The Queen Has a Go-To Move for Ending Handshakes That Go on Too Long

The Queen has a move Claire Foy calls the "shove back" for ending handshakes with royal fans that go on too long.

  • Even though she's known for being friend, Queen Elizabeth makes a point to draw a line between "friendly" and "friends" with the people she meets.
  • In his book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch, royal author Bryan Kozlowski explains how the Queen manages to be friendly while still maintaining personal boundaries.
  • Actress Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the first two season of Netflix's The Crown, says the monarch is "the inventor of the 'shove back.' She really give you your hand back after you've met her." 

The Queen is a very friendly person, but that doesn't mean she wants to actually be friends with the thousands of people she meets and greets.

Royal author Bryan Kozlowski breaks down the Queen's foolproof method for maintaining friendliness without sacrificing her own boundaries in his book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch.

"The Queen can be incredibly friendly, but those who wish to ingratiate themselves as her new BFF quickly realize the insurmountable difference between royal friendliness and friendship," Kozlowski writes. "Elizabeth doesn't like to confuse the two, becoming an expert at keeping her distance in the politest way possible."

BBC presenter and journalist Andrew Marr has even called the Queen Britain's "slightly mysterious Department of Friendliness," according to Kozlowski. Over the years, Queen Elizabeth has perfected her own tricks for achieving her "friendly but not "everybody's friend" balancing act.

"One of her most effective strategies simply lies in the way she shakes people's hands," Kozlowski writes. "Those who clasp on to the royal glove too long will find their own hand promptly returned to them."

Actress Claire Foy, who played Elizabeth in the first two seasons of Netflix's hit royal drama The Crown, has described the Queen's penchant for ending inappropriately-long handshakes.

"She's the inventor of the 'shove back,'" Foy said, according to Long Live the Queen. "She really give you your hand back after you've met her."

Definitely a royal lesson we could all stand to learn.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.