It’s a well known fact that Princess Diana stopped wearing gloves during public engagements, even though they were the done thing. Why? Because she felt they were too impersonal.
‘She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact,’ Eleri Lynn, curator of the exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story, told People.
Of course, this caused a little controversy at the time, as did anything that broke with tradition, though it’s now become the norm for younger members of the royal family, such as Duchess Catherine and Duchess Meghan.
Firstly, they finish off an outfit nicely, but more importantly, it’s to protect the Queen from germs. If she is shaking hands all day, she might get her hands dirty or pick up someone’s cold, and of course it wouldn’t be handy at all for the Queen to be ill when she has so many commitments.
Apparently, she is also specific about the length of them, as when she waves she doesn’t want her skin to show under the sleeve, so they go up above the wrist to avoid that. She is also said to order a dozen pairs at a time to avoid having to buy them regularly, and has them mended so as not to throw them away.
When she does take them off, according to Bustle.com, there is a specific way to do it too: ‘You have to take them off when you’re eating (even if it’s just a quick canapé or nosh), and they’re forbidden at the dinner table. To take them off, you have to pull them finger by finger, and then rest them on your lap underneath your napkin.’