Before Diana came along the most interaction you would get with a royal was either a wave or a handshake. From the earliest moments of Diana’s royal life she showed that she had a very different way of doing things.
When speaking to some one in a wheel chair she would either find a chair and sit next to them or kneel down so that they where at eye level.
Diana also did this with children going right down to her knees to be at their level so they would not be intimated.
When visiting people in hospital Diana would often sit on their bed with her back facing the cameras to allow the person in question to have her full attention.
When visiting the blind she would often let blind people touch her face so they could get an idea of what she looked like.
In 1981 this was revolutionary, no other British royal would do that. In fact Royals didn’t even hold people babies in the crowd. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeA06Qf6Lyc « This was Diana’s first walk about and you can tell by the reaction from the crowd when she takes the baby in her arms that this is not something they expected a royal to do.
Diana once said “People were so surprised when I sat on people’s bed and held their hands, they didn’t expect a royal to do that, but to me that was just natural” Diana a new standard for how public figures interact with crowds it has been said the future Prime Minster Tony Blair saw how Diana interacted with crowds and may a point to copy her movements and body language.