Meghan Markle and Prince Harry appeared to shun royal precedent by holding hands in public — something Prince William and Kate Middleton rarely do
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle briefly held hands at the “Your Commonwealth” Youth Challenge reception on Thursday.
- Their public display of affection may have come as a surprise given a recent viral video of the couple at another event.
- The two appeared to refrain from holding hands at the Queen’s Young Leaders awards ceremony on June 26.
- According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, there is no official protocol that dictates when royal couples can hold hands in public.
- But Queen Elizabeth II has set a royal precedent that discourages PDA, which may explain why Prince William and Kate Middleton are rarely spotted holding hands.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were beaming with happiness at the “Your Commonwealth” Youth Challenge reception on Thursday. While Markle looked radiant in a bright yellow Brandon Maxwell dress, the couple turned heads for another reason.
When the two arrived at Marlborough House in London, UK, for the event, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex briefly held hands before separating to applaud a group of performers.
Their public display of affection may have come as a surprise given a recent viral video of the couple at another event.
Prince Harry and Markle appeared to refrain from holding hands while walking behind Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen’s Young Leaders awards ceremony last week, on June 26. The seemingly awkward moment, which you can watch below in the video shared by Twitter user DeMarko Gage, quickly made the rounds online.
While it’s not clear what exactly the couple is doing in this viral clip, body language expert Blanca Cobb told Cosmopolitan that it appeared as though Prince Harry was keeping himself busy — first by touching his jacket button and tie before clasping his hands in front of his body — to make sure he did not reach out for Markle’s hand.
As for Markle, Cobb told Cosmopolitan that the duchess seemed to glance subtly at Prince Harry for guidance on how to proceed — something she has appeared to do at other royal events.
“Her arm and hand don’t swing naturally,” Cobb explained. “It’s as if she’s keeping it within Harry’s reach for when the moment presents itself that they can hold hands.”
Speaking to INSIDER about the viral video, body language expert Tonya Reiman said that the duke and duchess appear to be in the “natural hand holding part of their relationship.” According to Reiman, “they both went to reach out and then had to pull back.”
There is no official protocol that dictates when royal couples can hold hands in public.
According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, it comes down to each couple’s “personal preference.” Speaking to INSIDER, Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, said that if Harry and Markle — or other senior members of the royal family including Prince William and Kate Middleton — refrain from PDA at an event, “it is simply a matter of remaining professional in their roles that day.”
“It’s entirely up to each couple to do what they feel most comfortable,” she added.
But there’s a royal precedent that discourages PDA, especially at official events.
As body language expert Robin Kermode previously told the Daily Mail, Queen Elizabeth rarely holds hands with Prince Philip in public, which “seems to have set an unwritten precedent” for other members of the royal family.
“It is rare to see royal couples holding hands on official outings,” Meier told People. “A more serious engagement would warrant a more serious level of professionalism, which each royal is sure to follow.”
According to Meier, the Queen’s Young Leaders ceremony at Buckingham Palace was just one example of such an event, which explains why Harry and Markle chose not to hold hands. In fact, the duke and duchess — who were often openly affectionate throughout their engagement — seem to have dialed back on the PDA since they married in May.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, who rarely hold hands in public, are likely following in the queen’s footsteps.
At royal outings and events, Prince William and Middleton are often spotted standing side-by-side with their hands clasped in front of them. But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who married in 2011, have been working royals for a while, which may explain why the two have shown less PDA over the years compared to Harry and Markle.
As INSIDER’s Kristin Salaky previously noted, Prince Harry, who is sixth in line for the throne, is also much less likely to become the British monarch in his lifetime. Prince William, on the other hand, is second in line for the throne, and may be held to stricter standards in his role as a royal.
That said, it’s possible that Prince William and Middleton simply prefer not to hold hands in public or to save such displays of affection for special occasions.
Source: thisisinsider com