Royal Handshaking –Only Humbert of Italy Likes It —Other Monarchs and M. Faure Do Not
Kaiser Wilhelm, who lately has had many occasions for public greetings, does not at all like to offer his hand to any one in public. He rarely makes exceptions in this matter and then usually only for commanding officers at the time of the great army maneuvers. Even more than he does the Emperor of Austria abstain from the custom of handshaking, for it is only Archdukes that he greets or parts from in this fashion. The Czar when he receives Princes is wont always to shake hands cordially with his guests. Only one has he embraced so far, M. Felix Faure.
The Queen of England, with traditional feminine grace, holds out her hand to be kissed; but her son, the Prince of Wales, often seizes the opportunity of giving people a hearty handshake. The King of the Belgians is fond of holding in his, a lady's slender hand, and never fails to imprint a kiss on it; but he objects to shaking hands with men. The amiable young Queen of Holland would like, if etiquette did not forbid, to shake hands with everybody.
The simplest of all rulers, however, is King Humbert of Italy. A declared foe to all kinds of Court ceremonies, he avoids having anything more to do than is absolutely necessary with his Court officials, but in his excursions in the country likes to shake hands with the farmers and peasants. As regards President Felix Faure, he embraces the czar, kisses her gracious majesty's hand, shakes the right hand of the Queen regent of Spain's Ambassador, especially when it bears him a Golden Fleece, but considers it beneath his dignity to hold out his hand to any one as low as a secretary of legation.—Munchener Zeitung, 1899
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