25 times the royals hugged fans in public – sweetest photos

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For most, a hug is a completely normal way to express affection, but not for royals when they’re out and about on an official engagement. It’s rare for a member of the Queen‘s family to embrace in public as they’re technically working, but every now and then, the royals decide that rules are there to be broken.

They know that actions speak louder than words and sometimes a warm embrace is the only way to effectively communicate how they are feeling, especially in times of sadness or celebration. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the royals including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, admitted that they were missing seeing their relatives and giving people hugs.

But if like the royals, if you’ve been missing hugs from loved ones, people in England will be able to hug friends and family, who aren’t in their household bubble, when restrictions ease even more from 17 May.

So with that good news, take a look back at some of HELLO!‘s favourite pictures of royals embracing members of the public through the years.

Prince Harry is spotted hugging a girl during the presentation of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, in May 2019, making sure to hold tight to the colourfully decorated present that he had been given.

WATCH: Harry and Meghan get the sweetest hug from five-year-old boy on their arrival in Dubbo, Australia in 2018

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The Duchess of Sussex hugs kitchen co-ordinator Zaheera Sufyaan on her visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen to see how funds raised by ‘Together: Our Community Cookbook’ are making an impact at Al Manaar in North Kensington in November 2018.

MORE: Royals loving life at 30: from Kate Middleton to Prince Charles

Keep clicking for more sweet photos…

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The Duke of Sussex shared a warm embrace whilst visiting a community café during a visit to Barton Neighbourhood Centre in May 2019 in Oxford, England. We love how happy the woman hugging Prince Harry looks!

MORE: 18 of the cutest royal baby first birthday moments

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One of the sweetest pictures from the gallery is this one of the Duchess of Cambridge hugging a young girl in Berlin, when Kate was visiting Strassenkinder, a charity which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Note the fact this girl’s face paint matches Kate’s outfit!

MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s cutest pets through the years

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The Duke of Cambridge visited Aintree University Hospital to formally open the new Urgent Care and Trauma Centre in September 2017, and shared a lovely moment with Katie Daley.

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This photograph captures a sweet moment between the Duchess of Sussex and a young girl in New Zealand whilst the royal couple were on a tour in 2018. We love the fact that Meghan has kneeled down to embrace the tot with both arms – what a lovely gesture!

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This lucky pupil of Bond Primary School in Mitcham received a hug when the Duchess of Cambridge visited to see the work of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative in January 2018. We love how there is a queue for a warm embrace from the Duchess. 

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The Peoples' Princess was always quick to give big hugs to children. Here, Diana met a young pupil at the opening of the Foundation for Conductive Education for the disabled in 1995.

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The Duke of Sussex hugged an emotional member of the public who appeared shocked by the warm embrace. The royals were visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand on their 16-day autumn tour in 2018.

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Not even the rain could put a damper on this sweet embrace between Prince Harry and 97-year-old Daphne Dunne during the royal's June 2017 visit to Australia. Harry had met widow Ms Dunne once before in 2015, and looked thrilled to be reunited with her in Sydney. 

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Kate Middleton received a warm welcome from 5-year-old Demi-Leigh Armstrong during a visit to the Shooting Star House Children's Hospice in Hampton, Middlesex in 2013.

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During Prince Harry's tour of Brazil in 2014, the young royal shared a special moment with a policeman as he visited an at-risk community in Sao Paulo.

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Prince Harry opened his arms to a young girl at a youth sports festival at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua during his royal tour of the Caribbean in 2016. 

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Carson Hartley, 4, and Prince Harry became quick friends at the WellChild Awards in 2014. The toddler won both a hug and the Inspirational Child Award during the event, which honoured children suffering from serious diseases. Upon learning of his passing in 2015, Harry sent a heartwarming letter of condolence to Carson’s family.

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A little princess waiting outside the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust shared a special moment with the Duchess of Cambridge during her visit to the center in 2012.

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How adorable is this picture? Prince Harry hugged his new friend Ollie, who suffers from Battens Disease, during the WellChild Awards in London in October 2016. 

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In Calgary in 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge received a beautiful hug from 6-year-old Diamond Marshall, who sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2014. 

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Princess Diana couldn't wait to have her boys, Princes William and Harry, in her arms during a visit to Toronto in 1991.

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An emotional Prince Harry thanked ex-servicewoman Kirstie Ennis with a hug in 2015, after she gave him dog tags that belonged to her 21-year-old colleague who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

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Prince Charles loves to hand out hugs during his travels around the world. Here, the future king embraced a well-wisher during a visit to AUT Millennium in Auckland in 2012.

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Never one to turn away a tiny admirer, the Duchess of Cambridge shared a hug with a little girl at Dunedin airport during her visit to New Zealand in 2014.

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The Duke of Cambridge was greeted with a warm hug from a young girl upon his arrival to the 2016 Heads Together and The Mix annual Christmas party, which celebrated volunteers and counselors who support people going through difficult times.

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Zara Phillips knows first-hand that mums give the best hugs! The equestrian got a congratulatory cuddle from Princess Anne after being named the European Champion at The Blenheim Petplan European Eventing Championships in 2005.

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Eager mom-of-one Jo Holmes stole a hug from Prince William during the senior royal's visit to Ullswater in 2009. The Duke of Cambridge joined the charity WellChild for a sail around the the town's lake in a giant steamer boat.

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Prince Harry received a warm welcome from Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller after he arrived in Kingston as part of the Queen's Jubilee Tour in 2012.

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