The heartwarming reason why Princess Diana changed royal protocol and stopping wearing gloves
Princess Diana shunned the traditional royal practice of wearing gloves at official engagements in order to be seen as more approachable.
Before her tragic death in 1997, Diana, dubbed the 'People's Princess' was determined to eschew the protocol of the British monarchy in order to "convey approachability and warmth", which she expressed through her fashion choices.
According to Eleri Lynn, the curator of a new exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace, the late royal wanted to shake hands directly with people and have the flexibility to hug any children that came to see her.
"When she was visiting hospitals for example she would wear cheerful clothes that would convey warmth and often chunky jewelry so that children could come and play with them," she explained to People magazine.
"She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact. She also stopped wearing hats because she said, 'You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.'"
Lynn explains that in the early days of Diana's career in the spotlight, when she was introduced to the world at Prince Charles' fiancée, she didn't have a royal wardrobe to match and often had to borrow clothes from well-connected friends.
"Her wardrobe was playful, and she borrowed a lot of clothes from her friends. But she quickly learned what would work in a public capacity. She had a great design eye and a real knack for fashion. Although she wanted to focus on her work, she wanted to use fashion to help that," she added.
In her later years, her style evolves with less clichéd princess ruffles in favour of more tailored high fashion pieces from designers like Catherine Walker, Paul Costelloe and Armani.
"The '90s you really see her fashion is pared back and simplifie. Following her separation from the Prince of Wales, those close to her recall she wanted to be known as a work horse, rather than a clothes horse, and she knew that to focus attention on her work she needed to simplify her daytime look," Lynn added.