) generation, it was still common to keep a certain distance from the people, today royals like Duchess Kate (39) or Duchess Camilla (74) rely on approachability and accessibility.

"They sat higher and on bigger chairs or thrones and their spatial distances were wider than anyone else, with only very few moments of that distance being breached in public view," Body Language Expert Judi James revealed to 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," she continued. 

More closeness to the royals is heavily influenced by Lady Diana

Whereas in the past, little Prince Charles only shook hands with his mother in public, today people choose to touch as much as they can. Royal experts Robert Jobson and Judi James clearly see Lady Diana (†36) as a great influence on this new approachable way of interacting with people. She was previously known for being close to people. The historical moment when she shook hands with someone suffering from AIDS.

"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," Jobson said to The Daily Mail.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks to guests as she attends a special reception with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, hosted by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew, at the Pakistan National Monument, during day two of their royal tour of Pakistan on October 15, 2019 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Kate, Camilla, but also Prince William (39), Prince Harry (37) and Duchess Meghan (40) continue Diana's legacy. Whether good acquaintances, their spouses, or even fans - the royals do not shy away from physical contact in public. Just recently, William and Kate showed some intimate affection to one another at the Earth Shot Prize

"Best not to initiate personal physical contact with a member of the royal family. Again, it may be that they offered to give you a hug or to put their arm around you, but usually wait and see what's expected or what's appropriate for the event," revealed Lucy Hume, assistant director of Debrett's, a modern British etiquette coaching company.

Nevertheless, this closeness to people is no longer uncommon today. Judi James sees the reason for this approach: "Status-lowering rituals are much more the norm and touch is used frequently to signal empathy, rapport and a more down-to-earth form of affection." 

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