Prince Harry spontaneously kissed a woman’s hand — and he’s not the only royal who has casually interacted with the public

Prince Harry surprised a fan with a kiss on the hand. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
  • Prince Harry broke from royal tradition by kissing a fan’s hand during his trip to Sussex on Wednesday.
  • He’s not the only royal who has casually interacted with the public.
  • Kate Middleton seemingly had a casual reaction to a spontaneous hug when she met a group of children on Tuesday.
  • It seems that the younger members of the royal family are rewriting traditional royal etiquette.

Royal protocol is a tricky subject. The royal family has general etiquette guidelines they abide by, but oftentimes this protocol is simply suggested tradition and not a steadfast set of rules. With the younger generation of royals, it seems like these traditions are becoming less strict, as Prince Harry’s recent interaction with one onlooker might suggest.

During a visit to Sussex with Meghan Markle on Wednesday, Harry walked over to greet a woman named Lydia, who was already talking to Markle. While most members of the adoring public simply get a polite handshake or “Windsor wave” from the royal family during their walkabouts, Lydia got a spontaneous kiss on the hand – as seen in a video shared by the Daily Mail.

As Princess Anne pointed out in the HBO/ITV documentary ‘Queen of the World,’ royal meet-and-greets are slowly becoming less formal

Even the simple act of shaking hands was once not encouraged, but the rules have become slightly more relaxed.

“We never shook hands. The theory was that you couldn’t shake hands with everybody, so don’t start,” Princess Anne said in the documentary. “So I kind of stick with that, but I noticed others don’t. It’s not for me to say that it’s wrong, but I think the initial concept was that it was patently absurd to start shaking hands. And it seems to me that it’s become a shaking hands exercise rather than a walkabout if you see what I mean, so that, it has changed.”

Don’t expect a handshake from Princess Anne. Courtesy of HBO / ITV

Kate Middleton also seemed to welcome a less formal greeting when she visited a group of children in Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden on Tuesday

In a video captured by the Daily Mail’s royal correspondent, Rebecca English, Middleton started by shaking the children’s hands, per tradition, but seemed happy to return hugs when one of the children initiated them.

Markle has broken from royal tradition when greeting crowds

Back in March, she embraced a young girl who told her she wanted to become an actress.

Meghan markle hug
Meghan Markle gave a young fan a hug earlier this year. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

So while the queen and Princess Anne are still more likely to give you their signature wave than a giant bear hug, it looks like the younger generation may slowly be rewriting royal etiquette to allow for more candid interaction.

INSIDER has reached out to royal etiquette experts for comment.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.